A TEACHER and football manager is continuing his successful career – by taking a non-league team into the FA Cup’s first round.

Paul Michael from Abercarn, has been in charge of Yate Town in Gloucestershire for just over a year – after taking charge in July 2020.

On Saturday, he will see his team – who are in the Southern Premier League, the seventh tier of English football – take on National League’s Yeovil Town at the 2,000 capacity Jelf Stadium in the first round of the FA Cup.

Mr Michael has guided his team through five qualifying rounds to reach the first round – only the second time in the club’s history. Their only other appearance was a 3-0 loss to Cheltenham Town in the 2012-13 season.

South Wales Argus:

“Yeovil are two leagues above us so its going to be a really tough game, so we are just going to enjoy it. It is going to be difficult,” Mr Michael told the Argus.


This is not the first bit of success he has had in his footballing career. The teacher at Abersychan Comprehensive played for Risca United before moving to Haverfordwest in the Welsh Premier League. He also played for Clevedon Town AFC.

South Wales Argus: Paul Michael playing for Risca United against Llanwern AFCPaul Michael playing for Risca United against Llanwern AFC

He returned to Risca United as a player manager after wanting to be closer to home and took them from the bottom of division three of the Welsh Football League to division one in just five years.

"Being a player manager is a bit easier as you can influence the result in two ways - both with tactics and on-field."

While at Risca United, he began to do his coaching badges and the club supported him in getting his UEFA A licence – the second highest coaching badge in European football. He also set up the club’s academy which is accredited by the FAW.

In November 2016, he began managing Cinderford Town who he took to a play-off final and cup final before leaving for league rivals Yate Town last year.

Further down the line, Mr Michael would like to return to a Gwent team to hopefully bring them some success in the leagues but is enjoying his time at Yate Town and looking forward to Saturday's clash. 

"I want to be back in Gwent at some point in the future to help take a team from Gwent into the Welsh Premiership and maybe Europe but I am enjoying my time with Yate Town and looking forward to the game on Saturday.

Yate Town's clash with Yeovil in the FA Cup first round takes place at the Jelfy Stadium in Yate on Saturday, November 6 at 3pm.