30 Jun 2022

Meet The Team Taking Charge Of The Town’s U23s

Darryl & Darren Are Teaming Up To Progress Players Through To The First Team.

Next season sees Darryl Evans and Darren Barnard taking charge of the Town’s Under 23 development team, with a mission to further each player’s progress on the pitch to a level where they can be confident of successfully stepping up to first team football.

Darryl, a highly experienced Level 2 coach, will manage the team.

His links to the Town go back to his time in the army, where he played in goal for the Town’s first team manager, Sean Birchnall.

Darryl’s earliest football memory is being taken by his uncle to Ninian Park to see Wales play Costa Rica in 1990 and, although these were the days well before the current Welsh renaissance, but an early Dean Saunders goal meant that Darryl would go home happy.

Darren, a former Premier League player and Welsh international (although not at the game that Darryl saw in 1990!) with an UEFA ‘A’ licence and extensive local coaching experience at both Aldershot Town and Camberley Town, will coach the team.

Having watched Argentina win the World Cup in 1978, young Darren could not understand why they would not be playing in the League so that he could watch them play again on Match of the Day the following season!

But enough of their Wikipedia entries!

What we really want to know is how they intend to manage the Town’s U23s.

Both Darryl and Darren take a modern approach to management.

“The old school style of shouting and management by fear has no place today. 

To achieve long term results, you have to get players to buy into what you’re trying to achieve.

You have to ensure that they want to be part of what you are aiming for, which means that they need to respect you and you need to trust them and allow them the autonomy to make the right decisions on and off the pitch”.

This looks set to be a fruitful, complementary, partnership, with each party fully aware of their individual role.

For Darryl, the most important thing is man-management.

“It’s vital to treat each player as an individual.

Some may need more of a push, others more of an arm around the shoulder.

By creating the right team etic, you gain the opportunity to develop a better tactical approach, which, in turn, will improve individual players and help them make the most of their talent”.

As a coach, Darren is looking for talent that can be improved.

“Effective coaching isn’t just about improving the players’ abilities, it should also improve the team as a whole in terms of their tactical understanding and application”.

These are exciting times for the Town and the duo are looking forward to the season ahead.

“We have some great young players here, as shown by last season’s U18s title.

What we’re looking to do is provide a path through to the first team and, hopefully, beyond.

Yes, we have to manage expectations, but we can give the player’s a vision of what they can achieve.

There are still opportunities for any player to come through the system, go through the lower leagues and, if you are good enough and have the right attitude, you can go all the way, just like Jamie Vardy”.

Let’s look forward to another season where even more of our talented youngsters take the next step up!







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