CONWY Borough were dealt a blow this week with the departure of director of football Warren Gibbs.

The hugely popular figure stepped down following their 2-0 defeat at Bangor City due to time commitments, which represents a considerable loss for a club that has been trending in the right direction in recent years.

It is was to forget that the Tangerines’ finished second in the Huws Gray Alliance not too long ago. This was followed by a dip in league position that ultimately saw them relegated to the Lock Stock Welsh Alliance.

Their stay in the third-tier was short-lived following a memorable treble-winning campaign, and after securing their JD Cymru North status last season they are pushing for a top half finish this time around.

This all came despite the club parting ways with Gareth Thomas, bringing in Gibbs before moving him to a new position following the arrival of Chris Morrell.

They also had to content with losing a host of key individuals during the summer, but Gibbs brought in some quality acquisitions that ensured their momentum continued to build.

A sensational start to the season saw them in contention for top spot during the early stages and although things have tailed off somewhat, there is still plenty of cause for optimism in the wake of Gibbs’ departure.

This is still a good squad who have the right mix of youth and experience that is more than capable of giving any side in the division a run for their money at the top of their game.

In Corrig McGonigle they possess arguably the most prolific striker outside of the top flight and have plenty of other players that make a considerable impact at either end of the pitch.

The likes of Tomos Clarke, Sean McCaffrey and Craig Whelan have really come of age this season to give the Tangerines’ a massive boost. Morrell will need to keep these players around during the summer if he harbours ambitions of getting the club back to the heights of old.

The first team manager has plenty of experience at the likes of Llandudno, Llandudno Junction and St Asaph City, but a lot of the current squad were brought in by Gibbs and it will be up to Morrell to convince them of Borough’s long-term ambitions to ensure they stick around and are not tempted by other offers.

How Morrell gets on between now and the end of the season will tell us a lot about what the club can expect going forward. This is a talented group and if the manager can install his own ethos quickly in the absence of Gibbs then a top six finish is well within their reach.

If things tail off there will be plenty of uncertainty during the summer, especially when you consider the overall strength of the JD Cymru North that is increasing annually.

A big few weeks await Morrell and the Tangerines, but adversity is nothing new to them in recent years and they should be well up for the challenge.