Flint Town United bid fond farewells to manager Neil Gibson

Neil Gibson

Flint Town United have parted company with manager Neil Gibson.

It was mutually agreed today that Gibson would leave his role of first-team boss at the Cymru Premier club.

Gibson. 42, took over from Niall McGuinness in December 2020 with the Silkmen struggling near the bottom of the national league.

They eventually finished one off the basement, but with no relegation that season the manager knew he had time to get it right.

And get it right Gibbo did, with Flint occupying a top-two spot for much of 2021-22 and ending phase one fourth and just a point short of second, securing elite Championship Conference status.

Phase two did not go so well, the Silkmen taking just seven points out of a possible 30 to finish up fifth overall.

They made it to the play-off final where the reward was a Scottish Challenge Cup place, but lost 2-1 to Caernarfon Town.

A number of key players had left Flint this summer, including Jack Kenny, Alex Jones and Sam Hart. Now Gibson has joined them.

In a statement, Flint Town United chairman Darryl Williams said: “It is with regret that Flint Town United FC announce that, following meetings held this week, it has been mutually agreed that Neil Gibson will leave his role as first team manager.

Darryl Williams

“We would like to thank Gibbo for his unwavering commitment to the club during his 18 month tenure. He has immersed himself in all aspects of the football club from academy to first team, working tirelessly to improve the fortunes of the Silkmen.

The togetherness and culture that he drove through the staff and players was something that enabled us to be proud of the players representing the club.

“We thank Gibbo, Lee Jones and their staff for their efforts in giving us such an enjoyable ride last season with some memorable moments and a top 5 finish.“

Neil Gibson

Gibson said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to Darryl Williams and the rest of the board for the opportunity to manage their football club.

“I have thrown myself into the job wholeheartedly and given everything to bring success to Flint Town and its supporters, building some excellent foundations. 

“I’m extremely proud of the 18-month journey we have been on and the memorable moments that we have been able to create, spending two-thirds of the season in the top 2 and finishing a highly competitive 5th place.

“Moments like the last minute goals against Barry Town, Connah’s Quay, Aberystwyth and TNS and seeing players celebrating with fans and academy players is what a community club is all about and will last long in the memory.

“Just as pleasing for me was seeing the development of young players like Ben Nash, Conor Harwood and Dan Roberts looking assured at top 6 WPL level. 

“Alongside this the importance of developing players through our academy system where 13 players went on to be part of the first team match day squad with 9 making WPL debuts.”

Gibson added: “I’d like to thank everyone that helped support me during my tenure, from the exceptional volunteers behind the scenes, board members, supporters, my amazing group of staff and fantastic players who’ve been a joy to work with.

“Flint Town now holds a special place for me. I wish Darryl and all involved with the club every success moving forward.”

Gibson’s departure comes on the back of seven of last season’s squad leaving the club, including key members such as Ben Nash (to Connah’s Quay Nomads), the Supporters’ Player of the Year, skipper Alex Jones (to Rhyl 1879) and Sam Hart (to Colwyn Bay)

An announcement on Gibson’s replacement in the role of first team manager will be made very shortly.

NEIL GIBSON

Neil Gibson (first left middle row) won the Welsh Cup with Prestatyn Town in 2012-13

Before taking over at Flint, Neil Gibson was best known for his successes with hometown club Prestatyn Town.

A former Tranmere Rovers professional and capped 12 times for Wales Under-21’s, the midfielder took over as manager of Prestatyn in 2007-08, having been a player in their undefeated Welsh Alliance title-winning squad of 2005-06.

He led the club to three Cymru Alliance titles, eight seasons in the Welsh Premier, plus a Welsh Cup triumph in 2012/13, NWCFA Challenge Cup success and a Europa League winning tie before leaving Bastion Gardens for a second time in October 2020.

In between two spells at Prestatyn, he worked on Connah’s Quay Nomads’ management team alongside Andy Morrison and Jay Catton.

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