ROME wasn’t built in a day, and new Woking FC manager Anthony Limbrick is under no illusion that success won’t happen overnight, writes Andy Fitzsimons.
And while most non-league managers are using the month of May ’17 to wind down and recharge their batteries, Limbrick’s work has just begun.
Just nine days into his first managerial role, the former West Ham United and Southampton academy coach is already in the throes of executing his masterplan.
Speaking at a fans forum event at The Laithwaite Community Stadium last Wednesday, Limbrick has already articulated his plans for the next two to three years and has won over many of The Cards’ faithful.
But the new Cards’ supremo is all too aware that talk in football can sometimes be cheap if it’s not backed up by results.
He said: “I knew it was going to be a busy first couple of weeks, and it’s been everything that I expected so far.
“I have met and spoken with a lot of people at the club; not just the players, but volunteers as well, and I have been impressed with their passion for the club.
“I was quite surprised just how many people attended the fans forum last week, but they’ve been fantastic since I arrived at the club and have made me feel very welcome.
“They asked some really good footballing questions, which gave me a chance to convey my philosophy. We had good dialogue; and the questions that I hoped they would ask, they did ask,” he added.
While Limbrick is not dismissive at all by those who have gone before him, he is not one to dwell on a bygone era.
The former Hammers under-18s and under-23s coach has already made his mind up on some players and spoken to others who he feels have the ability to step up next season, not live in the past.
“We will run with a small squad next season of 18 outfield players and two goalkeepers, explained Limbrick. “It’s important, therefore, that all the players we have at the club know what to expect and buy into the philosophy from day one.
“The players that we retain and recruit have got to want to be here (Woking FC), and be prepared to train hard.
“The National League is a difficult league, so it’s about getting the balance right to play effective penetrating football. It’s important that the players are focused and able to adapt.”
When it comes to recruitment, The Cards’ boss also said that any player that comes into the side; whether permanently or on loan, would need to add value.
He is also keen to promote from within and have a close working relationship with Woking’s own academy.
“Through my previous roles in football, I have had the opportunity to work with and help develop a number of younger players; some of which have gone on to experience first team football. It’s a rewarding feeling,” he said.
“Due to my connections, there will of course be opportunities to bring in players on loan, but they will need to be impact players and make the team better.
“It has to be a reciprocal and mutually beneficial working relationship; I am not interested in players who are just prepared to go through the motions.
“More young professionals should be given the opportunity to play in the National League to broaden their horizon.
“I believe they need to make the step up from academy football to men’s football so they can get a better understanding of the work-rate required and what it really means to play for three points,” he added.
Limbrick is hoping to line up six pre-season friendlies from 8 July, which is likely to comprise a healthy mix of professional and senior non-league clubs. More information will be available soon on www.wokingfc.co.uk