There were two managerial casualties on Monday night in the Hellenic Football League when Mark Tallentire parted company with Bracknell Town and then at 10pm, Michael Herbert announced he was stepping aside at Woodley United.
As much as it was a shock for us and we’re sure, supporters of the Kestrels – the club had already lined up a replacement in assistant James Anderson who had been with the club for a year in Herbert’s management team.
We spoke to him following the change..
How does it feel taking over at Woodley? Were you asked or did you put yourself forward?
It’s great to step up as manager but really it’s a continuation of everything that the club has been building over the past 12 months or so.
As soon as it became apparent that Michael wanted to step down I was asked if I’d be interested in taking over. Michael and I are very close so we chatted about it and he was fully behind it.
We have a great group of lads, both as footballers and as people, so I’m delighted to be able to continue to work with them, spend time with them and fight alongside them to stay in this league.
What’s your previous experience in management and playing?
I played a bit when I was younger but nothing much to write home about. I then had a heart complaint when I was 20 so stepped into management with Tilehurst Albion. I managed them for 7 years followed by a very brief spell with Highmoor Ibis Allied Counties side.
What do you think you can bring to the role at Woodley and what is the big goal for the season?
I’ve been a part this dressing room for over a year now so I know these players well and I know how good they are. My intention is to simply remind them of their talent because when results don’t go your way it’s easy to forget how good you are.
The big goal for the season is to stay up and it’s a difficult task, but with the quality we have in the changing room it’s very, very achievable.
Who’s been your managerial influences and who will you lean on for support?
I think managing people is the same be it in football or outside of football. It’s about giving clear instructions, harnessing self belief and trusting those that you are working with to deliver for you. So in terms of influences… I could give you a some names from my phone book of people I have worked with and for but you won’t have heard of many of them!
For support; We have some big leaders in our dressing room who will certainly step up and support me and the team.
The excellent Wokingham Paper have run their own interview with James which you can read here, and they’ve spoken to former boss Michael Herbert about his reasons for stepping down which you can read here.
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