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Cleverley Coup for Jones

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He may have only been at the club for just over a week but Toolstation Western League club Shepton Mallet are….

….already reaping the benefits of Ben Cleverley’s arrival, according to manager Andy Jones.

The new manager had Cleverley on his books during his time at Paulton Rovers and was able to persuade him to switch to West Shepton from Blue Square Bet South side Weston-super-Mare last week. He will also act as Jones’ number two.

The midfielder had an immediate impact on his debut, putting in a peerless display as Shepton picked up their first Division One win of the season with a 3-0 home success over Wellington.

“I am absolutely over the moon that Ben has joined us and he is exactly the type of player I wanted to get in ever since I arrived,” said Jones.

“Having managed him for three years previously I know all about him and exactly what he’s capable of. It’s a really big capture for us.

“We are very lucky that he has agreed to come in. He was at Weston last season but as he has got a bit older he wasn’t sure if he could commit to that level as regularly.

“We played them in pre- season and myself and Ben were able to have a bit of a chat. He wants to get into the coaching side of the game, so I’m delighted to have him here, both as a player and as my assistant.

“The players have responded to him already and he had a big impact during Saturday’s game. He’s only been to two training sessions but he has already laid down a marker and we can all see how he will fit into the way we want the team to play.”

After defeats in two away games at the start of the season, Jones was delighted to get off the mark in his first home fixture at the helm.

He now hopes to continue that form when Shepton entertain league newcomers Cribbs Friends Life on Saturday.

“Saturday was a lot better and we are all very happy because now it feels like we are off and running,” said Jones.

“What we have learned already is that we will have to play differently when we are at home to when we go away – that’s what we saw on Saturday.

“One of the reasons I came here was because it is such a fantastic playing surface. The way I want us to play is to get the ball and try to dominate teams, which is exactly what we are able to do at home.

“In our two previous away games we weren’t able to do that as the conditions were not quite as good. It’s almost as if we may have to think about playing two different teams.

“We are at home again now and with no midweek game it allows us to have two training sessions between matches.

“You can never be confident at this stage of the season, all you can do is hope that everything we have worked on makes a difference.”


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