Thursday Jul 25, 2013
Lambs boss Dale Belford spoke candidly about the coming season to an expectant clubhouse at The Lamb on Thursday evening.
You can read more about the event by clicking 'more'
After holding the title of assistant and caretaker manager in recent seasons, compere Mark Maybury introduced the newest Tamworth manager and Belford spoke about how the club has changed since he first came to The Lamb in the 1980s.
"They were fantastic days in the West Midlands League but that was light years away from where we are now and the standard of football is a world away.
"The new squad of players and management Scott and I have assembled feel we all have a point to prove for different reasons, but mainly because everyone will be wondering if we can do the job handed to us."
The first question from the floor asked about how the team would try and counter the usual good start to the season and subsequent decline.
"We have tried to build a squad with strength in depth, which sometimes was lacking in previous seasons but once the games start rolling in and injuries and suspensions come our way we just don't know what will happen"
Jose Veiga featured for the side at Rushall on Tuesday night, will he feature this season?
"The answer to that is open-ended at the moment. Jose contacted us to see if he could be involved and regain some fitness so we will see what happens.
"On the flip side, James Wren is a super keeper but needs to go and show how good a keeper he is and get some minutes under his belt."
If it all starts going wrong during a game, do you have a Plan B to put in action?
"Firstly I have to mention Scott Lindsey who not only is my best mate, but also the highest qualified coach this football has ever had and because of this we spend a lot of time, with Darren (Byfield), working on all aspects of the game both with and away from the players.
"At Conference level there will always be games that are not pretty or frustrating to watch but we are instilling into our squad the will to win be it with neat passing football or with a tough physical battle."
The overall discipline as poor last season, what are your thoughts on this?
"I recently had to attend a meeting with Chairman Bob Andrews at St. Georges Park because of this and although we were handed a reduced and suspended fine the stigma of being a poorly disciplined club is not one that sits well with me or the other coaching staff.
"We have introduced a new code of conduct for the players this season and while there will always be a level of ‘disagreement' with some decisions on the field it is how you react to them that is important and we will not tolerate abuse of the referee for any reason."
When we get to the end of April, how would you rate a successful season?
"Obviously we want to be successful and win everything but have to be realistic about it. I don't really care that much how other teams are getting on just as long a we are doing as well as we can.
I would measure our success by how the club has progressed off the field as well as on it - for example we recently secured our own training ground thanks to the hard work of people behind the scenes and it is that, as much as the players themselves, that helps make the club a success."
What homework do you do on opposition sides?
"We have games watched, review DVD's and send scouts out to watch matches before we play them and so can make educated decisions right up to the minute the team goes in on matchday."
What is the normal working week for a Lambs player?
Monday: Training from midday - there can be no excuse for a late arrival!
Tuesday: Training - a long or double session, unless we are playing on the evening
Wednesday: Day off
Thursday: We work on our shape for Saturday's game and I will pick the starting XI so that everyone knows what is expected of them
Friday: With Thursday's training in mind set pieces and light training are the order of the day
Sunday: Day off
Do you feel your squad has that ‘winning mentality'
"Only time will tell if the players themselves can raise themselves to the task in hand, but I have no doubt that we want The Lamb to be a fortress that teams don't want to come to, and that a trip to smaller teams carries the same weight as a trip to the bigger guns in the league.
Fans make a big effort and commit time and money going to games both home and away, what would you say to the players about this?
"The people who come through the turnstiles to support their club all deserve a level of respect from the players as without them there would be no club for them to play at and I expect my squad to show that no matter what the result acknowledgement of the fans after the final whistle costs nothing"
What are your thoughts on the Birmingham Senior Cup?
"Unlike last season, we don't have an option of fielding an Academy based side and I wouldn't want to do that anyway as I want my squad to go out and try and win every game.
Who is the one side that you really want to beat?
"Obviously the fans love local derby games and there is a level of anticipation about playing Nuneaton over the festive period on both sides. But I also want us to go to places where we have never won and get a result so those sorts of games rank just as highly on my list."
Are you nervous?
"No, I'm never nervous!"
A number of players were in attendance; Jordan Rose, Jack Evans, Richard Baker, Matt Regan, Tom Eckersley and Kaiyne Woolery; and they each gave a brief insight into their reasons for joining The Lambs before the evening drew to a close with a request from TeamBuilder to help Dale build his squad - more details can be obtained from the club.