Apologies for the delay in updating my notes, the problem I have is Iam not good at summarisation and the longer I leave off making notes the more I know I have to do so it becomes a vicious circle.. perhaps I should make a greater effort so sorry for that.
At Last we have sorted out MARK the fan with his new Norton shirt… eventually!!! The guy’s been waiting for almost three moths for it never a day or so has gone by without Mark ringing, or sending texts and seeking me out to find out the situation.
It made me think how lucky we are to have such a loyal fan, I took the time to sit with Mark on a recent trip to Cheadle Town he never stops talking about Norton the history the people the games ..good and bad and his genuine love for Norton. The lads have come to really like him and I wished we had another 100 or so in the club with his enthusiasm, however we have had installed on the coach a DVD to watch, and to be honest turn the volume up on….The guy never stops talking on his new website which is about darts betting.
There is no truth either in the fact that any player who has not played well has to sit with him on the trip back or that one player took a taxi home to avoid this …only joking Mark…..really. Your great to have around.
So lets be positive it is no surprise that a number of clubs, Atherstone, Cheadle Town, Runcorn and yes even Bootle have made comment to the fact that we have so much potential in our players, in fact Runcorn stated ‘‘We are amazed at your league position, you should be at least a top half side’’. Good words …take it how you want to but from my side and Gary’s too, we are not surprised. Our performances have without question started to come together and are more consistent we are still a long way from where we want to be in terms of results but make no mistake we will keep working to improve our game which will in turn have a big influence on our performance level, once our performances become more consistent the results will follow. I have not and will not go on about our win at Cheadle Town one win its not good enough so we end it there. The players know my feelings on this one and we have all had our input. You will see a change in our performance should you be able to make the Leek CSOB game I promise.
New players have been attracted to our club the likes of Beasley, Goodwin, and Roberts are now becoming part of the squad and this alone takes time for players to gel and feel part of the set-up. Dean Wylie and Rob Addlington both on loan are players we hope to keep with us at Norton together with Paul Tortishell who will develop rapidly with a regular game. We will be talking to these lads in the next few days as to their longer term commitment to Norton. Peter Murphy another new face has impressed me with his attitude his work rate and determination to want to play this should be rewarded with a start against Leek CSOB on Tuesday night.
So while the new faces come in we need to manage our players who have stood by both Gary and myself so far this season. We know what we have with these lads and the addition of new players should not be to replace but enhance what we have already and to increase the challenge to have a place in the starting line-up.
We are particularly pleased with Dean Latham, it is no secret that both Dean and I locked horns earlier in the season but what has impressed me is the way he has fought through extremely tough times, enduring to say the least a number of games where the goals against us have been unacceptable. His last two performances have been outstanding. There are other players in the squad who have now started to settle and play far better, this is having a great positive rub-off effect on the team.
Barry Weston as gone on loan to Hanford In the Staffs County Premier League, Its important we have goalkeepers to call on but you can only play two and with Jacko playing well also, Barry needs to play. I think it speaks volumes that the lad does not want to leave us and is happy to wait for his chance. He kept a clean sheet on Saturday when Hanford beat Hanley Town 2-0.
We will continue to look out for players with the potential to play at a higher level but please be reminded in many cases it has to be the potential we look for as an already proven player on top of his game will want other motivational incentives to attract them to another club
Both Gary and myself will continue to aim for the style and standards we so much believe in and this goes for both on and off the field and we thank all of you who have shared your thought with us and support our efforts to move Norton United forward.
On the subject of moving the club forward we need to start to think very much to the future of our youth policy with the appointment of a Head Youth coach. Our ideas should focus on a structured plan for the development of all our younger players and I will be having a chat with our chairman related to this. I have had a chat with a couple of Youth Development officers and coaches from professional clubs who would be happy to come along to Norton and give there views as to how we can be more interlocked with them with the movements of players and the development and coaching related to this. At present I think as a club we have probably one of the highest level of qualified coaches available of any non professional local team including a qualified goalkeeping coach. We should use this to develop and earn revenue for the club.
Good luck and all best wishes to the lads who will be playing in the FA Youth Cup with Eccelshall, Cokey Adam, Bowey and Jako all the best to you all. A win will give you the opportunity to play one of the bigger clubs so I really hope you can all be part of this.
Well done to our reserves who are having a really good season Dave and Dennis continue to get results and play good football at the same time, not easy in any league. Our under 18s continue to do well and have progressed in the sentinel cup I would love to see them go far in this competition it still carries a great amount of respect and says a lot about the young sides and clubs that do well in it. Thanks to the lads who gave up their time to come and help with my recent UEFA assessment it was much appreciated.
With regards to our under 15s I WILL come and see you but with watching players in the week and training two nights in addition sometimes every week night is taken up. Sunday is the only day I see Jacqui my wife…and to be honest Iam frightened to death of her…….. so I have to be really careful on this one.