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An update from Hayden

Hayden Bird

Kingstonian's manager Hayden Bird with news on what's happening.

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone for the tremendous reception that I have received.

I cannot tell you how appreciated and how inspiring it is. I'm proud to be the manager of such a great club and I'm determined to return this sleeping giant to its former glory.

Needless to say, there is plenty of work ahead of us and success will not be achieved overnight. This is a big job which will take time. However, I have absolutely no doubt that we will achieve our objectives.

Having been appointed around two weeks ago, one of my first assurances to the supporters was in pulling together, we would improve the lines of communication.

Right, let's start communicating then...

This time of year is always frustrating for football fans. Everyone is naturally curious as to who is coming, who is leaving, etc., particularly when a new manager has recently been appointed.

Football clubs, on the other hand, are often reluctant to say too much, preferring to wait until the deals are officially completed. Although fans find this frustrating, it is the professional approach and avoids any potential embarrassment.

For example, last season Tonbridge Angels announced the arrival of Joel Nouble. A few days later, Joel changed his mind and promptly signed for Haringey Borough!

Having announced the deal in good faith and simply awaiting the League to process the paperwork, Tonbridge were pretty unimpressed at Joel's change of heart!

I'm not judging Joel and I'm sure his reasons were honourable. However, it clearly indicates the importance of confirming any transfers with the League before any statements are made.

Next week, I will be in a position to announce the new staff. As has already been confirmed, Tutu Henriques has joined me from Merstham as my Assistant Manager. I know you'll like him. Tutu has a wealth of experience and has worked closely with me at both Bromley and Merstham.

In addition to being an excellent defender, he has developed into an excellent coach. Tutu will be integral to Kingstonian. I'm delighted that he has joined the club and we are fortunate to have such an outstanding individual in our management team.

During the course of the week, the new management team will be announced, which will include a new physiotherapist.

Having spoken to Jamie Street at length last week, I understood his reasons for stepping aside and respected his decision. Jamie is in the fabric of the club. He has offered outstanding service to Kingstonian for seventeen years and will always be a part of the furniture.

Although Jamie will not continue as our physio, he will remain a valued member of the backroom team. Therefore, you will be pleased to hear that you will still be seeing plenty of him!

On behalf of everyone at Kingstonian, I'd like to thank Jamie. I look forward to working with him in his new role alongside Paul Ferrie as the kit manager.

So, what's the player news?

Since my appointment, I have been working around the clock to build the squad we need, to start making progress.

I don't want to comment on last season, it's time for Kingstonian to put the 2018-19 campaign behind us. However, I don't think anyone will be surprised to hear that the squad is taking an entirely new look. This, of course, is a time-consuming exercise, but we are making excellent progress.

I would hope to start making announcements of new signings within the next seven to ten days. However, if there are no announcements, don't panic! It is essential that we take the time to ensure Kingstonian are signing players with the right quality, the right character and the right motivation! This takes time, but is absolutely vital to our success.

It is my job to ensure that every player who plays for Kingstonian Football Club represents the badge positively. We need a team that supporters can relate to, feel a part of and support through thick and thin.

This football is steeped in history. Every player needs to realise that in having the compliment of wearing this shirt comes a responsibility of giving the club everything.

I know plenty of players who have the ability to play for Kingstonian. However, we need players who also have the charisma and desire to make us successful. Being a decent player is not enough here.

As players arrive, players will leave. For example, just before I was appointed, I was advised that Louie Theophanous had left the club. I'd like to wish Louie every success in his next challenge.

Last season, the club were quite open of their expectations to be promoted. It appeared common knowledge that the budget was substantial and everyone expected the team to compete for the title. As a club, I'm asking everyone to learn from this and to manage our expectations in our first year together.

Firstly, money is only a small consideration of building a successful team. Equally, I don't think it is breaking confidences to confirm that the playing budget is not at the same level this season.

With only a handful of players being retained, and a host of new signings, time and patience will be needed. All of that said, I'm excited to be here and am confident that we can make progress of our inaugural season. Whilst I cannot promise promotion or silverware, I will assure everyone of a brand of football not seen at Kingstonian for many years and a team that will share your passion from the terraces.

In my initial statement, I mentioned that I was looking forward to meeting you all at the Meet the Manager event. Look out on social media for an announcement very soon. Myself, the staff and the players are all looking forward to meeting you!

Come on you K's!

Hayden Bird

Published Saturday 1st June 2019