Weston-super-Mare have announced re-structuring of the very successful academy subsequent to the departure of Jon Haile from the club.
The Football Development Director has decided it is time to seek other opportunities within the football family with Matt Bazell, the Foundation Phase Manager, accepting the role to manage all age groups across the academy.
After speaking with club secretary Richard Sloane, Haile explained his decision: “When I re-joined the club last summer I did so with the aim of trying to build a solid foundation for the club, in order to give it the best possible chance of being able to achieve self-sustainability in the future. As a board, we set out 3 main infrastructure objectives in order to build this foundation. These were the building of the 3G, the return of full-time scholars linked with the college and the further development of the academy teams from ages 7 to 18.
“We have all been very frustrated by the issues related to these projects, with many unforeseen planning and funding delays, however, the commencement of both the 3G construction in late July and the imminent college announcement is fantastic news. I also felt that the Junior Academy needed someone who could be here at the club every day which is something I could not offer. As a result of this we have appointed Matt Bazell as the new Academy Manager. Matt has done an excellent job already developing our foundation phase and now he will have the full responsibility of taking the academy forward.
“I think the appointment of Marc McGregor is a great decision, he is a highly qualified coach with an excellent playing background. He has great contacts and has the right personality to get the best from not just the players but everyone working in the club. Most importantly, he is very ambitious and is already putting in the hours planning the new season. I will always be on hand to support Marc and the club as and when it is be required.
“I leave the club with some degree of sadness, there are some great people here and the future is bright, however I feel I have taken the role as far as I can, and to a place that others can now progress it to the next level. The chairman and the Board of Directors deserve a huge amount of credit, there has been so much work going on behind the scenes these past 12 months, that work is about to come to fruition very soon. I would like to thank them for supporting me this last year and I wish them every success in the future.
“I would also like to thank the coaching and playing staff, support staff, volunteers and of course the fans for all of the support and help they have given me.
“In the immediate future, I need to focus on my Joma business interests and my family, before deciding on what is next for me in football. I have a few options to consider but will take a few weeks to consider them. Whatever happens, I will be around to support Marc and the club and I will enjoy coming to the odd game next season to cheer the team on.”
Matt Bazell has been with Weston-super-Mare AFC for the past two seasons as the Foundation Phase Manager, looking after the age groups of under-7s to under-12s, so the natural progression for Matt was to be given opportunity to run the whole academy. Bazell has worked closely with Jon Haile this year and has had great advice and guidance for next season.
Bazell said: “I am an incredibly enthusiastic and progressive coach who always models sessions around the FA4 corner module, last season I mentored Syd Camper, our current under-12s manager and the team went on to have a very successful season playing exciting, dynamic and entertaining football.
“You always see me in attendance at home games as I am a huge fan of the club and consider it is massively important to see what the first team is doing, in order for it to progress down to all of the age groups.
“I was delighted at the appointment of new manager Marc McGregor as I was fortunate enough to attend a youth module course with Marc several years ago. I feel really positive about Marc’s appointment and know that his style of play will suit the squad and fans alike. There is no reason Weston-super-Mare cannot go and have a fantastic season.
“I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to manage the Academy and look forward to working closely with all of the coaches, parents, and support staff behind the scenes.
The Board were unanimous in offering the role to Matt. He is a proven motivator of people and has the ability to coach at a high level. He will be supported by his coaches and the club are sure he will build on his already great relationship with Marc McGregor.