Former Sunderland winger and Ossett United boss Andy Welsh has been told to build a team fans can be proud of by new phoenix club Bury AFC.
Appointed on Wednesday to guide the fan-owned club in their inaugural season in the North West Counties First Division North, Welsh is no stranger to new clubs having led Ossett United when Northern Premier League Ossett Albion and Ossett Town merged in 2018.
Despite his success guiding them into the NPL First Division South East play-offs and lifting the West Riding FA County Cup in their debut season before leaving last November, the 36-year-old former Premier League star has not been set any unrealistic goals.
Welsh takes charge as the club ramped up preparations to get going with the unveiling of their new crest, kit supplier and home and away kits on Thursday following a vote on the designs by Shakers Community fans.
Delighted to have taken this opportunity it’s been a very busy 24 hours but it is a privilege to be part of this historical moment thanks to the board @OfficialBuryAFC the chairman @chrismuzz25 the journey has begun !
Bury AFC chairman Chris Murray was thrilled to get the club’s first manager in place as the club put out an appeal for volunteers to help them on matchdays when they start life in the 10th tier.
“Andy was someone we saw in the role from the moment that we met him,” he said. “His enthusiasm for football shone through. He comes with a great deal of experience having played at the highest level. We are looking forward to working with Andy and his team to create a team that the fans can be proud of.”
Bury AFC say Welsh’s knowledge and experience helped him beat more than 750 applicants to their hot-seat, as well as impressing their board with his drive to succeed and ability to work within the framework of a fan-owned and community-led club.
A club statement added: “Andy’s performance in his previous roles, knowledge of players across the Manchester and surrounding areas, alongside skills in developing academy structures and players, enables us to make a significant step towards getting Bury AFC competing straight away when the season starts in the coming weeks but also with an eye to the future of developing all aspects of our club as we begin to grow.”
— Bury AFC (@OfficialBuryAFC) July 30, 2020
A left-footed midfielder during his 15-year playing career, Welsh made more than 300 senior appearances in the Premier League with Sunderland and a host of Football League clubs as well as abroad in the MLS for Toronto. Before moving into Non-League with FC United of Manchester, Farsley Celtic and Ossett Albion, his EFL clubs included Blackpool, Carlisle, Leicester, Stockport and Yeovil Town.
??BuryAFC | Kits??
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper from this weekend for all the action from the play-offs and much more!
In print and online 24/7 as a full digital replica since midnight on Saturday, The NLP’s news pages are the only place to stay informed and entertained while getting the big picture from across Non-League in one place.
Get ahead of the game with our free weekly newsletter and never take a chance on missing your paper on a Sunday or Monday again!
Subscribe today to have the printed edition delivered to your doorstep or enjoy the full digital edition from the comfort of your own home or wherever you are when it pops up on your mobile or device!
The only national paper devoted to Non-League football, as a digital edition The NLP is available whenever and wherever you want it. Try a free sample of a recent edition today if you’re staying home or on the run. You’ll save cash as a one off or regular digital reader and the pages still rustle like the printed paper too!
Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper & @OfficialBuryAFC/Twitter