Change of management at New Brighton Villa

Liam Evans (left) is taking over from Shaun Antrobus (right) as New Brighton Villa manager

North East Wales League Premier Division club New Brighton Villa have appointed Liam Evans as first team manager with immediate effect.

Evans steps up from assistant-manager to replace Shaun Antrobus, who has stepped down due to work commitments. Evans will be supported by the experienced Pete Morris as his number two

Antrobus leaves the role following just over 15 months in charge of the Yellers after replacing the long-serving Dave Roberts in the manager’s hot seat in July 2020.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Antrobus didn’t manage in a competitive game until a year after his appointment and led the team into the newly-formed tier 4 NEWFL Premier Division.

During this time he was instrumental in creating a great team atmosphere and stabilised the club in a period of uncertainty after their long-term manager had departed.

Antrobus will stay on board as part of the coaching staff and committee and continue to provide his experience to support the new manager when he can.

Chairman Leigh Griffiths said: “Following Shaun informing me that he could no longer commit to the manager role, Liam was the immediate choice to take over.

“It was always the long-term plan for Liam to take over from Shaun but no-one could have anticipated it being this soon.

“Liam has had just under 18 months working alongside Shaun and in that time has come on leaps and bounds with his coaching, his man management and his confidence, and I believe now is the right time for Liam to take the reigns.

“His commitment to the club is second to none and I’m sure everyone at the club would agree with that.

“Having played under Liam myself for the last four years I know how good a coach he is and that the time is right.

“Alongside Pete Morris, who steps up to be Liam’s assistant, I believe we have two lads who can really work together and implement their ideas and move the club forward and get us going in the right direction.

“I’d also like to take this chance to thank Shaun Antrobus for everything he has done since becoming manager.

“It was my first big call as chairman taking Shaun on after the departure of Dave Roberts. It only took one phone call for me to realise Shaun was the man to take over. From day one Shaun got the buzz back at the club and all the lads got right behind him straight from the off.

“It’s a shame Shaun has had to step down but I fully understand his reasons why, work and family have to come first and with circumstances changing Shaun couldn’t commit to training or match days every week.

“That being said, Shaun is going to still be staying involved with the club and helping out when he can. From myself and everyone involved with the club, I’d like to say thank you.”

Antrobus commented on his decision to stand down.

“On Friday I made the incredibly tough decision to stand down as NBV manager. With life getting back to normal and my workload and travel increasing, I couldn’t give the team my full attention and it’s not fair to them or the club.

“I won’t be leaving the club completely and have agreed with the management team that I’ll stay involved as much as I can. I’d like to thank Leigh and Zoe for allowing me to manage this well-run club.

“It’s been a pleasure managing this group of lads for almost 18 months and I wish everyone all the best going forward.

“I also wish Liam and Pete all the best in their new roles. I’ve managed and coached teams for almost 10 years now and in that time I’ve never known more passionate lads and I believe Leigh and Zoe have appointed someone who’s got the makings of a brilliant coach with some great ideas on how to improve.

“Supported by Pete’s experience and know-how, I know they’ll do the club proud going forward. UTFY!”

After his appointment, Evans said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to manage New Brighton Villa.

“I’ve learnt so much from Shaun, Pete and Dave since I joined in 2017 and look forward to the challenges ahead. It’s great to be working directly alongside Pete – his experience, advice and support are going to be a massive help going forward so I’m pleased to be working with such a good coach and friend once again.

“I’d like to thank Leigh and Zoe for this opportunity and Shaun for all his work since he took over. He’s put so much in place on and off the pitch since he took over and Pete and I will do everything we can to carry that on.

“It was a pleasure learning from him as a manager, a coach and as a friend in the time we’ve worked together.

“We have a great bunch of lads at the club and I’m really excited to get going. This group of lads are the reason I love this club and why I wouldn’t go anywhere else. UTFY!”

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