Ottery St Mary Reserves appoint Ashley Smith as the new team boss

Ashley Smith, who has been appointed the new Reserve team manager at Ottery St Mary. Picture: OTTERY

Ashley Smith, who has been appointed the new Reserve team manager at Ottery St Mary. Picture: OTTERY ST MARY FC - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary have announced a new manager for the club’s new second team that will play in the Macron Devon & Exeter League next season.

The Ottery second team will be managed by Ashley Smith who is well known to Otters’ boss Billy Rouse.

Smith has had spells with Watts Blake and Bearne (WBB) and then Paignton Villa in the South Devon Football League and also a season in the South West Peninsula League with Axminster Town where he kept goal for the Tiger Way outfit, and with some distinction too! He won the ‘Supporters’ Player of the Year’ award after a campaign that saw the Tigers finish sixth and he had the league’s second-best clean sheet record, securing nine shut-outs in the campaign.

More recently he has been one of the two goalkeepers on the books of Cronies and he now links up again with his former manager to run the Ottery second team.

Speaking after his appointment, Smith said: “When I heard the news about the impending folding of Cronies I was devastated as it was clearly such a well-run club under Billy [Rouse] and his team.

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“However, given the quality of the football folk there I also knew that that was not going to be the end of the journey and disappointment swiftly became delight as Billy was named as the new Ottery boss.

“I am most certainly ready to support him as he embarks on returning success to the club.

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“It also goes without saying that I was thrilled when he asked me to take the exciting role of reserve team manager

“Moving up from playing to managing was always something I knew I’d get to at some stage.”

He continued: “Having played under Billy, I know what he expects and demands of his players.

“Great clubs aren’t just about 11 players, but a squad and I am excited to be a part of developing a successful squad that builds players through from a development side right up to Devon League standard.

“There’s little doubt that this club has a very clear vision for moving forward and getting it back to where it belongs and I am ready to help move the club in that direction.”

He added: “With players being able to start training again, the early sessions have already shown there is great enthusiasm and commitment from the players who all look to be behind the idea of moving this club forward on all fronts.”

“Ottery has a clear pathway as ‘one club’ and it’s going to be all about the players showing that have what it takes and deserve the honour of pulling on an Ottery St Mary shirt.”

Ottery chairman Mikey Ringer says: “The club are behind Ashley and indeed all the management and coaching staff.

“I am delighted with this appointment and am sure we are putting together the foundations for a successful and exciting future. One community... that’s the way forward.”

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