We managed to grab ten minutes with manager Phil McGuire this morning to catch up on Pre-Season so far
Firstly, we are in to the second week of pre-season training, how are things looking ?
The boys have returned in good shape, since the East Region Cup Final it’s meant we have only really had around 16/17 days recovery. That has played a part in how we have scheduled the workload and looked to get the best out of the players while being mindful of that short break. The players attitudes has been first class and they are a fantastic group to work with and they have my full backing and respect, the new players have also integrated very well and we have brought in a couple of younger lads from the U17s to give them that exposure to the senior game as part of our commitment to a clear pathway. The players will be working differently from maybe what they have experienced previously or at other clubs and they have been very upbeat, positive and excited about Pre Season. That is half the battle getting them to buy into ideas that will get them fit and injury free while working hard because that is what Pre Season is about. The most important thing I feel about a Pre-Season programme is setting out your ideas for the season ahead and working on your game, that means for me it is all about the ball and a high intensity. I believe the long slogs of the past should have gone from the game now and lost of coaches have adapted to far better training methods as oppose to just running and slogging away for a couple of weeks without really working on player or team improvements.
We will step things up again over the course of the next three or four sessions before our first friendly at home to Thorn, that will be a game where I will look to get the whole squad at least 45 minutes and build on their actual match sharpness.
I understand that Bobby Brown is away to join the coaching staff at Tayport ?
Yes Bobby has made that decision to step away and try something new across the water, we had a good chat about it and I fully understand and respect his decision. In football players and coaches come and go, it is part and parcel of the game. When changes were made at Carnoustie last season after Alan McSkimming stepped away due to work commitments, Bobby remained as part of the team and worked with us. He had told me that if the previous management team ended up taking something else on then he would go along as he had promised to do so, he advised me what was happening at Tayport which is fair enough and I fully respect that as it is part of football nowadays. Bobby is a likeable character within the Junior game and for me was always keen on putting elements of the sessions together and discussing his views in the dressing room. I would like to wish Chris, Alan, who I understand has been helping Chris Grant and Bobby all the very best for the next chapter at Tayport and also thank Bobby for his contributions and experiences not just in my time but for the club over the last few years
Not ideal but I am sure you already have ideas of options to bring someone in
These things happen and as I said it is football, I was always looking to bring another coach in at some point anyway to make sure we had the right dynamics around the Football Club, When I came in, I had at that time Grant and Bobby setting up various parts of the drills, before working together on more structured work for the players and discussing team selections on a match-day because they knew the players and knew how they worked and it helped me understand the characters of some which I did not know that helped shape the team accordingly. It just means that the changes I had in mind need to be a bit sooner but at the same time I won’t rush into any decisions, for me it is not only identifying the right person from a backroom staff perspective but also one that integrates well with the squad and buys into what we are trying to build and develop as a club. That coach will bring fresh ideas and a new set of eyes on training methods and be comfortable in setting up and leading part of the sessions, while challenging myself, as Stevie Kowbel currently does, and working closely on making football decisions which is extremely important to me.
I am always keen to promote from within, which I haven’t completely ruled out and will consider all my options and discuss with Stevie and one or two senior players for feedback.