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Tori Davis out as Wolves coach

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Tori Davis is out as Wolves coach

Less than two weeks after shockingly being named First Division Coach of the Year, Tori Davis is leaving promoted Wolves Sports Club.

Family responsibilities were cited as the reason for Davis’s decision to relinquish the post; however, it was noted that the long-serving club member will continue to serve in a less demanding, assisting capacity.

Newly installed as the senior coach is Marcelos Thomas, a former assistant to Davis, who has close ties to the club via his uncle Kirk “Dasher” Douglas, a club legend, as well as having been mentored by former coach Dennis Brown.

Additionally, John Barry Nusum, the former Bermuda defender who is part of the backroom staff for the senior national team, is returning to the club as technical director.

For Thomas, it will be his first time in charge at the senior level, having previously coached among the youth leagues.

“I’m excited to take on the challenge with Wolves,” said Thomas, a former player with Somerset Trojans and X-Roads Warriors, as well as being a prime member of the Footy Kings side that shocked Young Men’s Social Club in the FA Cup two seasons ago. “I did work with them as an assistant coach two years ago.”

Even as he did not have a role in hiring Thomas, Nusum believes the new man has great potential to succeed.

“Marcelos has a good head,” Nusum said. “He’s actually young in the coaching phase. He’s eager and wants to give to the club, so it’s something that we’re working on.

“I can’t speak to the hiring of him. That was done previous to me stepping on board, but we’ve had good conversations and the aim is from my side to put the club in position so that he can find success and try to implement his style of football on to the team.”

Thomas has hopes of building on the foundation laid under Davis’s tenure and has plans to refine the base while updating certain aspects of how the team prepare and operate.

“I always saw that the community had what it takes to become successful,” Thomas added. “Me taking on this position is really just to continue to enhance what’s been done and move it forward.

“It’s not so much about changing the style, per se. Wolves have their own culture.

“They have their own way in how they’ve done things for so many years, so it’s really just adding a bit of modernness. Adding the science to the game as it is now, where you have to manage players’ fitness levels, manage emotions, manage certain other things as to how they interact with the community.

“So it’s not so much changing things, but just bringing some fresh ideas to the club and into their football.”

Marcelos Thomas, left, during his time as a Somerset Eagles player (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

While not from the Devonshire area, Thomas has a lifelong affinity for the club, based on his relationship with Douglas and one of his godfathers, a diehard Wolves supporter.

He said: “My ties to Wolves were always Dennis Brown and my uncle Dasher, who is Devonshire all the way and my godfather is Devonshire all the way as well.

“My first jersey as a football player, when I was about 5 was actually a Wolves jersey. So it was interesting to come full circle from that and coming back and starting my career as a coach, whereby my first job with a senior team is actually Wolves.”

Playing in the Premier Division promises to be both a steep learning curve for the coach and the team, with survival the initial goal.

“Generally, that’s what you want,” Thomas said. “You want to kind of be able to say, ‘We are here to stay’.

“But, for me, the picture is a little bit broader than that. For me, coming into Devonshire and joining the Wolves family, it was a community vibe that attracted me. Who they are as a family, managing and how they handle their culture.

“They even have a golf organisation that I’m a part of as well and the culture of the community is what I find the most attractive.

“If the football is able to pull that together, then that’s a feather for me and maintaining in the Premier Division helps or would help with that.”

While Thomas has the senior team as his primary focus, Nusum’s scope of responsibility is broader and more innate, having grown up at the club before moving on to have a stellar college career at Furman University. He was then selected 35th overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew before settling into an extensive professional indoor football career.

John Barry Nusum is back at Wolves as technical director (File photograph)

Nusum will contribute in the area of reforming the entire mode of operations at the club, with the intention of restoring wholesome values that can facilitate renewed growth and development.

“I was asked to help out the club and Wolves is my home club, the club I grew up with, so I’m really just coming back to give any guidance where I’m needed and try to assist the whole programme,” the Saltus schoolteacher said. “And not just the football part of it, but getting the entire programme organised.

“There’s the matter of the youth programme. We have a masters team coming out this year, so I’m really looking to make sure we can fill in a lot of gaps and install us as more of a community-based club.”

Nusum played down his role as, perhaps, coming in and looking to make wholesale changes, but to work with coaches and club officials to build a sustainable product that can better serve the surrounding community.

“I’m just another head and some eyes that have seen a few different things that have happened over the years,” he added. “But, more importantly, we have to get back to values. And not just at Wolves; in society at its heart, we have to get back to core values.”

Asked of Wolves’ prospects playing among the top flight, Nusum was frank in his assessment of what awaits.

“It’s going to be tough, just as it is for any promoted team,” he said. “But the football will take care of itself if we’re doing all the other things right.

“We have to make sure that we build up the community and get the community behind us in support of Wolves.

“We have to get our youth programme running in proper order.

“The football team will have some challenges, so we will get with our coaches and come up with a game plan as to how we want to play. But the overall thing is to get the club in order, headed in a proper direction, doing the right things in order to sustain.”

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Published May 11, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated May 11, 2024 at 7:38 am)

Tori Davis out as Wolves coach

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