Paul Maitland joins Josh Barton of theterras.com to discuss pre-season, new signings and the new youth set-up at the club.
Josh Barton: Hi Paul. Thanks for joining us for this week’s Midweek Matters.
Paul Maitland: Hello Josh. Firstly, we have been impressed with how the youth section seems to have been growing rapidly since the tournament. On the tournament we would like to thank all the volunteers, it was a great success for them and of course the club. We are looking forward to working with the managers of the youth teams. People like Michelle Luckes and Paul Tapper have been speaking to us and linking in with our own chairman (Steve Mills). If we got players from this area playing for their local club it will be a massive deal and a goal of ours. It’ll be great to see some of these local lads push into the first team and represent the town.
JB: We have signed Jake McCarthy and Callum Buckley. Eddie Howe tipped them both to have a great future in the game. How pleased are you to have secured their services?
PM: They are two names that Mark and I spoke about. Neither of which at that point we thought we would get. They were keen to stay with Mark because of the Bournemouth connection. They both know the history of the club. They both wanted to join. They don’t see it as an easy way out, they are here to work hard and they both have superb attitudes which is important particularly at this level.
JB: Many people consider this stage in the year as the time where football takes a bit of a break. Is that really the case?
PM: No. For the players, obviously it’s a little bit of time since their last game. The players, yesterday, were given their fitness plans and they are expected to come back ready to go. For the coaching staff it is just as busy as how it is during the season if not more. We are on the phone talking to players, we are setting out plans for next season, we are setting setting out training schedules and pre-season. We all get given tasks as a management team and we are reporting back to each other all the time.
JB: How are you finding your new role as assistant manager at Weymouth FC?
PM: There as a bit more pressure since becoming assistant manager. I did do a fair bit under Jason. Has what I’ve done changed? Well I’ve been involved in negotiations with players but that comes with it, it’s part of the job. I am obviously trying to build professional relationships with the players. I enjoy it and I’m looking forward to the role immensely. It has been nice to share the responsibilities with the rest of the coaching team. I’ve been doing a lot of the admin side of it, whereas other people have different tasks.
JB: Have Mark and yourself been impressed with the players that you have been speaking to? Is there anything close to happening or is there anything in the pipeline?
PM: Well clearly we are not going to start the season with 10 players. We are continuing discussions and negotiations with players. Some of whom are obviously in negotiations with other clubs due to the calibre of player we are looking at. Some players have been really good dealing with, some haven’t if we are honest. We have a few coming in on trial in pre-season, some really decent players! We’ve been impressed with the people we’ve talked to. We are pleased with the players we have kept, these are the players we wanted to keep.
JB: Tom & Joe Prodomo have joined the club. How impressed have you been with what they could potentially offer our football club in the future?
PM: They are impressive. They both have a tremendous work ethic and they want to be successful. They put themselves about to ensure the success of this club. They are pro-active with everything. It’s a step up for them but they have a determination to succeed and they are looking forward to what lies ahead in the Southern League.
JB: Yeovil Town in pre-season has obviously got some Terras fans reminiscing about past contests with the Glovers. How do you feel about renewing the club’s rivalry with them, despite the fact they are a football league outfit?
PM: Well in my time at Weymouth, it’s always been the one team that the supporters want to play. In Cup runs, people have been thinking “hang on, we could play Yeovil”. We thank Darren Way and Yeovil for coming down to us. It’ll be a good test for us on our first friendly, against a good football league side. It’ll be an opportunity to show what they can do and it’ll be a good game for us in terms of fitness and we aren’t overly bothered about the result, however we know how much it will mean to both sets of supporters to win the game.
JB: With the squad coming together nicely and the month of May drawing to a close, how long is it before the players return for pre-season training?
PM: As I said the players have been given a fitness programme to continue until the end of June. We will be assessing them when we come back for pre-season training. We expect a certain level of fitness and if people are not what we’d hoped they’d be in terms with fitness we will be given them extra work. The ultimate goal is being ready for the start of the new season, which we will endeavour to be!