New Yeovil Town first team manager Darren Sarll has given some of his early views on club management as he begins his tenure ahead of pre-season. The new boss has already called in the minimal squad he has on his books to meet them today, following his appointment last week that at least set some direction for the 2019-20 season.
One of the points that Sarll made in his first interview was the need for players and fans to realise that they were playing in the National League. In a weekend interview with the Non-League Paper he expanded on that and explained that his perception was that sometimes teams relegated from the Football League sometimes came into that division with the wrong sort of attitude, believing they didn't belong there. He said it was important to set that straight early on:
"What I have seen from afar with other clubs is that they have taken too long to accept they are in Non-League. The character, the personality of the team, the manager, the board, the supporters will have to be right. The key is to attract players with the right personality - they don't accept losing, they don't understand how people can live with it. They have the drive and desire to be a winner."
Sarll's first external recruit has been former Stevenage defender Luke Wilkinson, who spent the bulk of his time at Broadhall Way working under Sarll, having been one of Teddy Sheringham's final signings. However, he implied that Glovers fans might need to be a bit patient in terms of who else he brought in, saying that although he was looking at a compressed timeframe before the 2019-20 season starts, he'd rather get those key recruitment decisions right:
"I don't want to make bad decisions quickly. I would rather take my time and make good decisions. If we do that we will get a good product on the pitch. We need to make good decisions on players' abilities and see who we can attract within our financial constraints. We have to accept there's a natural expectation for us to be one of the top teams, and I have an expectation we will be one of the best teams. We have got an infrastructure, stadium and fan base that can drive to the Football League and up the Pyramid."
He also touched on a few other issues he has to contend with, the most major of which is the club's impending ownership takeover. Perhaps mindful that he could still end up working for either the current owners or the potential future owners, he said the task both faced was a hard one:
"In any walk of life, not knowing is one of the worst things. People have to empathise with the current owners because it's a big job to sell a club, amd with the new owners because it's harder to buy a club."
Whilst at Stevenage in his first front line job, Sarll worked under Glenn Roeder, who had been brought in shortly after Sarll's elevation to first team manager as a Football Advisor - a position he held until the manager moved on. At Yeovil, it's more likely that Sarll's first job will be to build a new backroom team underneath him, rather than rely upon someone above him. He admits that is a challenge, but says that knowledge from working with Roeder has helped him:
"Challenges are what I have always had and I pride myself on taking on. I was lucky at Stevenage in that I had a wonderful mentor in Glenn Roeder and I learned so much on the job - all that experience has been banked."
It's not clear if the Non-League Paper directly asked Sarll a question regarding the way he left a Head Of Academy post at Premier League side Watford earlier this year. However, they attribute a quote in connection with that exit, with Sarll believing that he had a consistent attitude with all young players:
"All I have ever done in working with young players is try to treat them in the same way as bringing my son up - with respect, hard work."
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