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Legg armed for Llanelli battle

Published: Wednesday 24 March 2010, 10.23CET
Player-manager Andy Legg struggles to deal with being called boss by his Llanelli AFC charges, but with his side in Welsh title contention, the 43-year-old is thriving as the man in charge.
by Trevor Haylett
Legg armed for Llanelli battle
Andy Legg's Llanelli face a massive test against TNS at the weekend ©Llanelli AFC
Published: Wednesday 24 March 2010, 10.23CET

Legg armed for Llanelli battle

Player-manager Andy Legg struggles to deal with being called boss by his Llanelli AFC charges, but with his side in Welsh title contention, the 43-year-old is thriving as the man in charge.

Llanelli AFC player-manager Andy Legg, who says he still finds it strange to hear his players call him "boss", must be prepared for many more labels to be aimed his way should they reclaim the Welsh Premier League title.

The west Wales side approach their summit meeting with The New Saints FC on Sunday in reasonable shape and confident of raising the trophy for only the second time. TNS lead the way with a four-point advantage but significantly Llanelli have three games in hand and the momentum lies with them.

What TNS have in their favour is that, following last weekend's postponement of their home match with Rhyl FC, Llanelli face four games in eight days in the final week of the season. Moreover, TNS – champions in three successive years from 2005-07 – have beaten their rivals in both this season's previous meetings – 4-1 at home in the League Cup and 2-0 away in the league.

"They were the better side on both occasions, and we could have no complaints," said Legg. Llanelli's response to that Stebonheath Park reverse on 15 November was to embark on an imperious run – 12 wins in their 12 subsequent league games prior to Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Connah's Quay Nomads FC. "I asked the lads to roll up their sleeves and show their character," added Legg. "They took it on board and they've been superb."

The former Cardiff City FC and Birmingham City FC defender who famously recovered from cancer to continue his career, is 44 later this year and preparing to hang up his boots at the end of his first season in management. "I've had a great, great innings but I want to go out when I can, rather than people say I'm only in the side because I'm the manager or because of my name," he said.

He might then begin to feel more comfortable with being referred to in the dressing-room as something other than Andy or "Leggie". "I didn't want them to call me anything different to what they did as a team-mate but the players thought it was the right thing to do, to give me the respect a manager needs and they insisted on calling me 'gaffer'.

"I still don't like it and I find it hard to accept but it's great that it came from the players themselves," he added. "It's a team effort here with my assistants Stephen Jenkins and Gary Lloyd and we pick the side together. There have been several occasions when I have opted for one thing only for both of them to go against me and that's the way we have gone in the end."

Last updated: 13/09/13 14.46CET

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