Roma enjoying challenge of being manager and teacher

Dominic Roma
Dominic Roma

Dom Roma has been pleased with what has been an enjoyable challenge in taking the reins as Blues boss for his first pre-season.

A period of time where he is normally, solely committed to getting fit for the new season, Roma has embarked on his first attempts at signing players, taking training and working full time as a teacher.

Roma admits that it has been a hectic couple of months.

He said: “Normally I’m just training hard during pre-season but this time I’ve had to put a team together as well so it has been a bit different this time round but I’ve enjoyed it.

“I wouldn’t say it has been difficult managing everything, including my day job, it’s been a challenge.

“With my job that I do as well you kind of have to learn to multitask and time management as well as prioritise certain things. I’ve worked out how to do it so far, I’ve been busy but I’ve enjoyed it.”

The former Sheffield United full back has used his ties in the game and his education to bring a more scientific approach to training, including introducing a fitness booklet which new strength and conditioning coach Chris Smithson handed out in June.

Roma believed that the Blues needed to get up to date with the game and brought in Smithson to get the team fit for the new campaign.

He said: “My background is obviously sports science so I am a big believer in and I think you have to move with the times as well.

“The game’s changed. Lads are getting quicker, getting stronger, the recovery is better in between games so you have to keep up with it or try and get ahead with it if you can. Chris has been brilliant with us, the sports science coach. They don’t give Masters out, so he knows his stuff. He doesn’t have a footballing background but he has been around the game over the last three or four years working with Sheffield United and Barnsley so he has good concepts of what footballers need to get fit and how they need to get there.

“He’s also a good listener and takes things on board. If I think the lads need to push themselves a bit more, he listens, you know he’s not come in and gone it’s my way and that’s it. It’s a team collective effort.”

A face seen for a few games at the end of last season has also been confirmed with Martin Foster being added as assistant manager.

He said: “I’ve known Fozzie for six years, he’s one of my best friends in football. He knows the game inside out, won this league as a player, won the conference as a player and has his coaching badges.

“I knew what he was going to bring to the table and the lads do to. They know we want to do well and they realised quite quickly that we weren’t here to mess about.”

Foster had a brief spell in charge of Matlock Town and Roma knows that the two will get the best out of each other.

He said: “Martin was caretaker manager for 10 to 12 games, I know what he is like and vice versa. It’s never going to be an issue that he already has managerial experience.

“I’m not going to be one of those managers who is not going to listen to his assistant, it would be stupid to do that as you always learn of people and we always have that constant dialogue of what we want to do.

“On side of the pitch he pushes me as well, I push him and you will see at the games that if either of us need to say anything we will say it and the lads know that too.”