New Long Melford chief has big boots to fill

Long Melford FC keep possession against Diss Town FC, the new boss hopes to do the same
Long Melford FC keep possession against Diss Town FC, the new boss hopes to do the same

Jamie Bradbury has conceded he has a tough task to follow in the footsteps of Jules Mumford as Long Melford manager.

News of Bradbury’s appointment broke on Monday when he accepted the chance to succeed Mumford, who had spent the previous five years at the helm of Stoneylands.

Under Mumford’s watch, Melford rose from the foot of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division to become a Premier Division side — one that finished in an impressive ninth place in 2015/16.

Such statistics have convinced Bradbury, who served as Mumford’s first-team coach last term, that he has big boots to fill.

“Jules has shown everyone what he is capable of, taking the club from Division One in the way he did,” said the new boss.

“It is astonishing what he achieved and he is deservedly a legend at this club.

“Players wanted to play for him — I know that because he managed me at Sudbury Athletic.

“I want to continue that type of philosophy and set the same standards he did.

“There is bound to be the odd tweak here and there, but there is no need to make wholesale changes.”

Last term was a struggle at times for The Villagers, who finished just two places outside the bottom three.

And while Bradbury is hoping for an improved position come the end of the 2017/18 campaign, he conceded that survival remains the number one target.

“When you consider the resources that a lot of the clubs in the league have, Jules has got Melford punching above their weight,” he added.

“That is the aim again — to keep punching above our weight and retain our status in the Premier Division.

“Anything more than that is a real bonus and something that I will be looking to do.”

Melford will begin pre-season training under Bradbury’s management on Wednesday, June 21.

New players aged 16 and above are welcome to attend.