Potter hails 'invaluable' Cheddar experience will help at Wells City

Shaun Potter holding a Wells City shirt after being announced their new manager

Shaun Potter holding a Wells City shirt after being announced their new manager and will be assisted by Matt Abreu, Josh Crook & Steve Baylis. - Credit: Kaysha Potter

Newly appointed Wells City manager Shaun Potter says the “invaluable” experience he picked up whist in charge of Cheddar will serve him well going forward.

Potter spent three three years with The Cheesemen, between 2017 and 2020, before resigning last October to focus on his family.

And despite his sudden departure Potter confirmed there was no plan to find somewhere else and the skills he has picked up he will be able to apply in his move to Wells.

Shaun Potter holding up Cheddar's shirt

Shaun Potter holding up Cheddar's shirt after he was appointed in 2017, a role which would last three years before his sudden departure in October 2020. - Credit: Archant

“I had no choice but to leave Cheddar, because of things going on in my personal life, I was gutted to leave but my family had to come first,” he said.

“So, no, I hadn't even thought of returning to management anytime soon. The experience was invaluable, spending a good few years competing in the same league will really help me.

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“I'm someone who will take the good and the bad and always try to improve, I feel like I've learnt a lot and look forward to putting it into practice with Wells.”

Wells have been looking for a manager ever since January when duo Nathan Truckle and Tom Clifford-Jones stood down.

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Potter confirmed he had spoken with Steve Loxton a few months ago about the role but couldn’t commit at the time due to “personal reasons”.

Being approached by Karl Baggley, from Bridgwater, around a month ago to take the job together as co-managers, Potter admitted was “appealing” and he decided to take up the role.

However, after Baggley decided he couldn’t do the job any more, Potter admitted he didn’t want to “leave the challenge behind” and has taken the opportunity.

Potter will work alongside former Bridgwater coach Josh Crook and Matt Abreu, who is also working with Paulton Rovers under-18s until the end of the season, and said no one else is scheduled to come in, yet.

Shaun Potter watches on as Cheddar take on Bradford Town in the FA Cup

Shaun Potter watches on as Cheddar take on Bradford Town in the FA Cup in August 2019. - Credit: Archant

“Josh has shown great commitment and hunger, as well as putting on some good sessions. He has a similar style to me so he will be a great asset to me and the club,” Potter added.

“He (Matt) is a very good coach, who like Josh is very committed and hungry to succeed and learn along the way. As a team, it feels like we have a very good balance and have most angles covered.

“I feel we have enough right now so I won't be actively pursuing anyone, if the right person pops up and fits in well to what we have already then we may consider it.

“We also have Steve Bayliss, who has been at the club a long time and his experience will be invaluable as part of the team.”

The former Weston under-18s and under-19s coach arrived at Cheddar to work under Jared Greenhalgh as his assistant coach.

But Greenhalgh’s departure with the club at the bottom of the Toolstation Western League Division One table propelled Potter  to become caretaker manager.

After an impressive six weeks, which saw Potter pick up six wins from his first nine in all competitions, he was asked to take over on a permanent basis and went on to record 64 wins, 20 draws and 30 defeats from 114 games in charge.

And Potter said there were similarities between both clubs and he has enjoyed what he has seen so far.

Shaun Potter led Cheddar to their first ever FA Cup win

Shaun Potter led Cheddar to their first ever FA Cup win over Bridgwater Town in 2018. - Credit: Archant

“I'm really looking forward to it, you get an impression of a club from playing against them often and as a club I've always respected what they do and how they do it but since arriving and seeing things close up, I've been really impressed with it,” he said of Wells.

“Cheddar was a great family club with a really good group of lads and some really good volunteers. Wells also has a great family feel to it, it has some brilliant volunteers and the lads that have stayed are a very good group, I feel privileged to be in this position and I'm really looking to next season.

“Nothing beats that winning feeling or the feeling of being part of something special with a group of people so I can't wait until pre-season now.”

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