After a superb Macron Cup win and a well deserved break, 1874 returned to training on Tuesday. With a vigorous first session back featuring the bleep test won by Mark Jones, Club Media Officer Matt Waters caught up with joint manager Paul Bowyer.
The interview began with brief reflection of the 2018/19 season, including the success of the Macron Cup. Speaking on Tuesday, Paul said, “We needed that win after a disappointing season in lots of ways and that performance shows the potential of the club. However we have to move on, it’s a new season and we can’t have another hangover period like we did last year.”
With a lot of familiar faces returning to training after the summer break, Paul believed, that those players coming in should make the current squad raise their game. “We’ve identified 2 or 3 areas that we needed to strengthen and we are happy with the players that will come in and sign for us.” He added, “It’s a mixture of both experienced and younger players we’ve brought in that me and Wayne watched last season.”
One area that Paul believed could be improved upon from last season, was pre season. Paul commented, “We’re confident with the run of games that we’ve got that we’ve got it right. We aren’t playing anyone for fitness, we are starting with an Evo Stik club and want to give everyone an opportunity and we’ve got 7 games to do so.”
With the move to Barnton, Paul believed it’s important to get things right on and off the pitch. “The move to Barnton is exciting and everyone at the club is looking forward to it including the players. It’s important that we get a good start to the season and that we have consistency throughout. We’ve put things in place to allow this to happen by putting 3 of the players on contracts and also former player Andy Hurst coming in as a scout.”
When speaking about Andy, Paul said, “ It’s great to have Andy on board to help watch other teams and players. We try to watch as many games as we can do but it’s great to have another set of eyes to help us prepare for our opposition. Our plan this season is better on and off the pitch.”
It was clear when speaking to Paul that the squad was focussed on its targets for next season. “We want to do ourselves justice and finish as high and perform as well can. As this season there’s more promotion spots than ever, Paul commented, “I’ve been involved in football at this level for around 20 years and it’s only ever been one up from the league. That means that competition will only get harder especially with some teams throwing a lot of cash at it. But we want to finish as high as we can.”
You can see 1874’s first preseason game away at Market Drayton on the 6th of July.