A few weeks ago, Manager Ollie Price talked at great length with Simon Parkinson about the club, covered by the Gloucestershire FA. Th three different interviews
can be read at this link, but we have also copied them here in case you missed them.
16/07/19 - Mangos manager Ollie so determined to steer team to safer shores in 2019-20 mission (Part 1)
Mangos manager Ollie so determined to steer team to safer shores in 2019-20 mission
OLLIE Price says he is determined to “get it right” after admitting his first full season at the Mangotsfield United helm had been a “massive learning curve,” writes Simon Parkinson.
The Cossham Street side staged an impressive belated recovery to ensure their BetVictor Southern League One South status for another year, perfectly comfortably, as it turned out, fifth up from the floor.
Never one to hang around admiring for too long accomplishments as a player, coach and now manager, Price wasted no time getting his teeth hard into a hectic summer of off-field activity once a long and arduous 2018-19 campaign had concluded with sighs of relief all round.
The 36-year-old retired centre-back acknowledged: “We enjoyed an encouraging end to last season and finally got to where we needed to be.
“I’ve had a year in the job and a year’s experience behind me and it’s been a massive learning curve. When I took it on towards the back end of 2017-18 it was a case of doing so until the end of that season and taking it from there.
“We finished in a comfortable 16th position and the club and I were very happy for me to continue.
“It was, though, a strange time as I’d previously been a coach at Frome for only a few months before rejoining Mangotsfield and hadn’t been looking to leave.
“Wayne Thorne, who I’d played with at Clevedon Town and played under as his captain for three seasons at Larkhall Athletic, was in charge here and was someone I’d had a lot of respect for. So it was a no-brainer when the chance came to team up with him again as a player at Mangotsfield.
“Wayne unfortunately then lost his job and I was suddenly asked to replace him over those final three months! It was one of those awkward moments and not a nice feeling at the time.
“But I had his blessing to take it on as he told me that if I wanted to progress with my own career, this was a chance. He shrewdly and generously said that this was how things sometimes worked out in football.
“Because we did quite well over the rest of that season and I had a taste for it, and most of the team agreed to stay on, I was happy to take the job on permanently.”
Price has vast playing experience behind him at Southern League level with the likes of Mangotsfield, Clevedon, Chippenham, Yate, Paulton, Larkhall and Frome.
So he is perfectly qualified, as a popular and uncompromising former Mangos defender, to claim: “What Mangotsfield have done over the past few seasons simply isn’t good enough. I was one of those who felt the club should be going down the youth route more keenly as everyone would get more satisfaction from that.
“Mangotsfield had always had a wealth of older semi-pro experience and ex-professionals in their ranks, yet the club was still underachieving; that philosophy just wasn’t working.
“We had always been considered to be the third biggest club in Bristol but we’ve been overtaken by Yate and Bristol Manor Farm, and the likes of Melksham and Frome outside the city while we as a club have stood still.”
I’ll keep with young guns policy at Cossham Street, Mangotsfield boss Price insists
Updated 00:47 - 9 Aug 2019 by Bob Smale
MANGOTSFIELD United manager Ollie Price insists he would continue to drive down the same route as he is now, even if he were to be handed a playing budget to rival those of the BetVictor Southern League’s big boys, writes Simon Parkinson.
The 36-year-old former centre-back is embroiled in pre-season preparations at Cossham Street once more with a view to bettering their 2018-19 fifth-from-bottom position in the competition’s second tier at the end of it all.
Price emphasised: “My beliefs wouldn’t change even if I did have a big playing budget. My philosophy would be the same; to go heavily with good young local talent mixed with a nucleus of experience to help them develop.
“I feel we’re striking that balance much better now as we have with us Sekani Simpson and Clayton Fortune, two defenders who began their careers with Bristol City and went on to play at high levels of the semi-pro game, including Weston-super-Mare (both), Forest Green Rovers (Simpson) and Bath City (Simpson).
“I have made no secret of the fact I felt let down by some more established players no longer with us as they had been here to help the younger lads along. But they didn’t perform to the standards you’d expect.
“Sekani and Clayton WERE prepared to do all that and it has reaped dividends.”
The Field boss continued: “When I first took on the manager’s job in the latter months of the 2017-18 season I wanted to establish a strong connection with SGS College (Filton), to get that conveyor belt of talent coming through to us.
