A club statement read:
“We are very disappointed to be informed by Craig Laird that he has resigned as First Team Coach. The Board felt that Craig was the right person to take the club forward on the pitch.
“We have explained to Craig the reasons that have led to us having to reduce our playing budget for the coming season. At the same time, we explained that our current circumstances are looking better regarding developing the club and that we would be in a position to progress to the Conference Premier in the 2015-16 season.
“Despite having spent considerable time explaining the rationale behind the decisions, it is therefore a regret to recieve Craig’s resignation.
“We would like to thank Craig for all the work he has done in producing excellent results on the pitch.”
Laird had resigned once already during the season, quitting back in March over budget disagreements. This time, it looks as though the four year love affair has ended for good.
Marc McGregor leaves Weston-Super-Mare to remove his wages from the club’s outgoings. Read the rest of this entry
Conference South club Weston-Super-Mare have parted company with manager Craig Laird, according to a press release issued by the club:
“It is with regret that the Board have had to part company with the manager Craig Laird. Whilst we would like to thank Craig for all of his hard work and success on the pitch, his decision not to sign a contract and commit his future to the club can’t be ignored any longer. In addition to this, his request for a further £42000 increase to his budget, a £6000 overspend on the agreed budget for this season, and the fact that he has already received an increase of £27000 since joining us, has left the Board with no alternative than to part company. The club cannot meet those financial demands and will continue to pursue Conference Premier Football within a responsible financial strategy.
THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER STATEMENT AT THIS TIME”
Laird had been in charge at Woodspring Stadium since May 2010 after leaving Bridgwater Town to take the job. During his tenure at the club, LAird maintained their Step 2 status, whilst also winning back to back Somerset Premier Cups, the first time the club had won the trophy.
Weston Super Mare AFC is pleased to announce that Mark McGregor has accepted the additional role of assistant manager to Craig Laird after John Hales moved to Bristol at the beginning of the season.
Mark originally joined Weston Super Mare AFC several seasons ago, but transferred to Worcester City at the close of season 2009/2010 before again joining Weston AFC during the 2010/2011 season as a player. He has proved himself to be a consistently solid team member, and has provided excellent support and experience to the squad.
Mark explained that in order to fulfil the role he will need his FA Coaching B License, and is at present working hard towards this goal.
At the same time, he advises that he is looking forward to the challenge of helping Craig with the team. He hopes that he can learn a lot from Craig but believes that his experience will be invaluable to the younger players.
Finally Mark said that “he is pleased and proud to be given this opportunity at what he has always considered to be his home club which has been good to him.”
The Board want to thank Mark for accepting the role and fully endorse his appointment which will benefit the club and the team.
There has been a fair bit of activity at Weston-Super-Mare already this summer. Here’s a catchup for you.
After another season of punching well above their expected weight, Craig Laird and Jon Haile were pleased to confirm that they have offered the entire squad deals to wear The Seagulls shirt again next term. So far ten of the squad have put pen to paper, of which include Lloyd Irish, Jamie Price, Martin Slocombe, Ben Cleverley, Nabi Diallo, Nat Pepperell, Kane Ingram, Supporters Player of the Year Sahr Kabba and Young Player of the Year, Dayle Grubb.
At a fans’ forum, Craig Laird confirmed that the players yet to sign are all committed to the Weston cause, but are assessing their options regarding their professional working careers and in some cases, their education. Assistant-Manager, Jon Haile said, “It’s great that so many of the current squad have committed, and If the others decide to sign then of course we will be pleased and we can then limit the amount of new players we bring in. However, with regard to new signings we are very close to getting all of our targets. Most have agreed to join us in principle and Craig and I will be meeting them over the next fortnight to show them round the club and agree personal terms.”
Haile also confirmed that there might be places up for grabs for a number of the Under 19s Conference Alliance South Premier winning squad, he said, “Of course we have Jake Mawford, Jack Camm and Robbie Maggs from the U19s waiting to take a step up too.” Plans at the club are well a foot for next seasons campaign and Haile has expressed his excitement for what lies ahead for The Seagulls. He said, “We are planning pre-season now and this time round the training will be by invitation only and will not be an open training environment. We have targeted the players we want to join us and we want to maximise all available playing and training time to work on our team shape and plans for next season. With the benefit of two seasons experience in this league and 5 or 6 new faces which will strengthen the squad I genuinely believe next season will be our best yet.”
Craig Laird insists that his squad will treat their final Blue Square South against Dover Athletic with respect and with a desire to win despite neither side having anything to play for on the last weekend of the league campaign. Both sides were hoping to extend their season by reaching the play-offs but the form of both teams in the second half of the season has ultimately ended any hopes either club had of a play-off birth.
Laird said speaking ahead of the game, “It’s a shame we don’t have anything to play for, either of us. We would have liked to be playing to get in the play-offs or to at least have an impact on the clubs who are trying to make the play-offs. It’s important for us to win, and we’ll treat the game with the respect it deserves. We believe every game is important to go out and win regardless of when it is in the season. We want to win the first game of the season and we want to win the last game of the season. It’s especially important try and get a win and put in the performance for the supporters that will still be paying their money to come and watch the game.”
The last time the two sides met, the game ended with a lot of bad feeling with the Dover management criticising The Seagulls’ tactics on the day, but Laird says that won’t affect the way his team will set up and play the game. “We don’t really care what they think. We don’t owe Dover anything in terms of the way we play our football. At the end of the day, all we care about is doing what is best for Weston-super-Mare Football Club and if that means playing ugly at a club as big as Dover then that’s what we will do. Of course we want to play good football and make friends on our way as we go along, and we do when we can, but against massive clubs like Dover sometimes you have to mix it up a bit.”
With Ben Kirk and Matt Villis out for the game due to injuries picked up at Staines, Laird has been looking at other options to fill the gaps left by them and paid tribute to the fantastic season the Under 19s have had. “We’ve had reports of potential Under 19s that could fill in from Ryan (Northmore) and they are in the frame, but we don’t want to take crucial players away from Ryan’s team so close to picking up their league title. Unfortunately, we haven’t had too much cover for a lot of positions this season. It costs a lot of money to carry experienced players to sit on the bench and to keep them happy at the same time.” Finally Laird paid tribute to the fans that have stuck behind him and the team despite the dip in form towards the end of this campaign.“I’d like to give many thanks to those that have and do support me and the team, it’s always appreciated.”
The game against Dover Athletic kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 28th April at the Woodspring Stadium. It’s your last chance to see The Seagulls at home so come on down and get behind the lads and show them your appreciation of their efforts of this season.
Many thanks to Richard Clark for this interview.
Weston-Super-Mare manager Craig Laird believes the playoffs are a real possibility after seeing his side thrash Farnborough. Read the rest of this entry
The Seagulls claimed their 4th Blue Square South away win with a fantastic 2-1 win at Priory Lane against former Blue Square Premier opposition, Eastbourne Borough. Read the rest of this entry