This week Josh Barton, of theterras.com, caught up with Terras’ assistant manager Paul Maitland to discuss recent signings and pre-season.
Josh Barton: With the first pre-season friendly coming up against Yeovil Town on Tuesday how important was it for you to announce the signing of goalkeeper Mark Travers?
Paul Maitland: This was a done deal two months ago, and where he’s Irish, he’s gone home during close season to see his family so it meant we had to wait for the start of pre-season to get him signed. We are really looking forward to seeing him, he’s a good size, 6’3”, he’s young but Bournemouth rate him very highly. Mark is also very excited about having him here. Joe has been putting on some really good sessions for the keepers, which has been interesting to watch because he does it differently from me. The reserve team keepers have been him with him as well and are pleased with the coaching. So on the whole, we’re quite happy in that department. Steve Boore has gone to Hamworthy so we wish him all the best with that. I can understand him wanting to make that move, it’s probably the right time for him to branch out and really etch himself a career out there.
JB: We’ve brought Toby Down back from Exeter on a long-term loan deal; he was with us last season on a short-term loan deal and went off to Dorchester in the Southern League as well. Again, same sort of question, was it really important to get him back with us and work with him in pre-season season?
PM: Yeah, everyone was impressed with Toby when he first came up. I think what stood out for me was his first game, it didn’t go his way first half but he didn’t give up and he stuck at it. Then in the second half, he came back more confident and did better and from that I think he just grew and grew. It’s good to get him back; we were planning on getting him back anyway before the Zubar situation. Exeter City have been great with us, they’ve allowed us to take him for the whole of pre-season which means he can come and work with us. He’s only missed two sessions so we’re pleased we got him and it gives us another good option. As I said in the Dorset Echo report (which can be found here), he’s physically filled out a bit and got bigger and stronger, despite him being already strong.
JB: The coaching staff and players are working on different ways of doing things, as a new assistant manager how impressed have you been with the way things have looked in this early stage?
PM: It’s probably too early to make much of a comment on it. What we’re looking at now is us building towards the Yeovil game next Tuesday and we’re looking at potential ways of playing in that game and also in the season. We’re not daft enough to know we’re only going to be able to play one way or one system so we’re trying to make all the players comfortable with all the different shapes and systems that we want to play. They’re working really hard and still doing their fitness work at the same time. It’s been an eye opener in terms of how we stepped up a level.
JB: Steve Mills said to Dan Rose in the Echo that things aren’t necessarily done so are you still looking at adding to the squad when the right player becomes available?
PM: Yeah without naming names, there are players on trial at the moment which we’ve invited. Fortunately, the Wessex Fantasy Football has covered Toby Down so we’ve got some money left in the pot. We’re not quite there yet but we’re not looking too far outside of what we have here but we’ve made the decision to leave some money in the pot because you never know who could come up over the pre-season period. We’ve got one or two other things in the pipeline but we’ll be making decisions on them as we go along.