WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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WE all dream of managing Man Utd to Premier League glory on Football Manager, but for one Aberystwyth student that dream has come closer than you might think. 

In the last month, Dave Webber, a second year human geography student, was made first team manager of Dolgellau Athletic. 

At just 19, this makes him the youngest first team manager of a senior football team in the history of British football.

When asked about the record Dave said: "I am really pleased to have that record. Over 160 years of football, to be the youngest ever is something to be really proud of." 

Dave might have his work cut out at Dolgellau however as they remain routed to the bottom of the bottom of the Spar Mid Wales Division One. 

Dave's first three games have all ended in defeat but he remains confident that his team can turn it around. 

"They're not the worst set of players in the league but they are playing like the worst team; they just need to keep working hard and the results will come."

Dave started coaching two years ago in his hometown of Bristol when he was given the chance to do his FA level one through his job in youth work. 

He had originally wanted to be a referee but when the chance to coach a local youth side came along, he took it with growing excitement, "it just escalated from there really quickly" explained Dave. 

"To go from that to being manager of a mens team has been a steep learning curve but it is exciting! I had seen them a few times before and knew that they were a decent bunch of players and when the opportunity became available I knew I had to apply."

Dolgellau have had a torrid time so far this season, winning just one game in 15 and scoring less than a goal a game. 

When asked of his ambitions for the rest of the season, Dave is confident "I promised that I would keep them up in my application, so that is what I will have to do."

Training has been a frustrating experience at times. Dave's training route involves a seven hour round trip by public transport including a long wait after training to go home. 

"Its a long way to go and its hectic having to juggle work when so much time is taken up travelling; but I have always traveled to coach and it was to good an opportunity not to take up."

As far as a career in sports goes, Dave is unsure "it's just something that started off as a bit of fun so I haven't given it much thought, I would definitely take an opportunity if one came along though!" 

It may be a long and hard season ahead for Dolgellau, but for now, Dave can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

[by Sam Meadows and Harry Taylor and first published in the Aberystwyth Courier]