Following the 3-1 Cardiff Combination Premier Division defeat last week against Glamorgan AFC, James Naik has stepped down from his role as Aberystwyth Exiles First Team manager with immediate effect. Naik will retain his Chairman/Secretary roles and will assist with the appointment of a new First Team manager.
Naik 35, formed the club with Robin Street back in 2013 and has after a difficult season feels the time is right to step aside. Naik had planned to finish this season but after today’s defeat has decided to do so immediately.
Naik’s almost nine-and-a-half years as manager have overseen two promotions, four Cup Finals and three Cup wins. The club have also extended to two teams and a Casuals team under his stewardship. Naik managed the First Team a record 165 times in all competitions.
Highlights include the 2016 Sam Cornish Cup Final win over RAFA at the Cardiff City Stadium, and the club’s treble of Cup wins in 2017, becoming the first Cardiff Combination club and Manager to win all four of the Cups available. Naik played in two of the semi-finals as a Goalkeeper during the treble.
Naik has played also played 68 times for Aberystwyth Exiles, being ninth overall on the all-time list. Naik will remain as a player at least until the end of the season.
He departs with the best wishes of everyone connected with the Exiles, and Naik and the club will now begin the process of recruiting a new manager, slightly earlier than planned.
In the interim period, First Team Captain Nate Grant has been appointed caretaker manager until the end of the season and a new permanent manager installed before the start of the next. Grant 31, has a wealth of experience at the club himself with 97 appearances, being second overall on the all-time list, captaining Exiles on 63 occasions.
Naik commented: “I would like to thank everyone connected with Aberystwyth Exiles, I’ve been involved for nearly a decade and have met some of my best friends through the club. However, with the club’s recent poor form and my family and work commitments, with sadness I feel it is the right time to step down.”
“It has been some journey with overall many more ups than downs and I’ve loved every minute. Building a club from nothing, reaching the Premier Division and winning trophies has been better than I ever dreamed, especially after playing in our first game losing 8-0 back in 2013 at Roath Park.”
“I am extremely proud of my staff and players for their achievements and would like to thank each one of them for their support and hard work during my time as manager.”
“I will now focus on running the club from my Chairman position, and look forward to appointing a new manager.”