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James Rowberry: Newport County Job “A Dream” for New Manager

James Rowberry began serving as a coach at the Newport County Academy as a teenager

Newport County’s manager James Rowberry says he fulfilled a lifelong dream after being  -pointed to the club he supported as a child.

Born on Carisbrooke Road, less than a mile from Rodney Parade, Rowberry was a childhood mascot for the club his grandfather and father both played for.

The 36-year-old began his coaching career in Newport before moving to Cardiff City in 2013.

“I couldn’t resist the chance to come here,” Rowberry told   Sport Wales.

Rowberry was announced as Newport’s manager before the dramatic Tuesday 2-2 draw against Carlisle, Successor to Michael Flynn which the exiles left by mutual agreement Earlier this month after almost five years in office.

“I get goose bumps when I think about it. I’m very h -py to be the manager of the football club,” he said.

“It is a dream in many ways to start my managerial career at a club with which I have many connections.

“I always think the city will thrive when the football club is doing well. I have a responsibility to promote this with the staff around me.”

James RowberryJames Rowberry names Craig Reid, Jason Bowen and Kevin Cooper as his former favorite players at the club

“I understand the club”

Rowberry played at Newport Academy before retiring from playing at the age of 21 and starting his coaching badges.

His career advanced r -idly, with Rowberry leaving a role at Newport County Academy to join the Bluebirds.

He was one of the youngest people to complete his Uefa professional license at the age of 29.

Rowberry was promoted several times in Cardiff City, most recently as a first-team coach under manager Mick McCarthy and his predecessors Neil Harris and Neil Warnock.

“I’ve had eight or nine fantastic years at Cardiff,” he said.

“But I couldn’t resist the chance to come here. I had a great time in Cardiff and now I have to draw on all of this experience that I have gained as a coach and as a manager.”

Rowberry believes his attachment to a club he has watched as a supporter his entire life will give him an advantage in his first leadership role.

“When I started as a youth coach at Newport, I probably couldn’t have imagined that I could end up as a coach and at Newport as a football league club,” he said.

“Since I’m from Newport and have lived in Newport my entire life, I’m excited to get started.

“I understand the club and the feelings of the fans.”

Ready to be number one

Rowberry’s roots are deep in the fact that his grandfather Jimmy Jenkins and father Stephen played for Newport.

Sentiment aside, however, Rowberry is confident he’s ready for the step from coaching to management.

“Ultimately, I’m the one who has to put the team together and I’m responsible for that,” he said. “The money stops with me.

“I will stand and fall on my own decisions.

“It used to be easy if I said, ‘I would play it here and I would play it there’ or that I do this or that. It’s my job now that I’m excited about and that’s the pressure I’ve craved . “

Tony PulisTony Pulis, also born in Newport, is related to James Rowberry by marriage

Pulis believes Rowberry will be successful

Rowberry, who has coached half his life, has many influential names in football to seek advice – he’s received calls from a variety of former Cardiff managers – but his closest contact is one of the game’s most seasoned managers, Tony Pulis, who is a cousin by marriage.

“I will be myself and be authentic for who I am. You take something from everyone and learn from them in different ways, but the most important thing is to be my own man,” he said.

“I’ve already spoken to Tony (Pulis) and he just told me your head is now on the chopping block.

“It’s great to talk to people like him.”

Pulis believes Rowberry has what it takes, having known him for most of his life.

“Well, I’m actually married into the family … so I’ve obviously known James for a long time,” he told   Radio Wales.

“He’s a very hardworking boy. He’s done a lot of work himself on the coaching side, obviously with Osh (former Wales Technical Director, Osian Roberts), the setup in Wales; he’s always been involved in it.

“He’s now had the experience of working at the first-team level with some very good managers in Cardiff City.

“He was by her side, so he lived it and breathed it.

“It’s different when you go in and have to do it yourself, but as a person, as a character, he’s a very healthy boy, he’s a lovely boy, a lovely family man, and I think it’s great that Newport has another boy from Newport. “

The Exiles, who have been beaten in the play-off finalists twice in the past three seasons, are currently three points ahead of a play-off spot in the second division and Pulis says Rowberry can handle Flynn, one of the most successful Manager of the club, to replace.

“Mike Flynn did a fabulous job there and they are big footsteps but I’m sure James can handle it,” he added.

“I’m sure he’ll keep his fingers crossed when he gives the football club its own identity, not only within the club but also in the way they play.

“Everything stops with him and the pressure is on you as an individual, so it will be different for him. But like I said, he’s a very, very healthy boy, a very, very good character, and he’s an intelligent boy so I have no doubt he will continue the good work Michael did at Newport. “

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