New Camelon Juniors manager says opportunity to take over Mariners was too good to turn down

New Camelon Juniors manager Andy Colley says the club was “too good an opportunity to turn down” and hopes to lead the Mariners to an East of Scotland championship.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:56 pm

The club parted company with former manager Gordon Herd and coach John Millers two weeks ago has seen a number of staff members resign and the players publicly state they have no confidence in the current committee.

However, for the new manager it is a case of leaving the relevant authorities to settle those disputes while he prepares to get the Carmuirs Park side in to a position to start looking up the league.

"When we got contacted it was at the weekend to ask if we'd be interested in joining,” said Colley.

New Camelon Juniors FC manager Andy Colley

"I was at Bathgate and we had no clue what was going on at Camelon.

"We had wee snippets, a wee bit on social media but I wasn't interested as it was nothing really to do with me.

"Whatever has been going on had no relevance to my decision to join the club."

Colley was delighted to be moving to a club which matched his own ambitions for success but admitted it was a tough choice for he and assistant manager Davie Strathie, who will be joining Colley at Camelon, to leave former club Bathgate Thistle.

The new Camelon management team (left to right): coach, Derek Johnston; manager, Andy Colley; assistant manager, Dave Strathie and goalkeeping coach, Chris Binnie.

"Davie and I loved working at Bathgate where we had a great relationship with the committee.

"We fell in love with the club, they had just been accepted to the East of Scotland league and we were in talks to have an Under 20s side in the Development League.

"It would have been a fresh challenge, getting an application into the East of Scotland League was a big step for the club.

"It was difficult to leave but it was a case of Camelon being too good an opportunity to turn down.

"Camelon are a Premier Division side, we could have stayed with Bathgate and started at the bottom which we were prepared to do but then this came knocking and we couldn't turn it down.

"Our goal is to get into the Lowland League, you see what Bo'ness and Bonnyrigg have done and they're now sitting at the top end of that division quite comfortably.

"That's the ambition of this club and there is a good plan in place for over the next four to five years.

Another big draw for the former Hearts and Stenhousemuir youth coach was the youth football structure at Camelon with Colley saying he will aim to give young players their chance in the first team.

"Any youth academy is the backbone of a club.

"You see 'Wee Jimmy' at seven and next thing he is 17/18 having been at Camelon all his life and getting into the first team would be a dream come true for that young lad.

"I'm not going to bring experienced players in if I have a good 20 year old already at the club, I'll be giving that player his chance."

Despite the uncertainties around the club at the moment, Colley is still confident that over the next few years they will be able to make their goal of winning the East of Scotland Premier Division a reality.

"If that wasn't the aim I wouldn't have come here, I would have stuck with Bathgate and worked our way up.

"That is the goal, whether it's next season or the season after we will have to see."