CHAIRMAN Dave Richards believes Shawbury United have pulled off a real coup by luring new manager Declan Allen from non-league big boys AFC Telford United.

Allen arrives having led an all-conquering Telford youth team that won back-to-back league titles and the Shropshire FA Youth Cup.

And Richards, who stepped down as manager towards the end of the West Midlands Premier Division season, is delighted with his successor’s appointment.

Richards said: “Declan has done a great job for AFC Telford’s youth development programme and is held in high regard by their chairman and management team.

“We look forward to working with a young and very professional first team manager.

“Declan comes in with a proven ability to develop young players as individuals while building a great team spirit and a winning mentality.

“He will complement our football club’s philosophy of giving young players opportunities while also providing them a platform to play at levels that match their development.”

New boss Allen added: “I am excited to be joining the club and would like to thank the chairman and board for giving me the opportunity.

“There is plenty to be positive about with the club’s planned new facilities and the clear ambition to move forward.”

Shawbury – who will again groundshare at Ludlow next season before moving into a new stadium the year after – have appointed Sean Evans as Allen’s assistant.

Evans has previously coached at Shrewsbury Town and AFC Telford Ladies, and Richards added: “Both Declan and Sean are very ambitious and hungry to bring Shawbury success.

“They have had great success at a relatively young age. Both have a great knowledge of the game and will be given the time required to succeed at this football club.”