Craig Harrison leaves Nomads for TNS, Neil Gibson takes over at Deeside Stadium!

Welcome to Connah’s Quay Nomads Neil Gibson! Picture: NIK MESNEY, NCM MEDIA

In a whirlwind last 24 hours Connah’s Quay Nomads have lost manager Craig Harrison and replaced him with Neil Gibson.

Harrison has returned to The New Saints, where he enjoyed his most successful managerial stint.

Gibson is best known for his achievements with Prestatyn Town, but has also led Flint Town United in the Cymru Premier, as well as being part of Nomads’ management team under Andy Morrison four seasons ago.

The 42-year-old Gibson, a UEFA Pro Licence holder, arrives at Deeside Stadium with a wealth of experience in the Welsh system, both as a player and a coach.

His most recent reign was with Flint, where he guided the recently promoted club to a solid 5th place finish in the Cymru Premier, having spent a large part of the season in the top two.

Gibbo is no stranger to Nomads, having spent a year as assistant to Morrison in the 2018/19 campaign where the all-reds finished second in the league and reached the Welsh Cup Final and Irn Bru Cup Final.

Commenting on the appointment, Nomads Director of Football Dave Norman said: “It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours, where we’ve had to both deal with the exit of Craig, who was under contract with a buy out clause, whilst at the same time fast tracking an appointment ahead of the upcoming season, which if anyone needs reminding, starts in 10 days time!

“We are so fortunate to have secured such a high calibre appointment at short notice, someone vastly experienced in the league and at the same time familiar with the club and the players, after his stint here in 2019.

“With the recent announcement of new investment, the club remains highly ambitious and we look forward to the challenge of securing European football in 2023.”

Club co-owners, Gary Dewhurst and Darren Pritchard commented on Craig Harrison departure: “Craig has been with us since 2018, firstly as assistant to Andy Morrison and then as first team head coach since September 2021. 

“During this time, the club has secured two JD Cymru titles and two Nathaniel MG Cups and Craig has played an integral part in this success. 

“He’s a class act on and off the pitch and on behalf of all at the club, we wish him well.”

Harrison returns to TNS following the recent departure of Anthony Limbrick.

The Gateshead-born former Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace defender is the most successful manager in The Saints’ history, winning six successive Welsh Premier League titles during his previous stint at Park Hall.

Under his leadership, the club also broke the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive association football victories (27), captured the JD Welsh Cup four times, and the Nathaniel MG Cup on three occasions, as well as achieving some great results in European competitions.

Commenting on yesterday’s appointment, The New Saints’ chairman, Mike Harris told the club website: “Craig is our most successful manager, not just with results and trophies but in his style of football too, which is appealing to our fans.”

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