Aldershot Town manager Gary Waddock has appointed former West Ham United Academy coach James Rowe as assistant-manager at the EBB Stadium.
Rowe was previously assistant Academy Director with the Hammers, after forging a prolific record as a pacey striker with Histon, Canvey Island, Leamington, Leiston and AFC Sudbury.
The 32-year-old UEFA A Licence coach has also worked in the Birmingham City Academy for three years and as a coaching advisor to the Premier League – for whom he provided technical reports on Academy teams across England and Europe – and holds a Masters of Research Degree in Sports Science from Nottingham Trent University.
He is currently studying for a Masters in Coaching degree at the Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam, alongside eight elite coaches and athletes across a range of sports from around the world.
“It’s been a full-on five years, mainly in youth development, but now is the right time to step into first-team football,” explained Rowe of his recent career. “It had to be the right opportunity – there were a couple that came along that I didn’t take, because it didn’t feel right, but this certainly feels right, especially with Gary at the helm.
“I think on the managerial side he can teach me a lot, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. You’re always learning as a coach, and this is going to be another chapter where I will hopefully learn a lot and give a lot back,” admitted Rowe. “I’ve known Gary for three-and-a-half years, our relationship is strong, we bounce off each other quite well, and our philosophy is along the same lines – we want to play attractive, attacking football.
“We want to bring back the noise to the EBB Stadium and play in the right way. Gary had a very successful season here in 2007/08 but we’ve got to put that to one side – that’s part of the legacy of the club and we now need to create a new bit of history, and I’m confident we can do that.”
“There’s a lot of strings to his bow and he’s very good at all of them,” explained Waddock. “He’s a forward-thinking coach who has been brave enough to go overseas for his own development, and I felt it was the right time for him to work alongside senior players. He’s very enthusiastic and he wants to learn – he’ll take everything on board but he’s his own man at the same time”.