Backroom staff key to Stags’ success

NMAC12-1280-1''STags Fan Craig Priest
NMAC12-1280-1''STags Fan Craig Priest

TICK tock tick tock, the annoying sound of a seemingly-slow clocking passing the time until football returns with a pre-season friendly with Leamington on 14th July – the silence of close season is often a killer as we wait for news and the return of the beautiful game.

Last week was a torrid one in terms of waiting, after the double addition of Clements and Tolley, news was sparse before Luke Jones arrived for a second spell in the famous amber and blue, however already knowing what he can offer, my thoughts switched to names I’d like to see put pen to paper – as I mentioned in my printed column this week, the backroom staff is vital for me.

Paul Cox mentioned in an interview that he has offered Micky Moore a new contract but didn’t mention if the deal was as assistant manager or another role on the backroom staff, an area the former Eastwood boss is eager to strengthen. Personally I hope it’s as assistant boss, I’ve spent time in the same room as them both and have seen first hand the way they work, having lengthy conversations with the duo about football in general and our beloved club.

The pair’s thought process is seemingly intricate with each other’s and they are very analytical and detailed in their coaching philosophy, this transpires on the training pitch too, something I’ve also been privileged to witness. 
Moore is a very friendly guy to chat with and speaks openly about the game and his ideas. On the training pitch his coaching sessions are high quality and structured in the correct way to get the best results, as we saw post-Christmas.

Last season was the first he and Cox had worked together with Moore declining a contract extension as boss of Solihull Moors to take the number two role at the One Call Stadium, the partnership has been natural and I think if it were to end it would take someone special to come in and better the job Moore has done so far.

The other name I mentioned in this week’s article was that of Andy Todd, who is currently in contract discussions with Paul. As player coach Andy was as much a key part to our success as Micky Moore was, creating and delivering fresh coaching sessions.

I’ve spoken to a few of the youth team lads who will be making the step up to the senior side in the coming days and all have highlighted Todd as a positive influence, the former Nottingham Forest man watching them closely and handing them their chance in “reserve team” behind-closed-doors friendlies.

It’s this influence and natural eye for development which puts Todd in the frame for the reserve team manager’s job next season.

Aside from coaching, Andy also offers an option as a player and despite only nine appearances last season, can always be relied upon to influence and change games. I’ve watched Andy play in training games and the aforementioned friendly matches, he is always the most energetic player on the pitch and the most adaptable, playing right back, right wing, left back and left wing to name a few of the positions. If you’re looking for a utility player for a handful of games who can coach and manage too, Andy’s your man.

Next season will see a reserve team introduced, I’m told it will be in the Central Reserves League Central Division, alongside the likes of Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest – the same league we we’re in during the 2008-09 season when we finished bottom. It is a very competitive division equivalent to top half BSBP and bottom half League two – the perfect platform for the younger players to develop, doing so under the influence of Todd or Moore would see us with the best development set up we’ve had for years, their respective signatures could be the most vital in the coming weeks.

Before I end this week I’d just like to mention what an excellent addition striker Nick Wright is, him having signed after I sent my column in for print. With 17 goals last season for a club that finished 6th, goals mainly coming with appearances from the bench; we’ve got a natural goal scorer. His style of play fits perfectly with ours and I’m confident that he and Green can form a strong partnership, with the likes of Dyer, Rhead and Hutchinson all pushing too – we could have the hottest front line in the division.

Role on pre-season when we can see the wheels begin to spin eh! Thanks for reading, continue the conversation on twitter, @craigpriest14