Mega Project #13 – Survial?

Last time we met, we announced that Mason had been appointed the manager of Ards, now the big question is can Mason keep them up and get them into Europe? We hear from the coaching team, the board and the man himself!


“Ards know they’ve taken a gamble on me, Stirling didn’t work out as planned & the whole situation had left me looking for a job that isn’t a first choice for most people but in this situation, I had to take something.

The value of having someone back me is a vital part of being a success here. Ards have given me some freedom this year which has allowed me to push the club forward into a Euro Qualification place. Who would’ve though it? Ards in Europe…..

We’ve got a fair amount to work on though, playing in Europe isn’t easy at all. The Qualification phase still poses a very real threat & sides much bigger than us could cause us real problems. Players are needed, but we can’t just sign anyone & the board have made that incredibly clear.

We’ve got the depth needed, but we lack any real threats. The only threat we have currently is Peter Thompson & his tantrums. We’ve conceded more than we’ve scored, which is a concern but as the table sits….. I’m fine with that. However, Next season will be the biggest season in my managerial career to date, Ards have given me the chance to get my career back on track, I owe it to them to finish in the top 6.

Lets see how it goes.”


Time to hear from the board, what will they think about the improvement since Mason came in?

Dear Mason,

Thank you for all your efforts that you put in this season, we are very thankful for your hard work since you joined the club a few months back. The most impressive thing is how you improved the results since your appointment. We have included a few facts for before your appointment and current time.

Before your Appointment:

–          League Position: 12/12

–          A league record of 4 wins, 7 draws and 13 defeats

–         A minus 13 goal difference

Since your appointment:

–          League Position: 7/12 (European qualification play off)

–          A league record of 13 wins, 10 draws and 15 defeats

–          Qualified for an European qualification play off


We are very pleased with your performance since we appointed you in January, the improvement in the results and league position we are very pleased with, and we take our hats off to you that you managed to turn a team bottom of the league into a team in an European play off position, especially without any major transfers.

We shall be announcing next seasons expectations shortly. We are looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful season under your management next season.

Ards Board of Directors


Staff Update

Since Mason Bradshaw took over, it’s been a steady run. He has completely renovated the players training, work rate and attitude and we speak to coach David Bryson, who has been at the club since 2011.

What has Mason done to make the players perform the way they have been recently?

It’s quite simple, motivation. He has a belief in the players at the club and you can see that. I think the Stirling opportunity has definitely changed his way of managing and after being sacked, you could tell that Mason wanted a job to rebuild his reputation. Quite frankly if Mason didn’t change his ways in this job, it would be unlikely he would find another management job. I mean no disrespect to Mason when I say this, but that’s football. I have an incredible amount of respect towards Mason, I’ve been here upwards of six years and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the players play so passionately.

More specifically on the training ground, what’s been different to previous managers?

I don’t want to discuss too much detail, because that’s between me, the players and Mason but because he’s coming from England the coaching is slightly different, as is the style of play. The players enjoy training and playing, that’s what’s key – simply because the training sessions are of a very high standard. It brings the best out of everyone.

This being said, do you think Mason Bradshaw is the right man long term for Ards?

Mason has one year on his contract left, that’s one full season. It’s not up to me whether or not the manager gets an extension, I like the lad, he tries his best and that’s what you want from a manager. His record does speak volumes though, 9 wins in 14 games is very good considering the state of the club when he took over. Now, it’s all about trying to qualify for the Europa League – now that would be impressive.

Was you sad when Niall Currie was sacked after 5 years?

Of course, I’ve been here six years and he’s the manager that I’ve worked with most. He was a great man and I wish him all the best with his future. This is football, times move on and we have a very exciting young manager who wants to help Ards in every way possible.

Where do you see yourself next year?

Me? Personally, still a part of the Ards first team coaching staff, that’s my priority. I love my job, however I know that Mason will be keen to bring in his own coaching staff, which is understandable. In terms of the club, we have just been promoted and we are fighting for a Europa League play off spot. I will be happy with top half of the league split.

We thank David Bryson for taking the time out for this interview and look forward to seeing Ards try and qualify for Europe this season in what has been a memorable year for Mason, David and Ards.


David has been a coach since 2011


Mega Project is a unique Football Manager experience. Mega Project features Mason Bradshaw, a rookie manager who never played professionally, who attempts to climb the football leader from the first job to becoming a world class manager. Mega Project is something that’s never been done before as we look from all angles, from Mason himself, the clubs, his family and friends, colleagues, the world of football and more. Mega Project is released weekly here at

Incase you have missed any previous Mega Projects, you can read them all here:

Want to keep up to date on every movement of Mason Bradshaw? Mason has a Twitter account where he tweets about jobs, training, his personal life and more. You can follow Mason on Twitter – @MasonBradshawFM


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