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Friday, June 29, 2007

A Year Later, Gary Waddock Talks to Aldershot Fans


Full Report From Aldershot Town Supporters Forum
A packed Phoenix Club saw a successful Fans Forum on Friday evening where supporters were introduced to new manager Gary Waddock. Also representing the club were Chairman John McGinty and Chief Executive Doug Wilson. We provide a synopsis of the matters addressed by Gary at the meeting. We will provide further information provided by John and Doug on the website during next week.

A packed Phoenix Club witnessed an encouraging evening on Friday as supporters were introduced to new manager Gary Waddock who conducted himself with enthusiasm and humour added with a noticeable desire to be successful.

The new boss was included in a panel of three people with Chairman John McGinty and Chief Executive Doug Wilson.

The 45 year old former Irish international explained how his previous experiences should hold him in good stead for the future before opening the floor to questions. Gary explained that he had accumulated approximately 600 senior appearances in an extensive career that started at QPR.

He also appeared 21 times for the Republic of Ireland before a coaching career saw him responsible for the Youth Team, Reserve Team and eventually Manager at his boyhood club.

The Forum lasted two and a half hours and the following points were discussed by the new boss:

Gary Waddock

- He said that the turn out at the Forum was fantastic and he was appreciative of the welcome he has received.

-He explained that he wants to return Aldershot as a Football League club during his tenure as manager of Aldershot Town Football Club and whilst there are no guarantees that is his aim. He knows plenty about the Conference and is confident that the club can compete next season. He will not get carried away and he has set his own target and wants a period of sustained success to progress the club.

- Gary said that many names have been bandied about as possible targets for next season. He continued, stating that he was in talks with a number of potential signings and would talk to anybody with the ingredients he is after to improve the squad.

- He is hoping to operate on a squad of 18 players but added that although the current squad has 12 players Ryan Scott will not be available at the start of the new campaign due to his broken leg sustained at Altrincham. He is hoping for positive news next week. Within the squad he is looking at permanent signings. The loan market will only be considered during the campaign dependant on injuries and other relevant matters.

- Whilst he would not elaborate on any possible signings he did state that the players that he has spoken to have been impressive and want to play for the club. If these targets do sign for the club the announcements will be made through the official website after all paperwork and medicals have been completed.

- If the preferred players did commit themselves to the club the supporters will be enthused.

- All 12 players that are signed up so far will start with a clean slate and that from what he has seen Terry Brown and Martin Kuhl brought in some quality players with whom he is looking forward to working with.

- Gary is expecting Nikki Bull to report for pre season training and is in his plans for season 2007/08 and that he has not received any offers for Nikki at this moment in time. He also confirmed that Nikki played under him at QPR and he is looking forward to working with Nikki again. Louis Wells will be coming back for pre season training to have a look at him.

- Former Aldershot Town player Adam Miller also worked with Gary at QPR and he rates him as a person and a player and believes that he was unfortunate not to have become a regular first team player at Loftus Road.

- The supporters will get to know Gary and that he has a burning desire to succeed. He wants to do that at Aldershot Town and he wants to show people what a good manager he is.

- He confirmed that his teams will be organised, professional and fit and will play a passing game. His teams will, however, be adaptable and If he needs to change things during the course of a game he will.

- He is aiming to bring in younger players who are more athletic and who can get around the pitch but he wants quality too.

Along with Martin Kuhl Gary wants to develop players to make them better performers. That will ensure that the club also has players that are assets too which will ensure that we have a successful team.

- An emphasis of developing players that will progress through the youth ranks to the first team will be encouraged.

- Whilst it is a priority to achieve Football League status whether in the short or medium term a concentration of achieving cup success would be advantageous too.

- A captain will be decided once the players have returned to training where Gary will have the opportunity to assesss a suitable candidate.

-Gary confirmed that he is in overall control and he wants to command respect from his players.

- He is a family man who has been married for 24 years with an 11 year old daughter who are both football supporters too. He lives in Berkshire and is aware of the history of the club.

- The most influential Coach/Manager he ever played under was Terry Venables. He learnt an awful lot from him during his time at QPR and will utilise what he has learnt in addition to expressing his own ideas.

- The hardest, most difficult opponent he ever came across was Graeme Souness.

- He has watched Aldershot Town over the past couple of years and said that he knows where the areas are required for improvement. He said that with the planned signings due the squad will be improved.

He also added that some horrendous individual errors were made in matches last season and that whilst the manager is there to be shot at players have to take responsibility too. If the needless mistakes had been cut out last season the club would have finished a lot higher than it did. He also said that one of the matches he viewed during the last campaign was at Woking which was a great indication of where improvements are required.

- He has known Martin Kuhl for some time coming across him as a player and also during his time as Youth Coach at QPR when Martin held a similar role at Aldershot and they get on famously well and Martin's coaching experience and also knowledge of the Football League and Conference was invaluable.

He also expressed how supportive Martin has been since he arrived at the club. They will work together as a team but Gary will have the final decisions.

- Gary said that football clubs are all about the supporters. A massive positive he has noticed in his short time at Aldershot is the enthusiasm around the club and the kindness of the supporters and staff.

- The players that he has spoken to have all commended the supporters of Aldershot Town knowing that when they have played at the Rec for other clubs they notice the positive backing of the home crowd.

- Gary was informed about the RBA and their supportive and enthusiastic role of playing as a "12th man" for the team. He expressed how appreciative he was of this and that he will do everything he can to do well and said that the supporters can make a massive part in the success.

- He concluded that QPR had been a large part of his life. He grew up in north west London near Wembley and joined the club as a 13 year old progressing through the ranks to make his first team debut at 17. He will always look out for their results but confirmed that he is fully committed to Aldershot Town Football Club and he is now a new supporter of Aldershot Town and relishing his new challenge. Aldershot

ALDERSHOT Supporters Forum- Further Update
We are pleased to inform supporters of non playing matters that were discussed at the packed Supporters Forum held at the Phoenix Club on Friday evening where fans were introduced to new manager Gary Waddock. The matters listed were discussed by Chief Executive Doug Wilson and Chairman John McGinty...
He added that with the arrival of Gary Waddock, the known strength of the core squad plus anticipation of new signings coupled with the efforts of our new key sponsor, Ezylet.co.uk the Board hope to notably exceed this conservative number, but this of course rests firmly with the fans.
He also confirmed the importance of operating to a balanced budget. Clearly the club has to address its overall financial position but Gary has been advised if the attendances are regularly higher and we do well in Cup competitions some additional funding for the player budget will be forthcoming during the course of the season...
Chelsea FC
- Chelsea FC has been exceptionally good to Aldershot Town since the inaugural agreement of their reserves playing at the Rec commenced in 2001/02. In accordance with the contract they have already paid the club for season 2007/08 giving the Board a cushion whilst they look at alternative opportunities....

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