“Dave Hockaday is head coach of their academy and the likes of Matty Tanner, Luke Spokes and Colin Mugoya-Tabingwa have come through him and SGS to be with us.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure watching the young players expressing themselves and believing in what they’re doing. The icing on the cake was Louis Britton earning himself a professional contract with Bristol City.
“The relationship with SGS was a no-brainer and it’s one that will work for both parties. It will provide a pathway for the youngsters to perform at a high level of local football; put themselves in the shop window and earn some money while doing so.
“So we’re trying to get the balance right; to create more of a team feel with everyone in it together.”
Of that concerted focus on youth development, Price revealed: “We’re also forging firmer ties with AFC Mangotsfield of the Bristol Suburban League. Their first team will play at our main ground with a view to them becoming our reserve set-up eventually, although for now they’ll continue to operate as a separate club to ours.
“We’re doing the same with the local junior teams such as Mangotsfield United JFC, who perform under the same name as us and sport the same badge but again are very much their own set-up.
“But we’re getting closer to them with a view to bringing their good young players through and I feel this is vital to the growth of our club on and off the field.”
The Cossham Street leader insisted: “I believe we’re in a much better place as a club and squad, and that’s with probably the smallest playing budget a Mangotsfield manager has ever had!
“I’d never use that as an excuse because we’ve proved we can compete hard regardless.
“We’ve retained everyone bar two or three, including Chris Peck, a Bath-based central midfielder who has gone to Frome Town; James Ollis and Tom Hillman, who had been on loan from Bath City and Newport County respectively.
“The nice thing is people seem to want to come to us again now which is a far cry from this time last year.”
19/07/19 - Price takes to transfer scene in bid to raise Mangotsfield United to fresh 2019-20 heights (Part 3)
Price takes to transfer scene in bid to raise Mangotsfield United to fresh 2019-20 heights
AMBITIOUS boss Ollie Price has delved deep into the local transfer market in an attempt to raise Mangotsfield United to new heights over the forthcoming BetVictor Southern League One South campaign, writes Simon Parkinson.
Price is eager to build on a positive finale to their successful 2018-19 safety assault and wasted no time hitting the recruitment trail once a roller coaster last campaign had concluded.
Into Cossham Street has come Odd Down’s Ash McGrane and Portishead Town’s Robbie Cox, both goal scoring midfielders, whilst another who knows where the net is is Brandon Feehely, a young forward from Hengrove Athletic who Price claims has “lots of potential.”
Defenders Trey Anderson and Toby Rennie have joined from Paulton and Yate respectively whilst striker Ben Brooks signed from Lodge Road too.
The Field supremo said: “We’ve retained most of last season’s squad and nothing has really changed. The club’s main goal is to stay in the league although I have my own targets and hopes. For me, mid-table and even above would represent a good season, one made even better if we could win a cup.
“We do have to maintain our status; we can ill-afford to drop back to the Western League. It’s going to be tough but it’s a challenge I’m thoroughly enjoying.
“I love football, especially at this level; MY level. I have great memories of winning this league with Mangotsfield in 2005 under Martyn Grimshaw’s leadership and enjoying a couple of seasons in the Premier Division along with good FA Cup and Trophy runs.
“I’m fortunate to have played under other great managers at this level, people like Steve Fey who gave me my first chance at Clevedon when I was 18. I was gutted to leave them but it turned out to be a good move as I went to Mangotsfield and won that title with them.
“Others I have played under and respected are Adie Mings at Chippenham, Wayne Thorne at Larkhall and Andy Jones at Paulton.
“It was at Paulton in 2009 when I was lucky enough to play in their famous FA Cup first round match with Norwich City which was televised live by the BBC. I’d featured in every round as a centre-back up until Norwich beat us 7-0 that day.”
Price reasoned: “Now I’m with Mangotsfield as a manager and fair play to the chairman (Mike Richardson) and board; they have backed me and at times come in for a fair bit of stick.
“That for me is harsh when you weigh up what they have done and are trying to do, and the fact the club has been in this league for 19 years. That is no mean feat as it takes a lot to stick around at this highly-competitive level.
“We have some bumpy times ahead, of course. But if we continue to do it as we have been doing, in the right way with sensible budgets; the whole thing will be a lot more sustainable and hopefully more successful.
“It will take a little longer but I just want the club to be in a better place when my time with it comes to an end.”