Cefn Albion have appointed Ian Andrews as their new first-team manager.
Andrews has been part of the management at the Wrexham-area club since 2019 having before that spent 19 years with Penycae.
An Albion statement said: “We were impressed with his plans and are excited as Ian’s preparations for leading the team into the 2022/23 Ardal Northern East Division are well underway.
“Within the football club, Ian’s appointment has been common knowledge for some time and following Sean Jones’ decision to step down due to work and family commitments, it was recognised that he was the ideal candidate to step up and take the reins and we’re delighted that he accepted the role.
“Ian currently holds a C license and we have plans to help him acquire his B license this year.”
Andrews became part of the Albion set up in May 2019, having left his position at neighbours Penycae.
Back then he initially teamed up with first-team trio Stephen ‘Wacky’ Davies, Sean Jones and Stephen Lloyd-Jones but it was announced shortly after that ‘Wacky’ was to leave his position which Jones later filled with Andrews becoming assistant as well as a coach.
The experienced Rich Williams Cooke, who is staying with the Albion, later joined the team with Lloyd-Jones stepping down.
Since 2019, across the three seasons that Andrews has been part of the management team, Cefn have produced a 72.41% win ratio in a combined 56 league fixtures (P56 W42 D7 L7).
The club statement continued: “Ian has been with Cefn Albion long enough to understand and appreciate the high standards and ethos that are expected by those involved at the club.
“When combined with the principles that he sets himself, we are confident he can positively make an impact in his new role at the football club. Ian has gained full respect and confidence from the players and committee which is vital to ensure the club continues to challenge and remain as competitive as possible moving forward.
“Together with Cookie and some additions who we are currently speaking with we are on course to have a strong management team ahead of the new season.
“Whether it’s someone signing as a player or joining the management or committee, at Cefn Albion we value the importance of ensuring that we bring in the right people who match the club ethos.
“We believe that Ian Andrews fits this profile and he possesses the necessary qualities that will help us move forward and build for what we believe is a bright future. We are excited that he has agreed to come on board with this exciting new challenge and look forward to seeing all the current players and new faces return on the 18th of June 2022.”
Ian Andrews said:
“I would like to start off by thanking Sean Jones for giving me the opportunity to join the coaching staff at Cefn Albion nearly 3 years ago, we’ve built a good relationship and become good friends.
“Along with Cookie, we brought the best out of each other and the team, but we just couldn’t get over the line last season. Moving forward, I’m really looking forward to working with the group of players and pushing them harder in pre-season and challenging them at every session to be prepared to have a go at all competitions.
“The main aim is to challenge at the top end of the league and for promotion. The club are working hard off the field to give Cefn a chance to play at a higher level for the first time since it evolved and myself and Cookie will build this team of players to believe they can go on achieve anything when they stick together.
“I would like to finish by thanking Stew Roberts and the committee for giving me the chance to lead this team, the hard work has already started and hopefully, we’ll achieve great things together.”
Cefn Albion will continue to compete in the tier 3 Ardal North West in 2022-23.
Ian Andrews football mini-biography
Born in January 31, 1979, Ian began his involvement with Wrexham-area club Penycae in 2000.
A free-scoring striker, he played for the club at Cymru Alliance level as well as Welsh National (Wrexham Area) League and also had a spell at Cefn Druids in the League of Wales under Dixie McNeil, plus a brief stint at Rhos Aelwyd under Steve Walters.
He began coaching at youth level with Penycae in 2007, finishing with the under-16’s in 2016, having won some leagues and cups.
As a player at Penycae, Steve was part of some great teams managed by the likes of Steve Bailey, Colin Jackson, Colin Parry and Simon Sedgwick.
Under Bailey, Pen finished runners-up in the WNL Premier for four consecutive seasons from 2000 to 2004. They also lifted the FAW Trophy, beating Llanrhaeadr 3-2 at TNS’ old ground in 2003/04 and reached another final, losing 1-0 to Ragged School from South Wales.
Steven Brooke was Ian’s strike partner in 2003-4, the pair netting 100 goals between them. Ian also played alongside club great such as Colin Jackson, Jason ‘Bod’ Davies, Ian Bowyer Jones and Ian Williams.
Ian Andrews was in the Penycae side which finally won the WNL Premier title in 2010-11, gaining promotion to the tier 2 Cymru Alliance League.
As a player, Ian regards his finest achievements as signing for Cefn Druids in the League of Wales and scoring on his debut at Newtown,scooping the Welsh Trophy under Steve Bailey in 2004 and winning the WNL Premier Division in 2011 for Penycae under Colin Parry.
Ian left Penycae in 2019 for Cefn Albion and has become a valued member of the club’s management team.
This has led to his being appointed first-team manager for the 2022-23 campaign.