After Tuesday night’s heroics away to Bath in the FA Trophy we caught up with Lee Minshull, to discuss the season so far, Minsh’s comeback from injury and also talking about his first season as Assistant Manager…
It’s been a frustrating season for you with injuries, how much have missed playing?
Yes it has been frustrating. I had an operation in the summer on a long standing toe issue, which has adjusted the way I plant my foot & run. The idea was to prolong my career, but when coming back from this I picked up a couple of other injuries, most notably a medial tear in my knee ligament. I have enjoyed the Assistant Manager role, but what it has shown me is how much I miss playing, and that I should cherish however long I have left. Hopefully I am over these issues now, can contribute to the team until the end of the season and with a pre-season under my belt have a more positive impact on the pitch next season.
However this has given you more time to assess games on the sideline. Has that improved your coaching progression?
Yes I believe it has. Its allowed me to watch the games, analyse them and be a part of the process to put things into practice. The gaffer is a good manager of people, so it’s been good to see how that transfers from the side-lines, to the dressing room and the training sessions. I have also picked up a lot of knowledge from the rest of the management team, whether it be coaching sessions or recruitment / scouting. I also had a period of 3 games earlier in the season where I stepped in as manager, which was a great experience as well as an eye opener!
Just halfway through the season so far, what can the club be proud of so far, also what areas can still be worked on?
I think the club can be proud of our league position so far, our run in the FA Trophy, as well as the continued development of the ground and the structure of the club. It was a summer of upheaval, so I think as a club we can also be proud of our recruitment and pre-season programme, especially as 12 of those players are still at the club. The players should also be proud of what they have achieved so far. For sticking together and buying into us as a club & a management team, whilst keeping that hunger to achieve more. Looking forward, there is a long way to go in the league, and I believe we can continue improving collectively & as individuals for a strong finish to the season.
Saying that, as we have a young side do you feel they’ve missed your experience out on the pitch?
I feel there have been times where perhaps experience could have helped, and maybe my communication on the pitch could of made a difference. However, I think what you have seen is players grow into those roles as leaders, take responsibility for their actions & help create a team first environment.
How vital are players like you and Greeny to up and coming players, especially the boys who come into the club on loan from pro clubs?
You might have to ask the lads that!! What I always try to do is be honest, and talk to them about situations in my career that relate to them. I was lucky enough to go from non-league to full-time football, which is what a lot of the lads are trying to achieve. It might not always work out that way, but what we can do is give them the best opportunity to improve themselves, and also create a good environment for loan signings looking to gain experience. Greeny is a fantastic role model, a great trainer & personality to have in the dressing room. He shows the levels you need to be at everyday to achieve something in the game. While I’m sure he would have liked to have started more games, he has had a big part to play in the group both on and off the pitch.
What can the club realistically push towards the end of the season?
In terms of goals for the rest of the season, progression to the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy would be an unbelievable achievement. Leamington will be thinking the same thing so I expect a tough game, with everything left out on the pitch. League wise, after losing so many players, the aim was always to stay up. However, once this is achieved, my opinion is a top half finish would be seen as successful. Lastly, we are still in two local cups, so to win one of these is also a realistic goal for the club.
Lee was chatting to Chris Clark.