If its not on, its not on... geeeezzz
24th April 2014
Today was a massive day for me. I was sitting on the edge of my bed, wondering what happened if it all went wrong. If you couldn't tell already, today was the first time I would kick a football since I broke my leg.
Darcy was lying in bed next to me. She was getting bigger every week and it was surreal to think that she was almost 3 months pregnant. "It's going to be ok, Liam. Your be fine. Honestly" my loving girlfriend said to me and I put my training kit on and headed downstairs.
I quickly had a bowl of Frosties before leaving the house and getting into my car. I drove off to The Woodspring Stadium where I got out of my car and headed into the changing rooms. As per usual, I was one of the earliest there and I sat down on the bench.
Craig and Mark entered the room before they say me sitting nervously on the bench. "Your here early aren't you Liam" Craig said. "Yeah. I can't wait to get back out there" I told the pair and they both looked and smiled at eachother.
Mark then took me into the gym to try and help me get back to fitness away from the first team. First up, I had to jog down a 100M track to make sure my legs are powerful enough to run the length of the pitch.
I was able to complete this successfully, and then I had to try out my leg muscle by cycling on the pedalstal. Mark took down the time I managed to run 10 miles in and it was safe to say I was in the top 10 out of the first team at the moment.
Mark then took me into the sports hall and my task was to volley the ball against the wall with Mark. We were able to do this on 20 attempts and afterward, Mark took me outside into the warm spring air onto the first team pitch.
Mark then told me to run around 10 yards away from him before he passed me the ball, then I would pass it straight back, run backward 5 yards and then shoot at goal when I received the ball again.
Me and Mark had 5 attempts at this one. Our best attempt was when me and Mark did exactly as planned, and on the leg I had recently broken, I fired the ball into the top corner to end our training session.
Me and Mark headed back into the changing room and I sat down smiling as LLyod Irish sat next to me and high-fived me. "Welcome back, Liam. Looking forward to playing with you again" the captain said and then I realised to myself that I was back for good...
10th January 2015
Weston 1-0 Chelmsford City-58 minutes
Here's Drury on the ball. Back to Mawford. He switches the ball long toward Grubb on the left. Grubb can control that on his chest and sprint at the right-back Girdlestone. Girdlestone's backing off of the winger and Grubb plays the ball inside to Ash. Ash plays the 1-2 with Grubb who makes the run round Girdlestone. Grubb latches on the loose ball but Taylor comes sliding in and puts the ball out for a corner. Weston's attacking quartet of Grubb, Mawford, Ash and Watkins have been really impressive today.
Drury will walk over toward the corner flag to take the corner. Fortune and Jordan have both gone up into the box. Fortune is being marked by Redwood and seems to have his arms all over Redwood to by the looks of it, stop him for jumping. Drury is ready to take the corner and in it comes. Headed clear by Sawyer and Hickford races onto the clearance. He flicks the ball over Cane, who is covering, and Hickford races past him and brings down his flick. He is now 1-on-1 with Barnes.
Barnes is being forced to try and hold up the surging run of Hickford right now. Hickford tries to knock the ball past Barnes but Barnes sticks out a foot and comes away with the ball. Weston and Chelmsford have now been able to get back into shape following the corner kick and Barnes finds Cane, the Weston substitute. Cane fires the ball into Drury's feet and he is able to control it and turn away from Redwood, who tries to bring him down with a shirt pull.
Drury runs toward Girdlestone. Girdlestone seems unaware that Grubb is running in behind him. Drury plays the ball in toward Grubb. Grubb has a chance to look up and find the arriving Drury who is sprinting into the box for the return. Drury fires the shot in first-time...Off the post. The ball is cleared away by Hughes and Cane heads the ball toward Mawford. Mawford can play the ball back toward Jordan, who finds Drury out on the wing. Drury tries to knock it past Hughes, but the ball deflects off the defender and goes out for a throw-in.
Drury is thrown the ball by Mitchell. Drury can bring the ball under his spell and weave past Hughes. Drury is in full flow now as he is charging toward the Chelmsford defence. Drury can get past the sliding challenge of Redwood. He's past Sawyer also. Drury is now 25 yards from goal as Toner comes sliding in and takes Drury out with a high foot. Drury has remained down here and the Weston bench are worried that it may be a recurrence of he broken leg.
