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Airbus UK Broughton: Wingmakers step up search for new boss as job deadline looms

AIRBUS UK Broughton are looking for someone with the ‘whole package’ to replace Craig Harrison as director of football at the Airfield.

Harrison quit his role last week to take up a full-time post as director of football with The New Saints.

The search is now on for Harrison’s successor and the new man in charge will be expected to oversee all footballing matters at the club, from first-team level all the way down to working with the Wingmakers’ academy players.

Airbus chief operations officer Stewart Roberts said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the right person. The club has been moving forward on and off the field and we are looking to continue that progress. We need to make sure we get the right person – we need someone with the whole package.”

The deadline for job applications is 5pm this afternoon. Once all the applications are in, Roberts and Airbus chairman Paul McKinlay will draw up a shortlist of candidates to be called for interviews.

There is no urgent rush to name Harrison’s successor as Airbus don’t play again until January 20.

The first-team squad is currently in the hands of head coach Gareth Owen and assistant Andy Thomas, who will be updated on the search for a new boss after today’s deadline for job applications has passed.

Names linked to the Airbus post include Aberystwyth boss Alan Morgan, Cefn Druids manager and former Chester City assistant Huw Griffiths and Dr Andy Cale, the vastly-experienced former TNS and Newtown manager.

Roberts refused to reveal the identity of any of the applicants, but he said: “They have come from a variety of backgrounds – from all types of football, in England and Wales.”

The new director of football must hold either a Uefa Pro or Uefa ‘A’ licence and will be required to work with the club’s board and committee, overseeing ‘all football aspects’ at the Airfield.

Airbus began their search last week when Gateshead-born Harrison – a former pro with Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace whose playing career was ended early by injury – completed his switch to TNS. The 34-year-old joined Airbus in 2007 as an assistant manager but took on the top job when Owen left for Rhyl the following year.

Chairman McKinlay said Harrison had done a ‘superb job’, adding: “He is welcome at the Airfield any time – as long as he is not chasing any of our players!”

Harrison, who narrowly missed out on guiding Airbus to a top-six place, said it was impossible to ignore the ‘massive lure’ of returning to full-time football.