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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Morgan pays price for poor start
By Oliver Hides
Welsh Premier League columnist

Well, it didn't take long. Within 24 hours of Glenn Hoddle becoming the first Premiership manager to go, Spurs fan Tomi Morgan joined him in the waiting room.

Hoddle's sacking was as much for his side's performances last year as the six weeks of this season, and so too was Morgan's who, like his Premiership counterpart, was given the opportunity to invest heavily over the summer.

Carmarthen are no Spurs mind. They've actually prospered under Tomi's leadership.

But after becoming established as a top six side and playing in both Europe and the FAW Premier Cup, last season's scrape with relegation simply wasn't good enough.

Tomi has been unlucky. Ryan Nicholl's long injury problems left him short up front and while several key players have lost their edge with age.

Tomi Morgan
Tomi Morgan was manager at Carmarthen since 1998
Others in their prime have left the club and a commitment to bringing in local youngsters needed more time to bring results.

Like Hoddle, I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Tomi Morgan. They'll both wait for the inevitable November openings and both names will be among the first on the relevant shortlists.

The new man in charge at Richmond Park, albeit on a caretaker basis, is well placed to turn things around.

Few people know what it takes to thrive in the Welsh Premier better than Andrew York - although his first hand experience is limited almost exclusively to full time football at Barry Town.

He will, I'm sure, find the limitations imposed by a part time club frustrating but nobody knows the league and it's players better.

His opposite number at his former club is facing a similar challenge, although without any prior knowledge of the league.

David Hughes has arrived at Barry Town via Aston Villa, Shrewsbury Town and Cardiff City, and after a playing career spent in professional clubs he'll need to learn a lot, and quickly, to run a team of part timers on a shoestring budget.

He seems to be doing alright so far though, and Afan Lido had to work hard for their 1-0 win at Jenner Park last weekend.

Saturday's clash with York's Carmarthen at Richmond Park will be fascinating then.

Could it be the first meeting between the next generation of Tomi Morgans and Mark Robinsons, or will these two new young managers pass through like Lee Williams and Kevin Langley?


One young manager who's had a great start to the season is Deryn Brace. Always one of the nicest guys in the game, he's guided Haverfordwest to an unbeaten opening.

That run, though, could well come to an end at TNS on Saturday against another first-time manager, Ken McKenna.

He has done better than any other of the new generation and not only because of the money and time available to him with his full time club.

Those resources, while giving you a head start also bring different pressures and he's worked hard to learn the business and is one of only a handful of Welsh Premier managers on his way to an UEFA 'A' licence.

Aberystwyth Town's Gary Finley is yet another who seems to be a natural.

Last season's fourth place finish has been followed by an unbeaten charge to second so far this term.

In the two other Saturday games, Cwmbran really ought to get a first home win under Brian Coyne against the Druids and Welshpool against Port Talbot is the most open of all the weekend's fixtures.

As for Tomi Morgan this weekend? Well, Spurs are at Manchester City and I wonder if we'll see him sitting next to Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy in the director's box?

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