Jordan Hadaway was believed to be the world’s youngest senior football manager when he took over as first-team boss of CPD Caerwys last season at the age of 18.
Unfortunately, his first season in charge was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic but the team was showing a lot of promise in the North East Wales League.
Now comes another big hurdle for the teenager to face as he leads Caerwys in tier 5 of the new-look Welsh football pyramid.
The Flintshire side will compete in the North East Wales League Championship in 2020-21.
Grassroots North Wales caught up with Jordan to check on how preparations are going.
So, Caerwys are in tier 5 of Welsh football in 2020-21. How do you feel about this?
I feel like the league system restructure has been a shock to many clubs with what league they have fallen into.
For us we had applied to go into tier 4 but the application got rejected, everyone at the club tried very hard to ensure we were in a strong position when applying but it didn’t work out so now as the management team we need to get our heads down and deal with the situation we are in which is Tier 5.
Looking at the teams in your league – the North East Wales League Championship – do you think you can be strong competitors? What do you know about your opponents? There’s a lot of new teams in there, heard much about them?
I think as always it will be a tough league.
Looking at the teams in there Connah’s Quay Town stand out to me. I know a lot of good people that run the club and I know they will make sure they are strong competitors on and off the field.
Also Ruabon Rovers stand out to me too with the announcements they have been making recently.
Other than that you will still have the strong teams that were in there before like Sychdyn and Borras, so it is going to be a tough league but I’m confident that we have enough within our squad to compete for the league.
What are your feeling on the new-look pyramid in general? Is this an exciting time for North Wales football?
I think the new league structure is exciting but also questionable for some clubs.
It looks like tier 3 will be a tough league and it will be interesting to see the standings at the end of the season as I think everyone has a chance.
It won’t be the normal sides at the top end of the table. It will be very interesting but it’s a good and exciting time for Welsh football.
Four months since lockdown – how have you kept busy?
I have been keeping busy myself, been keeping fit and working throughout lockdown and ensuring everything is set up for when we get back to it.
We are returning to training this week as we have got everything in place to return safely. I’m excited to get the lads in and get back to it.
Have you signed any players for the 2020-21 season?
We have signed a few lads to add to the strong squad we already have. In the coming days you will see some announcements being made.
Signings we have already announced, Jake Burke and Grant Tattum, are both local lads that have great quality on the pitch.
They will add competition and depth to the squad and I’m excited to start working with them.
I see you have formed a reserve team for next season. Are you confident you have enough players at the club to run two teams?
What are you expecting from your reserves?
The reserve side was something we have been talking about for a while now but to see it come to life is good and shows the strides the club is making.
The manager Andy Price is a Caerwys lad and the lads we have got for the reserves are a mix of young lads that are trying to prove themselves and lads that have been established, so the blend is perfect and it’s exciting and can’t wait to see how they do.
I’m expecting a strong relationship between myself and Andy which I’m sure will happen as we are both on the same page.
The reserve side for me has to be something that develops and improves talent for the first team as well as being competitive in the league they’re in which I’m sure won’t be a problem.
What have your learned from your management experience so far? What do you need more experience of?
I have learnt a lot more from the management side of the job rather than the coaching side as I was already doing that with Holywell FC.
From minute 1 I have made mistakes but that’s what has made me better.
I may have made a substitution too early one game but it made me aware and I have remembered it and taken it with me in the future.
I have learnt through the experienced lads in the squad and my assistant Andy Mackie, who has been great since coming in, he was the first person I called when I needed an assistant manager as I know he has attributes and strengths that will help myself and the team along the way.
I always say you learn on the job and I’m certainly doing that.
It was your 19th birthday on Friday (July 17) and your sister Caitlin’s 18th on Thursday (July 16). Did you both have good days?
It was good. We had a little meet up with the family who we hadn’t seen for months on end so was nice to meet up with them.
My sister was 18 this year on the Thursday so that took priority really!