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Following the announcement that Paddy Conway was joining his coaching team, we sat down with the gaffer for the second time today to get his thoughts

There are a number of reasons as to why we choose Paddy, we had actually identified Paddy last season as being a good fit but wanted to let the season play out as we assessed things and felt coming into this season it was a conversation I had planned on having during Pre-Season.

Paddy has the respect of the players, he has a good voice and has identified for himself the natural progression into coaching is the path he wishes to choose. Paddy will combine this role as a Player/Coach and knows himself what those challenges bring but Paddy is a winner and will take this challenge on and is thoroughly looking forward to the next chapter in his development.

Alongside Alan Cormack, Paddy is another example of promoting from within, an indication that the pathway is alive and kicking.

We have always looked to progress players from within into a coaching capacity. Paddy is a great character not only in the dressing room but in the town also. He is endless with his commitment towards the Youth structure and that’s something that I am extremely big on and progressing and believe continuity within our own setup is far more beneficial to the whole club.
Younger players coming through can see at first hand what Paddy has achieved and what can be achieved, we know not every player will come through the system but it’s fundamentally important that the system doesn’t miss these players and we make sure they all remain and find their own levels within the community structure.

Alan Cormack took on part of the responsibility last season but for this season will become a fully fledged coach. Alan again is a fantastic character and his experience will be a massive benefit to myself and the club. In recent weeks we have had the younger keepers in, working away and again this shows that clear development and willingness to promote. These keepers will learn a great deal working with Alan and I fully respect his expertise on what is a specialist position in the team.

The pathway is crucial for the club and I have said this countless times, we believe that if you’re good enough you’re old enough and if we can get these guys in and around the club and training with the 1st team they will not only improve and develop but it makes the whole transition much easier. The young guys must be prepared to work hard, learn and realise the opportunities they have. This will be purely based on how they are developing at their respective age groups and we want to maintain that open discussion with the managers on how things are shaping, who’s working hard and improving, and even who is maybe getting ahead of themselves. All these attributes good or bad will shape their opportunities.

Will there be further additions to the team?

We are actively looking to improve on one or two areas from a playing perspective and have identified several players and also ruled out several because they didn’t fit into the team ethic I want and have currently. Staff wise we will be adding one more coach, again I have spoken to five or six to get their feelings and thoughts behind there approach to what we are trying to do. I have narrowed this down to 2/3 which I hope to make a final decision in the next two weeks, once that’s in place then the back room team will be complete.

We will then have two First team coaches along with myself and Stevie, a GK Coach and a physio , we also have a new addition in Paula to the physio side of things. Paula joined up towards the tail end of the season and helped Neil with the players during a busy period. The strong links with our sponsors also has mean we can utilise Cal Owens from Caledonia Health & Fitness Scotland for the rehabilitation of the players after injury, which again is a massive benefit to the club as a whole. We are wanting to make sure the players are looked after properly and as professionally as we can be as a club, for me it’s about doing the best we can do and try to make progressive developments both on and off the pitch.

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