PRESTATYN Town has confirmed the appointment of former Blackburn Rovers and Derby County player Jay McEveley as their new Head of Academy coaching.

The Seasiders’ strengthened their youth structure after the resignation of Neil Gibson, with the club overcoming further adversity recently after St Asaph Leisure Centre cancelled their booking at the facility’s 3G surface due to the considerable changes to coaching staff since the arrival of chairman Jamie Welsh.

Despite this decision, training has continued at the UK Leisure Living Stadium, with McEveley bringing a wealth of experience to the role having played at the very top during his time at Rovers.

The left-back was once regarded as one of the top prospects in the country before serious knee injuries derailed his progress, with McEveley earning full international honours with Scotland during his time as a professional.

He is also currently working with Everton’s Academy system after starting his career at Goodison Park as a trainee before moving to Rovers and other clubs such as Derby County.

The club also confirmed that Ryan Turner has been appointed Academy Operations Manager, which is another significant boost for the player pathway to the first team that has been the cornerstone of Prestatyn’s success under the previous regime.

Turner is one of the only coaches remaining from Gibson’s tenure and it is clear the well-respected figure is excited about the prospect of driving the club forward this season and beyond.

He said: “I’m really excited about the role and we have a clear structure in place now. It was a big job to convince players and coaches to stick around with all the unrest after Gibbo left but we’ve got teams from under 9’s to 19’s now and it’s business as usual with fixtures going on.

“I was involved for a few years with the Rhyl Academy and went that disbanded, I felt it was essential we kept this Academy going for talented young footballers in Denbighshire. The manager (John Lawless) has been in constant communication with me after every game and he’s taken a big interest and want to see local lads progress into the first team. I also have to give Jamie a lot of credit for the work he’s done keeping the Academy going.”

Turner added that he met McEveley for a U11 session recently and he was clearly impressed by what he saw from the coach.

“Some of the information he was giving the players, you could tell he’s played at the very top,” added Turner.

“He’s going to be a massive addition to our Academy.”