Micky Bell looks back on time in charge of Clevedon Town

Micky Bell was manager of Clevedon Town for 525 games which included 198 wins, 77 draws and 250 defeats.

Micky Bell was manager of Clevedon Town for 525 games which included 198 wins, 77 draws and 250 defeats. - Credit: Josh Thomas

When you look at where Clevedon Town are now compared to where they used to be, their success is undoubtedly  down to one man.

Micky Bell is his name and he helped steady the ship to build the foundations of today.

Bell began the first of his two spells as Town manager in May 2010, a season after Clevedon had been relegated from the Southern League Premier Division.

He kept the Seasiders out of the relegation places with a respectful 20th-place finish and took them to the Somerset Premier Cup semi-finals.

Another 20th-place finish followed the following campaign, which would see Bell and his side reach the Somerset Premier Cup Final, where they lost to Weston.

However, Bell’s side did claim the Southern League Red Insure Cup with a 2-1 win over Banbury United.

But Bell left the club in January 2014 and after a stint at Mangotsfield United as coach, in April he became the manager of Weston a month later.

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After leaving the Seagulls in November of that year, Bell rejoined the Seasiders in the summer of 2015 but he encountered a series of difficulties early in his second reign.

Clevedon had been thrown out of the Southern League due to defective floodlights, locked out their ground and had no players.

Despite the problems in front of them Bell started with the club’s under-18 players in the Toolstation Premier Division.

And despite opening the campaign with 10 successive defeats, Bell picked up a point a game in the last 16 games, including a vital 1-0 home win in a key relegation battle against Welton Rovers.

All in all, Bell took charge of 525 games, recording 198 wins, 77 draws and 250 defeats.

Former Clevedon Town manager Micky Bell left the Seasiders last October.

Former Clevedon Town manager Micky Bell left the Seasiders to become Bristol City's Professional Development Phase Coach last October. - Credit: Josh Thomas

“I was here for a long time, lots of good times and lots of not so good times. I had a really good time here and I enjoyed it even through all the bad times,” he added.

“It was my first managerial job in senior football and when the club nearly went out of existence we got through that time and built the club.

“We brought some really good people into the club and some good players. That helped being able to move on and the club is in a much better and secure place than it was when I came in through the door.”

Micky Bell during Bristol City's under-18s friendly at Clevedon Town last month.

Micky Bell during Bristol City's under-18s friendly at Clevedon Town last month, which resulted in a 3-1 win for the young Robins. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Bell admitted leaving Clevedon to rejoin Bristol City was a decision he “couldn’t turn down” as he became Professional Development Phase Coach last October.

He made 330 appearances between 1997 and 2005 for City and his association with the club has also seen his son Sam, a former striker at Nailsea United who had a loan spell with Clevedon in 2019, make his Championship debut in a 1-0 defeat against Birmingham City in December 2020.

After working part time with the Robins’ Under-18s and Under-16s, Bell joined the Championship side on a full-time basis last autumn.

“I’ve worked throughout the age groups at Bristol City and it was a natural progression for me,” he added.

“I am really enjoying it still, we have got some exciting new players and we’ve got some really good players coming through.

“I’m looking forward to working with them this season and hopefully improving them. The aim is to get them into the Under-23s squad and beyond.

“I’ll be honest, it was an opportunity that came along which I couldn’t turn down. It’s a role that I wanted to do and I just felt that it was probably the right time. I think the timing for everyone was really good.

“I think Alex, himself, was chomping at the bit to have a go at senior management and it’s a role I’ve always wanted to do and I just think I’ve naturally progressed into it.”

Micky Bell appointed Alex White in the summer of 2015 and he was named as Bell's successor.

Micky Bell appointed Alex White in the summer of 2015 and he was named as Bell's successor becoming the youngest manager in the history of Clevedon Town. - Credit: Josh Thomas

Bell recruited Alex White to help him build the Clevedon youth team in July 2015, after his coaching with the North Somerset development team.

Originally White was in charge of the Under-18s and, after four years with the academy, as well as doing some work in the first team, he was promoted to first-team manager after Bell's departure to City last year.

White has led Clevedon 27 times, winning 16, drawing eight and losing three, and has an average of 2.07 points per game after helping the side to seventh place in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

He is the youngest ever manager in the club’s history and was the youngest in the Toolstation Western League last season.

“Obviously I brought Alex in and he’s a really good lad and matured into an excellent coach,” Bell said.

“He had a fantastic second half to the season last year. I’m just looking there and they have some exciting players coming through and he’s got himself together a good squad there.”

Bell also shared his best moments in charge, what stood out for him during his tenure and how the club is set for a bright future.

“I think it was just putting together a good set of lads,” he said.

“We’ve improved season on season as a group and last year the lads had another successful season.

“I think it was just building a proper team with a team spirit and I look now, we have lads at the club who have been at the club a good few years and they have got the club at heart.

“They look after it along with Alex, (assistant manager), Ryan (King) and (chairman) Brian (Rose) and all the volunteers. It’s in good hands for the foreseeable future I hope.”