We are delighted to announce Neil Simons has joined the club as Danny Greaves's new assistant manager. Neil has has taken the time to give us some background on his footballing journey so far.
Is this your first step into management? No not at all, I had my first taste of coaching as a Player / Manager at Rockleaze Rangers in the Gloucestershire County League where I took over the first team midway through the season at the bottom of the league and I managed to progress them to a mid table finish and reach a League Cup final.
Were you not tempted to stay in management? When I took on the role with Rockleaze, I had only committed for a temporary period as I was still a player and I wanted to carry on playing at that stage. Although the experience during that time, made me realise that I enjoyed the management side of football and the different challenges that bought with it. How did you end up at Chipping Sodbury as their manager? I had connections to the outgoing management at the club and I was recommended by them to the board and following an interview process I was offered the position as manager at the start of the 17/18 season. This was a challenging role as when I took over it was late in pre season and the majority of the previous squad had moved on, so I had to start from scratch with limited resource. This was a challenge I really enjoyed and I learned a lot from and we finished the season in a comfortable mid table position which was an achievement within itself. The following season, 18/19, I guided them to their furthest round of the FA Cup to date (First qualifying round) before I had to step down in September due to increased work commitments and not being able to dedicate as much time as I believed I need to, certainly as the manager.
What happened next? Following this I actually assisted Danny Greaves in a scouting capacity for a couple of months before being approached by Ollie Price at Mangotsfield United to become his assistant in November 18/19. This is a position I then occupied for the remainder of that season and into the 19/20 until we decided to step down from the role in February this year. In my time at Mangotsfield with Ollie we steered the club away from relegation in 18/19 season and started the 19/20 season strongly. During this time we rebuilt the squad under challenging circumstances and a couple of highlights would be the 8-1 victory at Slimbridge AFC towards the end of the 18/19 season, and this year winning at Sholing FC 4-2 with an average age of 21 including a 16 year old goal keeper.
So how do you feel about joining Frome?
I am honoured to be joining a club of Frome Town’s stature and I am thankful to Danny Greaves for presenting me with the opportunity to do so. It is undoubtedly a massive club with a tremendous history. I am looking forward to helping Danny and the team progress on the field, and assisting where I can off the field, to bring future success to the club.
What's your relationship like with Danny? I have known Danny for a number of years now dating back to our battles in the Western League with Chipping Sodbury and Bradford Town respectfully. We shared thoughts quite often during this period, and it was clear even back then that we have the same philosophy with regards to football and our own personal standards. This was further reinforced during the time I spent scouting for Danny.
What should the Robins fans expect from you?
Personally I pride myself at committing fully to anything I undertake thus giving myself the best opportunity to succeed. I also enjoy learning and developing myself further and I am sure I shall learn a lot from Danny and the existing team around him as well as adding my skills to the group. Any nicknames? I have a number of nicknames, but thankfully the most used one is ‘Simmo’