New Liversedge manager demands improvements
NEW Liversedge boss Stuart Waddington has his work cut out on the eve of the new Northern Counties East League season as he tries to raise a team from a squad he has described as 'not fit and not good technically'.
Waddington, recently arrived after leaving Glasshoughton, had his first glimpse of the squad in a 1-0 defeat in a pre-season friendly against Ossett Town last Saturday. He then witnessed a 4-1 capitulation against Bay Athletic of the West Riding County Amateur League on Tuesday night.
"I wanted to give everyone a chance to prove themselves but they came up short," said Waddington.
"I am going to have to freshen it up as some of the players were not fit, they lacked enthusiasm, they didn't have much energy and they were not that good technically."
Waddington said he was not too surprised by what he discovered in the two matches he had seen.
"I had heard rumours before, when I was asking around about the club, and I also knew they had lost heavily to Littletown, a West Riding County Amateur League Division One team."
He added: "I was surprised though that some of the players hadn't got themselves fit and didn't put the effort in knowing they had to prove themselves."
Waddington said there were some plusses about the match aginst Ossett Town when Liversedge appeared to be holding their own against a side from the Evo Stick Premier Division.
However, taken with the Bay Athletic result the majority was on the minus side.
He plans to make changes and bring in three or four new players more or less immediately with more to arrive at Clayborn in the future.
Waddington promises that the players will be much fitter and far better prepared.
"We will be training Tuesdays and Thursdays with the emphasis on fitness work on Tuesday and more technique work on Thursdays."
The immediate priority is to get a squad together to face Armthorpe at the Welfare Ground tomorrow, kick-off, 3pm. as the Northern Counties East League Premier Division kicks off.
It will be a tough task as Armthorpe finished third last year and have improved their squad.
"I have heard that they have increased their budget from last year and they will be among the favourites in the division this season."
He added that Armthorpe won over 80 per cent of their matches at home in the 2009-2010 season.
"Gary Birchall, who was one of those players who didn't play that badly last week will be out this weekend for the Armthorpe game," he added.
There are also doubts over the availability of Ryan Haigh, Jake Lawlor and Alan Jordan.
Waddington reflected on his aims and ambitions for Liversedge in the forthcoming campaign and is looking for safety first and realistically a mid-table finish.
"There are plenty of decent sides in the Premier Division and given that, as well as the squad we have as of now, I will be aimingfor us to be halfway up the league."
Waddington added that it will take three or four weeks for all the teams to settle into the league again but insisted that throughout it all any Liversedge side he sends out will be competetive and will be going out to win and take their chances.
"Despite everything I am looking forward to the challenge that is ahead of all of us at the club and I am confident that we can make a go of it here."
It will be an interesting season at Clayborn as the new manager's influence is felt and changes are made.