The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 26th April 2012
....Hardenhuish Park to oversee the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division club’s ambitious new structure.
Veteran defender Nathan Rudge will take command of the Bluebirds first-team after the club announced a major revamp to its playing resources.
Chippenham are set to launch a new side next season that will compete at least at Wiltshire League level and will bridge the gap between Town’s under-18 side and the first-team.
The management team for the new as yet un-named set-up is yet to be decided but 32-year-old Rudge will take charge of first-team affairs.
Mings, 43, first took over as Chippenham chief in 2007 and says that his new role will be a vital part of the club’s evolution.
“It’s not really something that I thought I’d end up doing but it was something that was first suggested around a year ago,” he said.
“Back then, it wasn’t the right time but now it’s all part of the change that the club is going through.
“I’ll be overseeing the first-team, the new team and the under-18s. I’ll be in charge of recruitment and development and working with Nathan to help him adjust to becoming a manager.
“We’ve always wanted continuity at the club and hopefully he’ll blossom. My remit was always to try and bring through talented local players, which I think I’ve done in the past, and we’ll both be trying to carry that ethos into the future.”
Chairman John Applegate says Mings will be perfectly suited to his new role and said: “Adie’s got a wealth of experience and knowledge of players up to Conference level so it would have been a huge loss if he’d decided to leave.
“He will have to mediate between three managers and the board of directors. He’s going to be responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly.”
Vice-chairman Neil Blackmore backed Rudge to be a success as player-manager and added: “Nath is a presence on the pitch, he’s liked by the players, liked by the fans, and he knows a lot of local people.
“He’s a great reader of the game and hopefully he can take that into his management style.”
The new Hardenhuish Park-based development side will have its own chairman and financial set-up and Blackmore is confident that it will help Chippenham bring young talent through to their Southern League side.
“What we’re trying to do is make a long-term build for the club and set-up a progression,’’ he added.
“At the moment we’ve got local clubs who provide youth football up to under-15 and 16 level, then the better lads filter through to Chippenham Town or FC Chippenham under-18s.
“A lot of them also play for FC Chippenham’s adult team in the Wiltshire League but it’s a very big step to our senior team and we’re trying to fill that void so we’ve got a natural progression.
“The idea is if these lads are going to progress from the under-18s to the senior team, when players go from one team to the next. We want a structure in place where they train and play in the same style.
“With Adie and Nathan’s knowledge of local guys, they know who they can pool in and what level lads can play at.”
Company secretary and Community and Football Development Coordinator Barry Stephens added: “We’ve had discussions with FC Chippenham and they can see that their players will have a better opportunity to progress towards Southern League football by working with us. It will be Chippenham Town with partners.”
Chairman Applegate revealed that the new Hardenhuish Park team could play in a league at a higher level than the Wiltshire League.
“Thanks to Barry, we’ve been told that we can put the team into the Wiltshire League at least. We’ve applied elsewhere, so watch this space.
“We need the support of people and businesses in Chippenham for what we’re trying to do because we want Town to be on the map properly.
“As a club, or three clubs as one if you will, we are trying to make sure that youngsters have somewhere to start and go right way through to the top.
“I’m very excited about all of this.”