Gareth Howells has been appointed Neath Rugby General Manager from his current role as Commercial Manager. Gareth replaces Will Thomas who having delivered considerable change to the Club has decided that the role now needs to be delivered full time and from someone who lives in Neath. With Gareth available to step up now and a number of projects having now been completed with the season just started, the timing of the change works on every front.
Outgoing General Manager, Will Thomas, commented ‘Gareth has done an outstanding job as Commercial Manager. I don’t think it is any secret that we lost pretty much all our sponsors for a variety of reasons. Gareth has come on board and within a short space of time recruited a whole new group of sponsors or managed to persuade some existing ones to stay on board. Usually you might need to recruit one or two new sponsors per season but to recruit new sponsors en masse has been a huge achievement.’
‘It was also clear a couple of months into my role that it needs someone full time to deliver it, so the intention was always to make that change. Gareth has been undertaking a lot of the work anyway through the summer as he’s based in Neath, so it’s a perfect fit.’
‘I’ll be staying on in an advisory capacity but with Gareth able to undertake the role full time the Club can explore and hopefully deliver new initiatives and events that will put the business in a stronger position.’
‘Aside from Gareth and the sponsorship side of things, a huge amount of change and work has gone on since the end of last season. I’d like to thank the following volunteers who’ve undertaken this work and put the Club and business in a stronger position than it was in previously.’
- Club Secretary Mike Price on his all round input into the Club and with his work on the season tickets in particular.
- Team Manager Martyn Morris. Martyn works tirelessly for Neath Rugby, at a level which makes me astonished that he has a job!! Or a wife and family for that matter. When he’s not working on Neath Rugby things he’s thinking about it.
- Keith and Tracey Hatherall. Now they are back at the Club full on, there is no doubt the Club house will thrive and be back as the best in the Premiership.
- Gerald Morris and Mark Davies with their finger on the pulse of the town and supporters and recent work on the hospitality.
- Len Kowalski and the supporters club with their continual and essential fund raising and promotion of the Club.
- Graham Jones who’s taken over all of the work around the WRU A Licence application and maintenance.
- Colin Chapman our excellent website and social media manager and has single handed migrated to a new and improved website.
- Dai Shaw, simply a constant ear to talk to and get advice from.
‘Finally thanks to Neath Rugby’s owner Mike Cuddy. I keep reminding him that he’s not a great communicator so it’s not always apparent how passionate he is about the Club, both emotionally and financially. He has put in eye watering amounts of his own wealth into the Club and he’s determined to see it successful again. As is always the case in sport, finance alone is not enough. Every one at the Club has to continue working together and supporting each other and delivering their roles as best they can, whether as a player, a coach, a supporter or a volunteer and Neath will come out as a winner in this highly critical season.’