ONE more match to go but I am already looking forward to next season. It could be the most exciting in the club’s history – on and off the field.When we kick off again on August 8 we will be stronger as a team and a lot fitter. There will also be new faces around to provide healthy competition right through the squad.
Just how many I don’t know until I have had a meeting with our chairman Steve Hamer, vice-chairman Neil McClure and chief executive Peter Day. That takes place next week, when I will be told how much I have to spend.
With the Morfa development continually moving forward as well, these really are exciting times – and it’s my responsibility to ensure that we get it right on the field.
In the six months I have been in charge there have been improvements although not enough to satisfy me, nor the supporters, as I discovered at the fans’ forum this week.
It was the first time I had done anything quite like that as a manager and I have to admit I was not looking forward to it. To say I was a little nervous was putting it mildly, but despite my misgivings it was a very worthwhile exercise.
I expected to take a bit of flak. That was not a surprise but I answered the questions in the only way I know – honestly. By the end of the night I think most of the fans realised that we were sincere about everything we are trying to do at the club.
We made every attempt to tell supporters the truth and from the feedback afterwards I think that was appreciated by everyone who was there.
I know one or two pointed to the fact that the chairman and vice-chairman were absent but they both had genuine reasons for not being able to attend.
I’ve spoken to Neil McClure and he was very upset at having to cry off and has promised to make a huge effort to attend if we arrange to meet the fans again.
While I have always recognised that the supporters are the lifeblood of any club and that they are entitled to have their say, football, like any sport, is all about opinions.
Ultimately, though, mine is the only one that counts because mine is the only job that is on the line. But I am not contemplating failure.
All I want is to build a successful team. This is my first chance at being a manager and I desperately want to succeed.
In many ways it’s been an eye opener dealing with the many different aspects to the job.
So far it’s been highs and lows all the way with too many lows for my liking. Hopefully that will change.
I admit I have made mistakes and I have been a little naive in certain matters, as I told the fans.
But I genuinely believe I have learned quickly from those mistakes and I’ll be coming out of the blocks a lot stronger next season, just like the players, and a lot wiser, too.
I’ve been enjoying watching some of the junior finals at the Vetch this week. What enthusiasm!
I had the chairman with me at one of the matches on Sunday and I drove back to Swansea last night to take in another final.
With Malcolm Elias making such an impact in his early weeks as our new youth development officer it’s important we support him whenever we can.
That means being seen at all the finals and if I cannot make one of them Alan Curtis will be there. It’s not a hardship for either of us because we both love watching the kids.
Who knows, one day we could be coaching some of them at the Vetch.