The brand new Canterbury City website caught up with joint manager Josh Hall to capture his thoughts on the current situation and his short time at the club so far.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Josh. I am sure like everyone else you are disappointed the season has come to a close, but the health and safety of everyone comes first in a time like this. It looked like you were just starting to build some momentum looking at the last five or so results, how do you assess your time in charge so far?
“As you can imagine, the start we had to life with Canterbury City was a very busy one. To assemble a squad from scratch over Christmas and 5 days to prepare was a huge challenge and a learning curve for both myself and Chris. We took a couple of results on the chin as we expected to but we found a team spirit and belief beginning to creep into the side. As you said, the last 5 results of the season were more positive in performances. Although we lost against Sheppey, the fight and spirit of our boys was superb. Followed by a 5-0 win over Welling, we looked like a squad which was settling into a rhythm and the boys were gelling well together. It has been an exciting last few months and gives us lots of promise for next season. We have seen backroom staff join us and additions across the structure of the club to aid in moving things forward. It’s certainly going to be an exciting summer, all things considering.”
The squad you and Chris had put together was quite a young side. Was this always the plan and can we expect to see more of the same next season?
“Yes I think so. We could go after the most experienced heads in the league that know how the league works and all that, however I think the squad we have here are young, exciting and most importantly they’re hungry. Some lacked opportunities at previous clubs, a couple have dropped out of professional academies, one or two not ever playing at this level before. They all fit our model and they buy in to what we want to achieve. Chris and I of course always want the best players but at the same time, they have to be right and have the right personalities to go with their ability to play football. To create the right atmosphere you first need players with the same mind-set and that’s what we are trying to do.”
“We believe in all the young lads we’ve got and want to give them the platform to do well, and whether that’s with us here or whether its elsewhere, we want to provide the boys with an experience that will ultimately develop them as players. Providing an environment where these boys can learn, grow and develop into their full potential is crucial to us as coaches but also them as players.”
Have you had much contact with the players since football has stopped? It seems odd talking about next season’s plans in early April, but do you anticipate making many changes to the squad you have currently got to work with?
“Has it stopped?! We don’t anticipate too many changes hopefully. As I said earlier, we believe in these boys and their abilities. We’ve got a fantastic spine of players who have a point to prove in this league and leagues above. That’s the sort of player that we want at Canterbury. Hungry players are the most dangerous and the most exciting, we believe in them and hopefully they believe in us to help them along the way.”
We recently heard about the clubs plans to begin to rebuild the youth section next season. That sounds like an exciting project, what sort of involvement will you have in that?
“My history is working with the youth set ups through all ages and something that as a city, Canterbury City in my opinion so desperately needed. My involvement along with Chris is to Head it all up and help put a structure in place for the young footballers of Canterbury and local areas to grow and develop, hopefully towards future first team players. With installing a structure, there also needs to be coaches and I think that giving coaches the opportunity to work with these players is also a positive experience. Young coaches who want to start plying their trade have the opportunity here with us, with our support to help them along their personal learning journeys.”
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