SOME comments on the departure of Tim Harris as director of football and hopefully an opportunity to debunk some myths.
Firstly, I would, as a County follower, like to pay tribute to Harris for his tireless efforts in helping Newport County to reach the Football League.
Harris’ association with the club this time around began when he was still at Gloucester, helping out County by recommending some players when the Exiles were at a low ebb and there was serious pressure on Dean Holdsworth.
County consolidated and Harris joining the club officially the summer before their incredibly successful Conference South winning season.
The obvious blot on the copy book occurred when Holdsworth left, Harris unsuccessful as a caretaker manager and also wrong in his vote that Anthony Hudson would make a good successor.
However, Harris was the driving force behind the selection of Justin Edinburgh, applying serious pressure on then chairman Chris Blight to move quickly for a boss he felt ticked every box.
Arguably, Harris’ influence at the club slightly diminished after Edinburgh’s appointment – the manager has been responsible for identifying transfer targets and always has the final say – but the duo worked in tandem beautifully.
For years I called for a link between the County boardroom and football pitch and Harris provided it.
It is no coincidence former boss Holdsworth wanted to take Harris with him, nor that Edinburgh is disappointed Harris has followed his heart back to Gloucester.
Harris has provided a commonsense viewpoint to both Edinburgh and more importantly the County directors and I do fear they’ll miss his presence.
However, it’s important to finish by expressing the fact that it isn’t for financial reasons County won’t replace Harris.
Edinburgh is one of the most established managers in the Football League and with a coaching staff already containing Jimmy Dack, Ryan Mackerness, Wayne Hatswell and Tony James; he has more assistance than any Exiles manager in recent memory.
His view is that he couldn’t possibly find someone he’d work with as productively as he did with Harris and that in itself is a huge compliment to him.
Tim Harris is one of the good guys and Newport County AFC have lost a tremendous asset. I wish him nothing but success.