Former Notts, Swansea, Cardiff and Wales legend Andy Legg is now managing Llannelli AFC, who just recently qualified for their fifth successive season in Europe, qualifying for the Europe League with a Welsh Cup Final win over Bangor City.
I got in touch with Andy to discuss his playing days at Notts, his managing career, Europe, and maybe one day returning to Meadow Lane.
Also check out the end of the interview, to win one of TWO family tickets for the Selco Central Masters at the Capital FM Arena, Nottingham on Saturday, July 16th.
Andy thanks for taking the time out for a few words. How’s life treating you currently? Don’t suppose there’s much time off with a Europa League starting in just over a month’s time?
No I don’t get to much time off normally but this year with winning the welsh cup it has given us an extra two weeks off with being in the second round of the Europa Cup.
How confident are you of progressing past the second round of qualifying? Can you even think that far ahead when the draw is yet to be made?
This year is my third crack at it. The first year saw us going up to Motherwell and getting a 1-0 win, but unfortunately we lost the second leg and went out. Last year saw us go out at the first hurdle again with a narrow margin of 5-4 in which we were down to nine men in the second leg.
I think this year it will all depends on the draw with being in the second round there are some very good and big teams that we could face, but we will give it our best shot.
How difficult can it be at a club of limited resources to get an idea of your opponents when they can be from places like Latvia, Georgia or Azerbaijan? Are you basically going in blind?
To be fair to our club we try to do the best that we can. Myself and the assistant manager will fly out to go and watch our opponents if they have got a game sometime before we are due to play them, and also set up the hotel that we will stay in and arrange the training ground ready for when we get there.
Still in Wales, you must be delighted to see two of your former clubs both make a great push for the Premiership last season?
Yes it was great to see two of the Welsh teams fighting for promotion with Swansea getting up but with Cardiff missing out it was a good year for Welsh club football, and also for me with the two being my ex clubs!
Do you think having a Premier League side within an hour’s drive of you at Llanelli will be a good thing or a bad thing? Could this benefit you?
Not sure – with everybody wanting to go and watch Premier League football it could well take some of our fans away, but on the other hand if we play on a different day and with the cost of going to a Premier League game that could see us get a few more through the gate so we will have to wait and see how it goes.
Obviously you’re taking part in the Selco Central Masters at the Capital FM Arena on July 16th. I’d assume you’re looking forward to catching up with your old team-mates?
I still try to keep in touch with the likes of Nigel Jemson, Paul Devlin and Johno (youth team coach Michael Johnson). I played in a charity game the other day and I caught up with a few of the old boys then in Gary Mills, Phil Turner and Dean Thomas so that was nice. And as for the Masters yes I do look forward to catching up with the lads and also enjoying the evening.
Do you get the chance at all to get along to Meadow Lane these days? When were you last able to get to a game?
Yes last season I got to come across and watch the game against Peterborough it was really good to meet up with some of people who I knew when I played there – Seeing Derek Pavis and John Mounteney still supporting the team was great.
I still live in the area in Lambley so I keep my eye on what’s going on down at the Lane.
What did you make of the club’s higher profile in past couple of years?
It was strange but great to see Notts all over the papers and in the headlines but they deserve it because it’s a good club.
What was your best memory of being at County? The Wembley win over Ascoli must be up there?
There were many games that stand out for me, yes the win at Wembley was one.
But for me it would probably be beating all of our local rivals at the Lane. Forest, Derby, Leicester, Stoke, West Brom, Birmingham and Wolves all came to the Meadow Lane and were sent home with nothing. I think they were fantastic games to play in.
Obviously a lot of people will remember you for (amongst other things) your long throw-ins. Most weeks you’ll see Premiership outfits struggling to deal with the long throw of Stoke’s Rory Delap. As the original master of the long throw in – just how can teams deal with a weapon like that?
I’m not sure they all struggle with it. I suppose the goalkeeper has to be brave and try to claim as many of them as he can and the back four must try to win their fair share of headers. But as we see with Stoke its very hard to defend against.
And finally – you have to notice the managerial revolving door at Notts. When the job pops up as regularly as it has in the past, does a small part of you think about one day putting a phonecall in?
Yes I do think maybe I should put in a call. But for now I am just completing my pro licence and gaining good experience with my club who I am with now, after that who knows one day I would love to get back into the full time game.
Andy’s Llanelli side face Dinamo Tblisi of Georgia or Moldova’s Milsami in the Europa League’s 2nd qualifying round over two legs on July 14th and 21st.
You can catch Notts legends like Andy, Steve Cherry and Tommy Johnson at the Selco Central Masters on Saturday, July 16th simply by registering here on The Notts Blog. All registered members will enter a draw to win one of TWO family tickets (two adults, two children) for the event at the Capital FM Arena, Nottingham.
Names will be drawn Friday, July 14th. Good luck!