Grimshaw takes Hales' place at Longwell Green
MARTYN Grimshaw is the new Longwell Green Sports manager following Matt Hale's decision to step down.
Former Bristol City professional Hale has landed a full-time role with Southampton's Bath-based youth academy, just seven months after joining Longwell and rescuing them from the brink of relegation.
Grimshaw has appointed Longwell midfielder and ex-Bristol Rovers star Simon Bryant, pictured, as his assistant.
Sports' general manager John Gibbs said: "Given the size of his new role at Southampton, Matt cannot commit to us on a weekly basis, but he will stay with Longwell Green, helping to direct our football matters.
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"We are fortunate that Martyn, who has played and managed at the highest level of non-League, was already with us as assistant to Matt."
Former Bath City and Yeovil Town striker Grimshaw said of the decision to recruit Bryant as his number two: "Simon played 115 first-team games for Rovers and that experience will be invaluable, especially to our younger players."
Bryant, who is idelined through injury, said: "I'm very surprised to be offered this chance.
"Longwell Green is a great club with a lot of passion."
The pair will take the reins for the first time tomorrow when Sports host Bristol Manor Farm, who are flying high following last Saturday's 3-0 win at Sherborne and Tuesday night's 3-1 home success against Bishop Sutton. But Farm will travel to Shellards Road without defenders Tony Perry and Jake Murray, plus midfielder Jack McKenna, who have all left the club.
Sutton entertain Merthyr Town, with midfielder Kye Holly back on board following a frustrating stint with Chippenham Town.
"Everyone knows I consider Kye to be one of the best Western League players of recent years and I'm thrilled to have him back," said Sutton supremo Lee Lashenko.
Brislington boss Jeff Meacham is planning to plunge a few fringe players into the fray for tomorrow's home tie with Bitton in the preliminary round of the Les Phillips Cup.
Pacy left-sided performer Dave Peters, forward Mark Thompson and midfielder Josh Dyer are under consideration as Meacham eyes an opportunity to offer his back-up men some game time.
"Lads like these have waited patiently on the bench while the team have been going well, so there's a good chance they'll feature," said Meacham.
Jason Llama returns to the Bitton squad following a ban.
Experienced centre-half Mark Reid, who has missed most of Hallen's season with an ankle injury, is targeting a return to action for their home tie with First Division high-fliers Calne Town. Forward Simon Knight, signed from Avonmouth at the start of the season, could also be handed a rare chance.
Almondsbury UWE go to Wells City eager to maintain an encouraging start to their campaign, although Tuesday's 4-1 home defeat by Melksham Town was a setback.
Nevertheless, assistant boss Mel Davies insisted: "This is our only crack left at a cup competition and we'll be looking to field the same side that has given us our best-ever start to a season."