New Carmarthen Stars AFC joint first team manager Ryan Stephens has admitted he is excited about the prospect of working with the club and is excited about the club’s future.
Stephens may still be young, but has already racked up a significant coaching CV having been a coach since the tender age of 18, and has already coached abroad in America and this is just the next step in his career.
“I have been involved in coaching since I got injured when I was 18 years old. I have coached Ammanford Under 16s team to start with, I then coached at Coleg Sir Gar with Keiran Davies (Carmarthen Stars manager) doing the male and female football academy for three seasons. I was the coach along side Peter Fern at Carmarthen Town FC under 19s for four seasons then at Ammanford AFC in the Welsh league for the last five years with a brief break in the USA, where I coached at Newark area soccer association.”
Stephens has experienced success in recent roles, having been a part of the coaching staff that saw Ammanford promoted at the first attempt from Welsh League Divisoon Three, followed by two successive high mid-table finishes with his home town club.
However, he felt the chance to work with Keiran Davies and the ambition at the Carmarthenshire Premier Division outfit made it an opportunity too good to turn down.
“I have had the opportunity to take a bigger role at a really ambitious club.. the meetings I had with keiran about the future and direction the club are heading in were really exciting and for me it was a no brainier.
What enticed me to the role was the ambition behind the scenes at the club and Keiran himself; he is so focused on improving things all the time. There is a lot of people involved through out. There is a real togetherness in the club right from the juniors all the way through to the 1st team.
Also, they have the players in the senior set up who offer great qualities in a range of areas. I feel there is a lot more to come from the squad. It was their first time last season they haven’t won the league and been promoted since they formed.”
However, the young coach will not forget his time at his home town side Ammanford and remains close with numerous members of the coaching and playing staff.
“I had a lot of close friends at Ammanford AFC before I even joined as assistant manager and they are still my friends now, I wish them all the best and still keep in touch with the boys regularly.”
But, now, all focus is on the task at hand with the Stars and promotion is the only aim Stephens has ahead of the coming season.
“Our aspirations as a 1st team are to get promoted. There is no hiding that. Last season was the 1st year they haven’t won the league and been promoted since the senior team was created. In the Carmarthenshire premier league there are some good established teams and it’s a tough challenge. It’s a challenge I can’t wait to get my teeth into along with every one else at the club.
My aspirations as a coach are to get the best out of the team and manage to hit the targets set by the club. I look no further then the current project. I have no other football aspirations outside of Carmarthen Stars FC.”
Only time will tell if Stephens and Davies will be successful in their lofty ambitions this season.
FEATURED AND OTHER IMAGES: Kerry Pearson (Carmarthen Stars FC)