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First-team coach Darren Ryan leaves as Airbus UK Broughton swoop for four new faces

DARREN Ryan made a swift managerial return to Welsh Premier League rivals Newtown in a whirlwind week for Airbus UK Broughton.

Just two months after being appointed to the Airbus coaching staff, the 38-year-old was reinstalled into the Latham Park hotseat following the departure of chairman Mike Jones and management duo Andy Cale and Lee Williams.

Ryan, who previously managed Newtown between 2006 and 2010, was brought to the Airfield in March to ensure the Wingmakers met European licence requirements.

The UEFA A licence holder became the club’s first-team coach as boss Craig Harrison was moved upstairs into a director of football role.

Harrison, however, remains very much ‘hands on’ and he continued his preparations for the new season by swooping for a host of impressive signings late last week.

“Darren leaving us was certainly unscheduled and isn’t ideal but it gives us the opportunity to get someone else in to try and move the club forward alongside Craig,” said Airbus director Stewart Roberts, who revealed that coach Roger Preece may make the step up as interim first-team coach.

“Darren came in to help us facilitate our goal of eventually getting into European competition while Craig was working toward gaining his UEFA A Licence, which he will hopefully have next year.

“Darren did a good job and we thank him for his efforts but we now need to concentrate on our preparations for the season ahead.”

While Ryan is heading out of the Airfield, four new faces have arrived and a further four have penned new contracts.

Harrison has completed the captures of former Gap Connah’s Quay hitman Mike Hayes from Bala Town, fellow forward Craig Whitfield from The New Saints, former Chester City utility man Glenn Rule from Stalybridge Celtic and Rhyl full-back Rees Darlington, who played for the Wingmakers under Gareth Owen.

“The signings that have been made were all done by Craig as he has, and always has, full control over all things football,” said Roberts, who hinted Harrison hasn’t yet finished in the transfer market.

“Craig identified these players and we are delighted to have got them on board and are confident that they will help us push forward and improve.”

In addition to the signings, four key members of last season’s squad have signed on again for the forthcoming campaign.

Gavin Cadwallader, Rhys Nash, Mark Allen and Paul McManus have all pledged their future to the club while Matty Woodward, Danny Desormeaux and Ryan Edwards are expected to do the same.

Harrison said: “I am really pleased to have the majority of players agreeing to remain with the club as we look to improve again next season. Keeping this bunch of players together while adding additional quality and quantity will ensure we have competition for places throughout the squad.”