Not so much a bolt from the blue, but one from the amber and black…
When I put the announcement on the website that Kingstonian were once again searching for a new manager, I doubted that we were an attractive enough proposition to get someone capable of dragging us out of our deep self-loathing by the short and curlies. The appointment of a new manager is inherently a risky matter anyway, regardless of whether the club appointing their favourite candidate is Kingstonian, Manchester City or whoever; but I thought that our stock had lowered considerably enough that we would have to jump into a pit of scorpions and cobras in the hope that we would come out without any puncture wounds and find someone, anyone, with a good track record. Let’s face it, things have not gone too well for a little while now, and to put it nicely, any new manager would be starting almost from scratch and would not necessarily be stepping into a good situation.
So, the moment following the moment in which I was told that Hayden Bird would be our new manager was spent picking my jaw up off the floor. It was a complete and utter surprise, although I didn’t have any kind of short list in my head of who would want the job, he wouldn’t have been on it. Not because he wasn’t good enough for us, in fact the opposite, I didn’t think we were a good enough prospect for a manager with the standard of CV that he possesses. But obviously we are, and here we are with a manager with much success in his locker and is obviously aware of the scale of the task that has been set for him.
My initial remit for anybody who took over as manager would have been to enable us as supporters to have some fun watching football. At the moment that is all I want, because obviously the last year or two have been arduous to say the least. I want to be able to look forward to a Kingstonian match and then go home knowing that those guys in hooped shirts have given everything leading me to start looking forward to the next fixture. Every time in recent years that I have watched Merstham, they have looked like they’re fun to watch. Usually it’s been at our expense and the Moatsiders have seen us off and beaten us. If Hayden can succeed with this remit (notice I haven’t even mentioned results) then he’s going to be winning.
He has almost a blank sheet of paper to work with – he said during an interview he did with the eminent and much respected Mick Sullivan on Saturday (check it out on Periscope if you haven’t seen it, just do a search for “Hayden Bird” and you should find it easily – it’s really worth watching) that we had three contract players, a fact that I had forgotten, and he’s going to be talking with them to see how the land lies, but whilst we’ve got another near-total squad overhaul coming our way (we are so used to them, aren’t we?), hopefully we can have some stability on the pitch at last and maybe that can mean a bit of success.
One thing the appointment has done is that I am no longer feeling the stress of the season just finished, and despite there being so many questions still to be answered (like who are our players?), I’m quietly beginning to start looking forward to the new season (and seeing an away win!!!). I’m debating whether to start taking some energy pills because I suspect I might need them to keep up with Hayden’s work ethic and enthusiasm, I have a feeling he’s going to keep me busy with website and programme stuff, but that is going to be no bad thing at all.
Well, so much for not updating this blog during the summer (or potentially ever again), but I think something good happened to the club on Friday and it’s nice to be guardedly positive for once. The current plan, unless I suddenly have something to write about, is to go away on holiday with the wife (she’d be a bit annoyed if I did that with anyone else) and make laughable attempts at relaxing for a few days. I have decided to continue the blog next season, or at least try to, I will look forward to typing nice things about Kingstonian players and matches for a change, after all, I do prefer doing that rather than moaning…!