Flint Town United have wasted no time in appointing a new manager.
Former Wales Under 21 midfielder Lee Fowler has taken the reins at the Cymru Premier club.
He replaces Neil Gibson, who left the Essity Stadium yesterday after 18 months in charge in which he guided the Silkmen to a top-five finish.
Fowler’s playing career included stints with Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Fleetwood Town, Doncaster Rovers, Forest Green Rovers and Wrexham.
After hanging up his boots, he moved into coaching and management, and was most recently manager of Radcliffe in the NPL Premier League.
Born in Cardiff, and now resident in Chester, Fowler won a total of 12 caps for Wales U-21’s.
Flint chairman Darryl Williams admitted the last few days had been particularly fraught for the club, but was relieved things had now been settled and is delighted with his new appointment.
He said: “Lee is well versed in all aspects of the game and I’m sure he will prove to be a big asset to the club.
“Of course he will need to hit the ground running and his main priority will be to strengthen the squad following our recent departures, and I welcome the chance to work with him in achieving our goals.”
Fowler revealed that since leaving Radcliffe in October last year, he had turned down several opportunities within the English system, but felt now was the right time to come back to the game.
The chance to manage within the Welsh Premier was one he could not turn down.
During his playing days he had several pre-season games for Flint under Paul Davies, and at the end of his career also played for Caernarfon Town and Holywell Town.
He is a keen student of the Cymru Premier, and stressed he is determined to concentrate on an attacking brand of football to excite the supporters.
However, he admitted he is four weeks behind in terms of preparations compared to other clubs in the league, so will need to tailor things accordingly in the short term, and that should mean plenty of opportunities for academy players to impress in the Silkmen’s opening pre-season games.
Several of last season’s squad have left the Essity in recent weeks and looking at his immediate priorities, Fowler cited the need to speak to remaining players so he can gain a better understanding of them and also ensure they are aware of what is expected from him.
Fowler has not ruled out further departures, but stressed he was keen to work with players where possible providing they buy into his vision for the club.
Having lost so many of last season’s squad already, new player recruitment is obviously key, and he said this will likely come from outside of the Cymru Premier, as he will look to use his network and contacts within the English league system.
In terms of backroom appointments, the new boss said his first choice would hopefully be to use the existing resources at the club, such as academy director Danny Bell and some of the senior players.
As meetings progress over the course of the next week or so, things will become clearer on this front.
Fowler stressed pre-season preparations will cover three key areas. Initially, he will look to concentrate on players’ fitness levels, before getting them accustomed to his style of play, before focusing on tactics.
He added his approach to coaching was to keep things as simple as possible, and not over-complicate.
Finally, in terms of aims for the new season, Fowler said: “We must be realistic, and take it week by week, especially in terms of our late start, but nevertheless we will look to field a competitive team, with a creative and good style of play, and see where that gets us.”