Downes on his way from Chel­tenham

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Football -

AARON Downes is set to leave Chel­tenham Town, where he has been work­ing as head of acad­emy coach­ing, writes Jon Palmer.

The for­mer Robins cap­tain, who helped the club win the Na­tional League ti­tle in 2015/16, could now link up with his old boss Gary Johnson at Na­tional League South lead­ers Torquay.

Downes was Johnson’s first sign­ing as Chel­tenham boss in the sum­mer of 2015 as he built a team ready to bounce straight back to the Foot­ball League af­ter rel­e­ga­tion in 2014/15.

The cen­tral de­fender picked up a se­ri­ous knee in­jury in a goal­less draw at Bore­ham Wood mid­way through the cam­paign, rul­ing him out for nine months.

He bat­tled back and fea­tured in 23 games dur­ing the 2016/17 League Two cam­paign, mak­ing his fi­nal ap­pear­ance for the club as a sub­sti­tute in the vi­tal 1-0 home win over Hartle­pool, which se­cured safety on the penul­ti­mate week­end of the sea­son.

Since re­tir­ing, Downes, 33, has worked in a coach­ing role both with the youth set-up and the first team. He re­cently re­turned to an acad­emy only role and is thought to be keen to work with se­nior play­ers again, hence his po­ten­tial switch to Torquay, where he en­joyed three years as a player.

Chel­tenham play at home to Grimsby Town this af­ter­noon.

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