Village players rally around new coach Bean
Ralph Bean jr’s appointment as North Village coach following the departure of Shaun Goater has been applauded by both players and management.
Village president Shervin Dill, who thanked Goater for his four years of service that saw the club life seven major trophies, said he firmly believed Bean was the right man for the job heading into the second half of the season.
Bean had previously coached in the Rams’ youth ranks.
“Ralph is a product of North Village Community Club from birth. He’s been coaching for a number of years in the junior programme and we were looking at him stepping up in pre-season.
“He was part of the transition succession plan for when Shaun decided to move on.
“He has been the assistant coach to Shaun through all of this, which was forward planning for the club. I have high hopes for him and he’s got his heart and soul into it.”
Rams skipper Keishen Bean also backed the move, although he admitted it was a bitter sweet day for the club with the announcement.
“I have mixed emotions about this, I know Shaun’s influence as a coach was huge in getting the team to perform to their capable standard, but I’m happy for Ralph at the same time,” said Bean.
“The presence on the sideline will be different given Shaun was coaching since 2008. However, that said there is a lot of time for our new coach to come in and put his stamp on how we play.”
Bean will have his work cut out for him, replacing a legend at the club both as a player and as a coach.
During Goater’s tenure as coach, he won three successive Friendship titles, a league title, as well as the Dudley Eve and Charity Shield.
The newly promoted boss isn’t a stranger to the club, however, having started in the youth system and following in his father’s footsteps, Ralph Bean sr, to go on and play in the senior side.
And he will know what needs to be done having been involved in the first half of the season as a player.
Village expectations were low this season given the number of inexperienced players in the squad, taking the place of veterans who had called time on their careers.
But they are still within striking distance of the top, currently sitting in fifth place and six points adrift of leaders Devonshire Cougars.
The likes of Sammy DeGraff, Vernon Tankard, and Kofi Dill have been replaced with Corey Boyce, Patraic Castle, and Khomeini Talbot; a vast gulf in experience.
Yet, for all the shake-ups, Goater led the side to the Dudley Eve final where they narrowly lost to Somerset Trojans and silenced their critics with a convincing win over defending league champions Dandy Town.
Bean believes that the time was right to usher in a new era, and says the players will respect Bean, starting this weekend with their match away to Wolves.
“It will be something fresh and new and it is something that we need. Ralph is North Village through and through so he will take losses just as hard as the Village faithful.
“I have been playing with him since I came into the senior side and seen his passion for the club and a lot of the players have seen it as well. This is something that makes the players want to be around him.
“This is the general feeling to what has transpired and the side are ready to go out there and play for him.
“We are six points back of the leaders in the league and in order to make the push we needed to freshen things up in terms of staff or shuffling around players as we have a few injuries.
“I hope the change works out because the players are ready to fight for Gumbo.”