Last weekend Karen went to a concert in Tel-Aviv. It meant I had a day to myself. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.
I bought in supplies: Lebanese coffee; A3 paper, which I find good for planning purposes; and a Nicaraguan cigars to smoke on the balcony. I don’t often smoke, but I find the occasional cigar conducive to contemplation.
It’s a mild day, so I roll back the balcony door, to let in the air, set up a playlist (Bo Kaspers Orkester), brew a pot of the coffee, and settle down at the breakfast table to think.
The question I need to decide is, how are we going to develop this club in the long-term? My no. 1 football hero, Dario Gradi, would surely say, ‘Youth’. Which is what he did at Crewe, with great effectiveness.
I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go down that route, but I decide to write down all the reasons, just to check that the rationale’s as strong as I feel it is. Here’s the list that I wrote:
- We have only basic junior coaching in place.
- Our youth recruitment is average at best.
- Our youth training facilities are below average.
- Except for the Head of Youth Development, we have no U19 staff.
- Putting all the above right will take a very long time…
- And cost a lot of money.
- It doesn’t excite me.
But if that’s not going to be the strategy, what is?
Time for the first cigar.