BRIAN Little says that the success of Boston United and Guiseley helped convince him that a young squad is the way to success in Blue Square Bet North.
Speaking to the Standard earlier this week, Little said, “At the end of the season, I met up with Peter Swann (chairman) and Steve Housham (football development manager) and we discussed a game plan for moving the club forward.”
“We looked at the success of the clubs that did well last season, and all of them had a much younger squad than ours.”
“It didn’t take a genius to work out that bringing in younger players was the way forward.”
Little also indicated that the opinion of the club’s fans also helped shape the decision making process.
“By and large, football fans know what they want to see and what they want to spend their money watching.”
“As well as younger players, they like to see width and pace, and we lacked in that department last season.”
“I got a lot of criticism over the course of the season, but if people had been coming up and shaking my hand after some of the performances I would have wondered what was wrong.”
“We let ourselves down last year, but I never intended to walk away at any point.”
“The pressure last season was immense and a less experienced manager may have doubted himself, but I know I’m still the right man for this job.”
The management team of Little and Steve Housham have been busy in recent weeks improving the squad ahead of pre-season, and the former Aston Villa boss has nothing but praise for his new colleague.
“Having Steve on the doorstep has been vital to our transfer strategy.”
“We’ve signed a couple of players I don’t know much about, but Steve has proved that he has good judgement when it comes to signings and I trust him completely.”
“I’m happy with how it is all coming together at this point.”
“We do need a few more players, and we perhaps need to bring in an experienced head to help Gavin (Cowan), but the balance of the squad looks good.”
The new players may be found at the club’s open trials, which are being held later this month.
“The trials are simply our way of seeing what is out there.”
“We always get plenty of CVs sent to us and this is a good way to see as many lads as possible.”
“Some players get released from professional clubs at 18, which is too young.”
“Some of them will come into our league and find the most competitive football they have ever played.
“There will be lads that may need to drop another level or two and earn their stripes, but there is always the chance that we will see players that can contribute to our squad.”
Looking ahead to the new season, the veteran manager describes his mood as “quietly confident”.
“Every football manager and fan starts the season looking forward to success. It doesn’t always happen that way, but in August everyone is optimistic.
“Last year it didn’t pan out the way we had hoped, and of course there are no guarantees it will all click together.”
“What I am confident of is that the lads will play with pride and passion.
“We hope we can give the fans more to cheer about this time around.”