James Jepson has been appointed as Rugby Town’s new first team manager.

Jepson takes on his new role on his 34th birthday as the club hopes to return to Step Three of the non-league pyramid for the first time since 2010, and he replaces the outgoing Dale Belford whose departure from the club was announced in April after guiding the club to a ninth place finish in the NPL Division One South.




After being on the books at Notts County as a youngster, Jepson’s playing career has seen him feature at many clubs across the Midlands region including spells at Kettering, Kings Lynn, Gresley, Bedworth, Stamford and most recently AFC Rushden & Diamonds.RUGBY TOWN

After being on the books at Notts County as a youngster, Jepson’s playing career has seen him feature at many clubs across the Midlands region including spells at Kettering, Kings Lynn, Gresley, Bedworth, Stamford and most recently AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

The then Valley boss Stringer attracted him to Butlin Road for the start of the 2014/15 campaign, but he made only nine league starts before returning to be part of Kettering’s Southern League – Central Division title winning squad, where he played alongside current Town striker David Kolodynski.

Jepson is already looking forward to the challenge ahead of him. He said: “I would like to thank the board for giving me this opportunity. I wasn’t necessarily looking to get into management at this stage and would have looked to play on for another year or two, but a chance like this may not come along again for a while, so it was one I couldn’t turn down.

“I know the club reasonably well already, and it’s got a great facility and fan base, and even though my time here as a player was reasonably short, I have always kept an eye on how they’re getting on and who has featured for them.”

The new manager insists the door is open to all members of the squad that ended the season at Valley last time round: “I know three or four of the lads already, and I’m hoping to be able to speak to everybody over the next week or two to see what their plans are for next season.

“Everyone will have the opportunity to stay here if they want to for the right reasons, but for sure there will be some new arrivals too and I’m ultimately looking for a good balance of youth and experience.

“I will be aiming to play a high-intensity passing game.

“A lot of the clubs at this level favour a more route one/final-third approach, but I’m hoping what we can offer is something that is a bit more enjoyable to watch, enjoyable to be part of on the pitch and enjoyable to manage too.”

Jepson has already appointed a fitness coach (Justin Skeete) and a scout (Donal Flynn) and will be looking to complete his backroom team by filling the advertised physio and video analyst posts, as well as confirming the identity of a trusted assistant in the very near future.

He continued: “It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks putting the management staff together, as well as speaking to current and prospective players and confirming the pre-season fixture schedule, but I’m really looking forward to getting into it.

“I believe that I’m still fit and capable enough to play, so I will register, and then use myself as and when I think I am needed, but hopefully with the calibre of player that I’m looking to bring in this will be limited and I can focus on the important job in hand of getting this club back up to the level that they belong in.”

Club Director Neil Melvin welcomed the latest managerial incumbent to the position: “James represented the type of progressive, committed candidate that we were seeking to fill the role for the long term, and we believe he shares our philosophy on how the game should be played.

“He has good contacts and relationships within the game at our level and geography, and hopefully this should help in identifying and attracting the right type of players to the club.”

Source: www.rugbytownfc.com


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