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It’s the end of season one and the time to reflect on my first season as a manager. Like my previous journey to united on FM15, I was sacked by Coventry with the first few months. This time, I knew what I had to do and set about finding a new club and ended up as Vanarama National League South side Wealdstone FC.
Wealdstone FC were struggling at the bottom half of the league. My plan was to secure their survival in the division then make a plan for next season. I use very defensive tactics which at time was frustrating to watch as very minimal goals were scored in the remaining games. Whilst, I was frustrating, it was necessary. Since joining the club, I could not look at the immediate future, but further ahead to next season and beyond.
After the frustrating lead up to the end of the 2017/18 season, Wealdstone finished in what I would deem to be a respectable 13th compared to their position in the league when I joined. A total of 13 wins, 16 draws and 13 losses saw the team finish the season with 55 points. In my opinion, since my arrival, I’ve leveled the playing style out in preparation for next season.
Congratulations go to Welling United who clinched automatic promotion and Dartford who won the Playoffs to get promoted to the Vanarama National League. Commiserations to Whitehawk, Hungerford and oxford who suffered from relegation this season.
At the end of the season, the board gave me some feedback on my management. On a positive note, they were happy with my management of the team. But, they are disappointed at my attempts to play a possession style of football.
I have previously mentioned that I like to play possession football. But, when I joined Wealdstone, that was not the priority. My goal, as mentioned, was to settle the team in the division then I’ll move towards bringing in some players to play possession football.
Towards the end of my short time at Coventry, I asked them to send me on a coaching course. This coaching course I finished towards the end of this season. I am now the proud holder of the National C licence, the start on my gaining the numerous coaching qualifications all the way to the Continental Pro Licence. Gaining the National C licence has improved my coaching attributes slightly as you’ll be able to see below.
Having guided the team through the second half of the season in a successful manner, the board where happy enough to give me a new contract. With Wealdstone only being a semi-professional club, they are only able to offer their players and staff part time one year contracts. I was offered a one year contract where I will be paid £300 per week with some additional bonuses and clauses including a wage rise if I am able to lead the team to promotion and a total of £1,300 if Wealdstone win the FA trophy. On the other side, if Wealdstone get relegated, I can expect a 35% wage decrease. But, if Wealdstone are at risk of relegation, I don’t expect me to be at the club for the whole of the contract that the board have offered me.
Before looking ahead to pre-season planning I made a request to the board to help the development of youth at the club. The first request was to improve the junior coaching budget and the second was to improve the youth recruitment.
Both requests where accepted by the board. We’ll have to wait and see how much effect this has. Being a lower league semi-professional club, at some point I am going to have to rely on the youth players in games. So, I hope that by increasing the junior coaching budget and improving the youth reaps rewards in the long run.
Preparations for pre-season, new players arrive, how will I approach making the team play a possession style of football?