Ryan Northmore - The tale of two Jakes
PUBLISHED: 16:11 27 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:27 27 January 2017
Former Weston-super-Mare manager Ryan Northmore has revealed Jake Mawford was the best player he worked with in his time at the Woodspring Stadium and it is his 'biggest regret' that 'talented' defender Jake Llewellyn is currently out of the game.
Mawford has taken up a job with the prestigious Millfield School meaning he cannot play on Saturdays, while Llewellyn – son of former Bristol City star Andy Llewellyn – is without a club after a spell at Clevedon Town.
The ex-Seagulls boss made his disappointment over both players’ situation clear in an exclusive interview.
He told the Mercury: “The best player we had overall was Jake Mawford; the guy has got everything.
“He can head a ball, he can use both feet, he was the side’s best one-on-one defender and attacker and he has great physical attributes.”
Northmore admitted mercurial midfielder Mawford needed to mature and remove his ‘comfort blanket’, but he was impressed with how he returned from a loan spell with Paulton Rovers.
He added: “He came back to us and did really well and I still believe that he has the ability to play at a really high level of the game.
“It’s a tragedy, an absolute tragedy that he has dropped down the levels. He’d be the first player I would sign if I managed to get into a club at a good level.”
The former boss said it is a ‘real shame’ that Llewellyn is not plying his trade further up the football pyramid.
“It’s probably my biggest regret. He had an injury-hit year last year, but he still managed to play in quite a few games and did really, really well.
“He was then going to play in America, but that fell through.
“Of all the players I brought through, I think Jake has the potential to be a football league player and I wish I could have done a bit more for him.”
“He can definitely have another go, he’s young enough and he’s good enough. If he wants it, it’s still there for him.”