Jepson has a long-term plan at AFC

New manager James Jepson says Hinckley AFC are one of the biggest non-league clubs in the area – and he wants to deliver long-term success.

Jepson, who played for the club at the end of last season, and former Mansfield Town academy boss John Ramshaw were appointed as AFC’s new management team this week.

And, speaking about his appointment, Jepson said the club have a great chance for success. He said: “The club’s a sleeping giant, it’s one of the biggest non-league clubs in the area. If we can get the right players in, we’ve got a massive chance to be successful.

“Having been here last year, I know it’s a very well run football club. It’s well supported and it’s a club I’m used to as a player and now as a player/manager.

“I like winning. I’ve won championships as a player, as has John. John’s also won them as a manager.

“There’s no better feeling than winning. You can’t buy that feeling.”

Jepson has made it clear he likes winning – and wants his managerial style to reflect that, admitting that styles of play often have to vary during the course of a season.

“We want to play nice football but we also want to win matches. We want to get the right players in who buy in to what we say, and buy in to the club itself and not just the team. We want to keep the club moving in the right direction.

“In non-league football you have to adapt the way you play. There will be some games where we’ll have to adapt our style, but ultimately we want to win games. It’s as simple as that.”

As for Ramshaw, Jepson says he will add a great deal of professionalism to the set-up having been involved in full-time football.

Indeed, that professionalism has already extended to adding a Chief Scout, with former Mansfield and Galway United man Donal Flynn taking up a scouting role at the club.

But Jepson says Ramshaw’s experience will prove extremely valuable for the club.

“He’s played and managed at every level, he’s been a professional footballer and a non-league footballer. It’s his experience we need. He’s been at Mansfield Town running their academy, and that will be invaluable.

“There are a couple of youngsters who broke into the squad last season and in my opinion were good enough. We’re hoping to see a lot more youngsters come and train with the first team and hopefully me and John, especially John with his experience, can develop them.”

The experienced midfielder has previously had a brief spell in charge at Rugby Town, but now wants to provide stability for Hinckley and has a long-term aim at the club.

Having played for AFC at the end of last season, there is already an element of stability in Jepson’s appointment. He says he has spoken to a number of his teammates from last term, and says they are all welcome back for pre-season.

He still has an eye on playing himself, but is focused on becoming more of a squad player if he can sign the targets he wants.

“I’m still going to play. I still feel fit enough. There will be times where I decide not to but hopefully if things go to plan, and the players we’ve been speaking to do sign, then it might be difficult for me to get into the side.

“I’ll still be ready, I’ll still be doing a pre-season, but with the players we’re looking to bring in I’ll hopefully become more of a squad player.”

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