We catch up with Shaun on how pre-season is going and the plans over the coming weeks.
Q. Hi Shaun, so we have had a few weeks off and it’s a few weeks until training starts up again, have you and Daz managed to have a break?
A. To be fair no, we’re grabbing a five day break next week, it will be nice to spend some quality time with the Daz and it’s fair to say it can’t come soon enough.
Q. The break in-between seasons can often be stressful and a busy time for managers, how has it been for you?
A. As soon as the season finishes my preparation starts, as you can imagine my phone has been non-stop as any other manager will tell you, but I can honestly say that weirdly I’ve enjoyed it .. after my short break I’ll be ready to get cracking, and go again.
Q. We have seen some signings over the past few weeks can you tell us a little more about the experienced Lloyd Cotton and Jamie Brotherton who are two new faces to the club?
A. Yeah I’m delighted to get them both on board, I had them with me at Peacehaven and we got on very well and had some great times. Both are winners and have a fantastic approach and attitude towards their football, it shows how far this club has come that we can attract players of this quality along with the players that have been retained, I’m really excited to work with both Jamie and Lloyd again.
Q. You have also brought in some younger players in Matt Boiling and Henry Watson, both defenders, what drew your attention to them?
A. It’s fair to say I’ve had one eye on Henry for a while and he will tell you I worked very hard to get him on board, Matt was recommended to me, I’m really pleased to have both as part of this season’s squad.
Q. Returning to the club are Ryan Warwick and Luke Glover, it must be pleasing to have them back in blue and white?
A. Yeah I’m delighted to have both back on board, I never wanted Ryan to leave the club, he’s a fantastic player who I know very well, it’s going to be a big season for him. Luke did very well for our U18s the season before last, he did make his 1st team debut and did very well, university took him away, but I’ve always had contact and he also is a fantastic signing for us.
Q. It’s great to see the core of the squad signed up and committed to the club early, that must please you?
A. Absolutely, I’m really pleased to be going into pre-season with most of the squad in place, I’m still talking to a few, but it’s shaping up very nicely.
Q. Of course there are always players that are not retained or choose to move on to pastures new, can you tell us who won’t be in blue and white next season?
A. Of the squad that finished last season, I have retained who I wanted, that’s being totally honest. Antony, Alex, Tyrese, David, Alu, and Omar won’t be with us next season, I thank them for their involvement and wish them all well.
Q. We have a good pre-season schedule lined up including a brilliant home tie with Lewes, what are you looking for in the friendly matches?
A. I have a way I want to set out next season, so we'll be working hard on shape, I’ll also be looking at a few players throughout pre-season, so it’s a win-win, we have some good games and even talking about it gets me excited.
Q. Finally, last season was a great first season at Step 4, what are your goals and aims for this coming season?
A. Last season was a great achievement from the lads, this season our first aim will be to get as many points on the board by Christmas to be comfortable and hopefully within touching distance with the pack above, then to punch on and finish as high as we can. One thing is for sure, we will be competitive and you never know once again we’ll be trying to surprise a few people. It’s a tough league and this year will be very competitive with a few local derby games but again exciting times for the club. I was at the club today and saw firsthand how hard Roy has been working on the playing surface, it’s looking fantastic already, and with all the work going on at the club, I’m really pleased to be on board and part of the ongoing progress on and off the pitch of this great club.
Thank you Shaun for taking the time to do the interview, hope you have a good break away and look forward to catching up in a few weeks’ time.