Former City skipper Andy Morrison’s first foray into management has seen him guide Connah’s Quay Nomads to a record high finish in the Welsh Premier League as well as guaranteeing European football for the first time.
MCFC Fan Ambassador Morrison has also been shortlisted for the Welsh Premier League Manager of the Year award after a superb run for the Deeside club saw them go from bottom to fourth in the table.
Not a bad start for former crowd favourite Morrison who skippered the Blues to play-off glory in 1999.
“I came to the club in November when they were bottom of the league and obviously you don’t get manager’s jobs unless a team is struggling,” said Morrison.
“Our remit was to stay in the division this year and then rebuild over the summer and try and get the lads going.
“Things couldn’t have gone much better and we managed to get ourselves in the top six and eventually finished fourth which is the highest in the history of Connah’s Quay.
“We then went into the play-offs where we played Carmarthen, beating them 2-0 to set up a Europa League play-off with my old team Airbus UK.
“There were about 1,000 people in our ground to watch the game – more than double our normal gate - and we ended up winning 1-0 to go into Europe for the first time.
“It’s a staggering achievement by the lads given our position last November and now we’re looking forward to discovering who we might face.
“It’s my first job in management after many years of coaching and I’m just grateful to the chairman for putting his faith in me.
“Joe Royle once said if he’d have listened to everybody he talked to about me, he’d have never signed me which is something I’ve struggled with throughout my career.
“People who have actually worked with me know how diligent and hard-working I am and I’m just pleased to have the chance to put that into practice.”
Nomads will learn their opponents next month, with Morrison adding: “I fly to Zurich on 20 June for the draw for the first and second qualifying rounds of the Europa League and the first tie is on 30 June so there’s not much of a close season.
“We could have anyone from teams in Latvia and Gibraltar to Steaua Bucharest, Aberdeen or Hearts. We’d obviously like a big tie or a tie that we think we can win – we’re one of the lowest ranked teams in the competition so we’ll see what happens.”
Morrison proudly took Connah’s Quay into Europe before the Blues had even confirmed their Champions League place.
He added: “Yeah, we confirmed our place the day before City took on Swansea and we all had our fingers crossed that we got the result needed to qualify for the Champions League.
“I’d love it if we had some City fans watching our Europa League home leg – they’d all be very welcome and I think they’d have lovely evening.”