BLACKWOOD’S Lee Kendall has been appointed as manager of Taffs Well, writes Chris Kirwan.

The former goalkeeper has left Barry Town United to take up the role with the Rhondda Cynon Taff side.

The 39-year-old will drop down the leagues after helping the Jenner Park club finish fourth in the Cymru Premier League, a feat that will see them enter the Europa League qualifying rounds.

Kendall was working under Gavin Chesterfield in Barry but will now call the shots at Rhiw'r Ddar.

“Having worked and played in Welsh football for the majority of my career, I’ve always seen Taffs Well as a club with huge potential,” said Kendall.

“Having worked at Barry Town United FC, with arguably one of the best young managers in Wales, I have gained a huge amount of knowledge during my time there.

“My ambition to manage a football club has always been there and now I am undertaking my UEFA Pro Licence I look forward to the challenge ahead.”

Kendall, the son of former Tottenham and Newport County goalkeeper Mark, had a professional career with Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, Shrewsbury Town and Barry Town

He then moved into coaching with roles at Sheffield United, Cardiff and Bristol City before being part of the England Women’s management team at the 2015 World Cup and 2017 Euros.

He has since worked with the Wales age-grade teams and last summer covered as goalkeeper coach for Ryan Giggs’ seniors.

Kendall, who is head coach of the University of South Wales men’s team, had a spell as boss of Pontypridd Town before heading to Barry.

He will now lead Taffs Well into the 2020/21 campaign when the green light is given to resume after the coronavirus pandemic.

Director of football Lee Bridgeman said: "The club are very excited by this appointment.

"Lee is currently undertaking his UEFA Pro Licence, Europe's highest coaching qualification.

"With this, Lee brings a wealth of experience and will drive the club on to bigger and better things."

The Wellmen finished in the drop zone of Cymru South when the season was ended early, with the Football Association of Wales saying that they will decide on promotion and relegation matters "in due course".

Taffs Well were just a point behind Cwmbran Celtic and two back on Undy, although the Gwent duo had games in hand.

The Rhondda Cynon Taff club have plans to upgrade their ground with a 3G pitch, new changing rooms and a gym.