Highlights of Shots Director Brian Bloomfield’s interview on the appointment of Barry Smith and the Club’s plans for the future…
On… Barry Smith: “We want a manager that will fit our Football Club, and he will fit. We’ve got a very good man in Barry Smith. He comes with a good pedigree. He’s got his UEFA Pro Licence, he’s very well thought of and he’s got good connections. He was very well prepared in his interview. He came over very professionally and with a high degree of integrity and commitment. As a supporter, I’m very pleased that we’ve managed to land Barry. I’ve spoken to other Chairmen and Managers at a higher level and they can’t believe that we’ve managed to get him.”
On… Chris Barker: “It was important to keep the services of Chris Barker. We need continuity and to keep the skill-sets that we’ve developed in the Club. The work ethic has been absolutely fantastic, and both Chris and Matt Gray have committed themselves very well. You’ve got three different personalities there, but all with a sense of integrity and honesty. I now feel that we’ve got the strongest overall management team that we’ve ever had.”
On… Entertaining, attacking football: “Let’s be honest, for the last three years, on the football front, it hasn’t been good. We’ve had some very good highs but there has been too many disappointing performances. It’s been difficult for the fans, and that’s hurt the Club, but now we’re looking for expansive, attacking play. We’ve asked Barry to play that way and it’s just making sure that he get the right players to fit that mould.”
On… Ambitions for next season: “Whilst we hope it is a long-term appointment, Barry’s contract does protect the Club very well. You have to harbour ambitions, and yes we want to get into the Play-Offs, but we know how difficult it’s going to be. We will have a budget that we believe can hit those Play-Off positions, but with the Clubs in this division now we’re asking Barry and the players to add that extra bit of value to make it happen. I know we’ve got the right management team to get that little bit more out.”
On… The future of the Club: “It’s all about the supporters. They are the most important people in the Club. Without them, you haven’t got the heartbeat of the Club. The supporters deserve a lot more than they’ve had in the last three years. They also deserve a Board of Directors who apply themselves to maintaining stability and sustainability within this Club.
“Short, medium and long-term, the stadium has to be something that the Board looks at. We must look at ways of developing the football club, and part of that has got to be with regards to the ground. Also, the people that are working within the Football Club, we have to build that sensibly in order for us to push on. But we can only do that with a good team on the pitch to bring supporters through the turnstiles. You have to have plans for the next 10 or 15 years. You always have to challenge yourself and look at ways of improving the business. We’ve got to build on and off the pitch. Those things have to come in tandem, because if they don’t it’s not going to work.”