Interview with Almondsbury Town manager Richard Thompson and chairman Bob Jenkins

Gazette Series: Almondsbury Town players and staff after their last game Almondsbury Town players and staff after their last game

Richard Thompson admits he does not want to spend a long time out of football after taking charge of Almondsbury Town for the last time on Easter Monday.

The first team is now set to disband after just one season in the Southern League, but they went out on a high, beating Cinderford Town 2-0 in their final game at Oaklands Park.

Thompson spent seven months out of management following his sacking from hometown club Yate Town in February 2009 before he was appointed as Almondsbury manager, and he hopes to make a quicker return this time around.

He led Almonsbury to the Hellenic Premier League and GFA Challenge Trophy double last season and helped them to an impressive eighth place finish in Zamaretto Division One South & West this season, but is disappointed to be leaving in such sad circumstances.

He said: “From a selfish point of view I think I left Yate Town with a decent CV and now my CV looks a bit stronger again and I can’t wait to get back into it.

“It’s just a shame it’s not going to be with Almondsbury and it’s a shame I’ve got to break this group of lads up, but whatever happens I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself this season and I don’t want to be out for too long.

“Managerial casualties aren’t the same as they were a few years ago. Lots of clubs are struggling financially now so why keep moving the manager on, but I’m sure something will come up.”

Chairman Bob Jenkins has not made any decision on his future yet as he tries to secure the future of the football club through the reserve side, who play in Premier Division One of the Bristol Suburban League.

Jenkins has been involved in the club since 1968, holding a number of positions from “bucket boy to physio.”

He played for the club in the Senior Suburban League, was assistant to former manager Steve Jefferies and helped them reform as Almondsbury Town once Almondsbury Picksons went into liquidation in 1993 before becoming chairman ten years ago.

Asked whether he was going to continue in his current role, Jenkins said: “That’s something to discuss with my family because we’ve been truly hurt by this. They say that chairmen don’t have feelings but we certainly have.

“I’ve had a few offers to go elsewhere but I’m interested in the survival of Almondsbury Town playing at its highest level.

“(Manager) Simon Bloodworth has done a cracking job for the reserves and we’d like to keep them going if we can find a facility that’s going to be good enough because to get to County League level they have to get a ground to a certain standard.

“That’s down to the trustees and committee members but hopefully we can find somewhere to play.

“There are a lot of people at our club that might give up altogether - it’s soul destroying.”

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