NEWPORT County director of football Tim Harris is likely to decide today whether to remain at Rodney Parade or to take the role as manager of his hometown club Gloucester City.
As revealed by Argus Sport yesterday, Harris, 54, has been offered a return to Gloucester as their new boss to replace his former assistant David Mehew. Harris is the number one choice of Gloucester chairman Stuart Pike and was offered the role in a meeting on Sunday.
However, it is understood the former Newport goalkeeper, manager and caretaker manager, is torn between his desire to return to him former club – who are at a very low ebb - and a part-time schedule and his duty to the Exiles. He’s extremely reluctant to be perceived as having “walked out,” on Newport.
Harris has been a key cog for County since being enticed back to the club, chiefly by then chairman Chris Blight and director and close personal friend, Matt Southall.
Harris was acting in an advisory capacity for Newport and specifically boss Dean Holdsworth even before his official appointment as director of football at Spytty Park in 2009 and his ties to the Exiles meant he was warmly received and quickly made his mark.
He’s subsequently overseen two promotions in three seasons and watched on as Newport made it to Wembley twice in back-to-back campaigns, working successfully with bosses Dean Holdsworth and Justin Edinburgh, less so with Anthony Hudson and also enduring a very disappointing spell as caretaker manager.
Harris’ chief objective when rejoining the Exiles – from Gloucester where he was general manager – was to help them achieve promotion to the Football League and in that sense, Harris may feel it is mission accomplished at Newport.
Harris has a full-time job outside of football and that is also likely to influence his decision with every role at Rodney Parade demanding more and more time now the club are back in the Football League.
The Argus understands both director Howard Greenhaf and manager Justin Edinburgh have asked Harris to stay, but are understanding if his desire is to return to the Conference South outfit.
“I have still not made up my mind although I realise in terms of being fair to all parties, the clock is ticking,” Harris told the Argus.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make and clearly the timing is far from ideal, you’d always prefer to make choices like this outside of the football season.
“But at the moment I’m going back and forth on it and not ruling anything in or anything out.”