Legg rings the changes ahead of new season
AFTER one of the most frantic summers in Bangor City’s long history the club will be hoping it is all right on the night when they face Cefn Druids in their Welsh Premier League season opener at Nantporth on Friday (7.45pm).
Within the past two months, City have been taken over by a Cheshire-based consortium, have sacked long-serving manager Neville Powell, and seen new signings leave almost as rapidly as they arrived, while last week came the appointment of Andy Legg as first-team boss.
Legg admits preparations have hardly been smooth ahead of this weekend’s visit of newly-promoted Druids, but says he is up for the task.
The former Wales and Swansea City defender and ex-Llanelli player-chief will have had just two training sessions with the squad before Friday.
His first game at the helm brought a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Huws Gray Alliance visitors Holyhead Hotspur last Thursday.
Legg pulled no punches after the game, expressing concern over the lack of match fitness in the ranks.
“We have the makings of a decent side, but we’re playing catch-up,” said Legg last Sunday.
“The players are not fit enough and I’m nowhere near knowing my starting XI for next Friday.
“We’ve got two training sessions this week, which will be my first chance to train with the players, and then it’s a case of picking 11 players who are fit enough to complete a full game on Friday.”
Since taking over, Legg has welcomed the arrival of strikers Jamie Reed and Oscar Durnin, and this week signed veteran Football League forward and Wales cap Daniel Nardiello, as well as midfield maestro Henry Jones from Swansea City.
Reed, 28, was top scorer for Bangor in the 2009/10 season and his 17 goals at the start of 2010/11 before his departure to York City helped Neville Powell’s side eventually lift the Welsh Premier League crown.
The 21-year-old Durnin started his career with the Tranmere Rovers academy, prior to joining Stalybridge Celtic in August 2013.
He tasted WPL football with Cefn Druids in 2014/15 before a switch to Warrington Town.
The son of former Oxford United and Portsmouth striker John, Durnin has most recently enjoyed spells at Prescot Cables and Accrington Stanley.
“We’ve got to get Jamie Reed fit and he’s nowhere near at the moment,” added the Citizens boss.
“Once we’ve got him back to the way I know him, he’ll be a great asset to us and will score goals.
“Oscar’s a neat and tidy player who passes the ball well. He’s got a good footballing brain on him, which I like.”
Nardiello began at Manchester United and has been a noted goalgetter for Barnsley and Rotherham in recent seasons, among other Football League clubs.
Legg expects a difficult test against Druids on Friday.
“They’ve got nothing to lose. Everyone will expect Bangor to win but Druids must be a decent side to have won promotion and they’ll go for it,” he said.
“My job is to pick a team capable of lasting a full 90 minutes and to get a win.
“If we can just get that win we can build and grow from there.”
And Legg appealed to City’s fans to get behind the team.
“Bangor is the biggest club in the WPL support-wise and it would be great to have a big crowd there on Friday night,” he said.
“It’s our first game and it would be tremendous to have a massive support behind us.”
Sion Edwards (No11) is swamped after scoring for the current Bangor City side in his weekend testimonial (see report at bottom of this page)