As the new season approaches, both Gaz and I are hugely excited and proud to have been given the opportunity to manage Clitheroe FC and we are relishing the challenge here in building a new exciting chapter for the club.
We have taken over on the back of a good season for the previous management team but also on the back of a big changeover in personnel. Whilst that's exciting for us, it's also challenging to basically build a team from scratch! We are thrilled to welcome Danny Brady back, as captain as he is a real leader and talisman for the club, and also delighted to have kept the exciting young talent of Kurt Willoughby, Michael Hampson, James Walker and Ryan Cattermole.
We are looking to bring an exciting brand of football to the club and also a professional environment for the players to work within and to improve individually and collectively. That requires the right kind of player that buys into our high standards. I expect hard work, honesty and a freedom to play for each other in an environment where players and coaches can express themselves and play with a smile. We expect total discipline on and off the field. My players will know from Day 1 that they represent and honour the badge on their chest at all times. We want to entertain the fans with exciting football but also with a defensive discipline needed to win football matches. This takes time and intelligence on the training field and that is where we can excel. Gareth and I are highly qualified UEFA coaches with a wealth of experience in the game both playing and coaching at the highest level. We have worked and played with the very best and we look forward to passing on these structures not just to this team but structures that will last forever and pass through to the youth team and junior teams of Clitheroe.
I have known Gaz for over 20 years and we have a real bond and trust. We have been waiting for an exciting opportunity like the one Clitheroe has given us for a few years now. We played Under-18 international football together right through to the Welsh senior team, and also spent four seasons at Tranmere together, so we have a footballing philosophy moulded together over 20 years. Gaz will still play as he is in great physical shape and can really help the young players around him and benefit the whole club massively. We are working tirelessly to bring in the right characters and working hard on the training field so when that first league game comes we are ready to show the league what Clitheroe FC are all about this season.
I ask that all the supporters get behind the team and the whole club. In my experience, a successful club is a united club from programme sellers to ground staff, through the players, manager, and boardroom. We will be successful if we have that synergy. Being Welsh I'm happy to steal the motto ‘Together, Stronger' as that is perfect for Clitheroe FC this season. Let’s all go and be successful together!
Updated 16:30 - 14 Aug 2016 by Michael Barker