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Brian Caffarey - 3rd June 2008


It was standing room only in the Cardinals? Bar last night as Chairman David Taylor and Director of Football Colin Lippiatt introduced the Club?s new Head Coach Kim Grant and Assistant Coach Phil Gilchrist.

For those fans who weren?t able to be present or listen to the BBC Southern Counties live broadcast, here is a summary (in ?telegraphese?) of the main points.

Selection process ? 39 applicants, 12 interviewed, 4 on final list; 3 out of 4 had significant experience abroad; decided to ?break with tradition? and move to a different ?Continental? approach to coaching, preparation and play on the pitch; KG and PG presented very impressive dossier about their approach to the job, on which they were questioned at length; selection panel unanimous in their choice; don?t have management experience but tick all the other ?boxes? identified: have lots of relevant experience and motivational skills and will bring a completely different approach; very grateful to John McGinty (Aldershot Town Chairman) for his advice on process (DT); convinced we?ve made the right choice: KG and PG have passion, energy, youth and ideas; both have excellent pedigrees in the game; don?t have management experience but everyone has to start somewhere (CL); ?privilege and honour? to be chosen as Head Coach; looking forward to working with everyone at the Club to take it forward; believe Club represents a great place in which to start a management career, with solid foundations and a good infrastructure (KG); very pleased to be selected; good impressions of the Club from time at Oxford United; will do our best to achieve the Club?s ambitions: hopefully, quicker than the target! (PG)

Club?s ambition ? to get into the Football League in three years; want team to play with flair, pride and passion for 90 minutes in every game; time that this great Club realised its ambitions (DT); have got ambitious, hard-working Board, an excellent football management team and great support ?behind the scenes?; very exciting time for the Club; everyone, including fans, must pull in the same direction (CL);

Style of play ? want to see fast, attacking, attractive football with good passing (KG and PG)

Squad ? increased budget should allow KG to bring in 5 or 6 new players (DT); have players in mind, a mixture of foreign and English players, who might be suitable additions; will discuss them with CL; too soon to be precise in public about priority positions (KG and PG both completing very intensive UEFA B course at Keele at present); emphasis on youth (KG) but, as experience at Oxford this season shows, need a leavening of more experienced players (PG); KG and PG will both register to play; KG hopes to play reasonably frequently and to scores some goals (KG); will rotate ?captaincy? in pre-season before making a final decision (KG)

Training ? will introduce a number of new ideas; players will train twice a day; may take time for players to ?buy into? new ideas but believe that they will see the benefits; using UEFA course to refine ideas on fitness, nutrition etc; team will be very fit (PG); want training to be fun too (KG)

Management team ? strong football management team now in place: KG and PG; Trevor Porter, goalkeeping coach; Graham Baker, Dennis North and Matty Howard for the Academy (essential ?conveyor belt? for the Club); Steve Snelling and Jake Taylor, physiotherapists; Ron Rawlings and Malcolm Jobling, kit men; CL?s change of title to ?Director of Football? just a simplification: doesn?t imply any change in responsibilities: will offer advice when asked but KG and PG will take the final decisions (CL)

Off the pitch ? players will play a full part in the Club?s community initiatives, visiting schools, hospitals etc; will also be available to talk to fans, sign autographs etc; two potential sponsors: announcement will be made when negotiations finalised; Jane Spong appointed to Board as Community Director (DT)

New season ? expected to start on 9 August; friendly against Oxford City has been switched to 30 July.(Phil Ledger)

Brian Caffarey
4 June 2008

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