I lain on the floor as I clutched at my left leg. This felt exactly like it had done last time. Captain Tom Jordan was kneeling down next to me, attempting to keep me awake. I felt sick every time I tried to open my mouth. Before long, the stretcher and ambulance had arrived and I was given oxygen before being rolled onto the stretcher. The last things I could hear before I fell into a deep sleep was the Weston fans clapping me going off and chanting my name. This was the reason why I truly loved Weston...
23rd January 2015
I climbed out of my car outside The Woodspring Stadium and grabbed my crutches from beside me. I placed my hands on the crutches before hobbling into the stadium. "Alright, Liam. How's the leg?" Ryan Northmore, Weston's manager of 2 months, asked me. "It's feeling good, gaffer" I replied and Ryan entered his office before I followed Ryan into his office. "Now, Liam, when can we expect you to be back in training?" Ryan asked me. I sat down opposite Ryan and stared him in the eyes.
"The doctor at the Hospital gave me around 4-5 months before I can be back in action, boss" I said and Ryan noted this down on his tactics board. "So, your out for the rest of the season then?" Ryan said and I could tell this news upset him as I had heard from backroom staff that he regarded me as one of his key players in and amongst the first team squad. "Yes, Ryan. I am" I said before Ryan turned to face me again. "Now, I understand that you currently are expecting a child with your partner. Is that correct?" Ryan said.
"Yes it is, boss" I said before Ryan leant back in his chair and blankly stared at me. "Right, Liam, I have a proposition for you. We will continue paying you every week or every month or whenever so this can provide you with financial backing for you and your little family due to you being so young at 20" Ryan said and I beamed at him as he said these words. "Thanks gaffer. That should help me a lot" I said and Ryan stood up before shaking my hand.
As I made to leave the office, Ryan stopped me quickly. "Now, Liam, Mark is currently off for a few weeks through illness so I was wondering if you wanted to help me with the training session today" Ryan said and I smiled again. "Yeah, of course. Why not?" I replied and Ryan smiled at me. Ryan then picked up a pen before beckoning for me to walk toward him. Ryan picked up a pen and some magnet counters from his desk before putting them all at the top of the board.
"Right, Liam. You seem to know your team-mates as well and I feel as if we should change from a 4-4-2 formation. What other formations could we use and who would we play in them as the starting eleven?" Ryan asked. I pondered over this thought for a few minutes before I took the counters from the board and lined them up in a 4-3-3 formation. "Do you reckon the players we have are capable of playing in that formation?" I asked Ryan. Ryan bit his tongue for a minute before writing names above the counters.
In goal, we decided on Luke Purnell. At right-back we decided on Jamie Edge. Centre-Back's were Tom Jordan and Clayton Fortune. Left--Back was Ollie Barnes. In Central-Midfield we put Jacob Cane, Kayne Ingram and Dayle Grubb. On the left side of the front three was Ollie Watkins. On the right side was Jake Mawford and through the middle was Brad Ash. "Do you reckon that would work?" I asked Ryan. Ryan nodded his head. "Yeah. I reckon that formation with those players would be a powerhouse" Ryan said.
"It's gonna need to be a possession game through the middle with us occasionally using the wings" I said. "I agree. It's something we can work on in training today" Ryan said and he picked up his tracksuit top before throwing it on over his head and picking up his set of keys. "Follow me, Liam" Ryan said and me and him both exited the office and walked down toward the changing room. Ryan unlocked the changing room and me and him entered before Ryan unlocked a second door immediately on the left.
Ryan turned the light on and the first thing I saw was training accessories; cones, footballs, poles and everything like that. "Right, we need one whole set of cones, two bags of footballs and some poles. We can put it all on that trolley there" Ryan said and me and him loaded the equipment onto the trolley before wheeling it out into the corridor. Ryan then closed and locked the door into the equipment room before he turned to face a door on the right before he unlocked that as well and me and him stepped into the room, as lights turned on upon entry.
This must have been the place where the kit was stored. The physio's were the people who kept the kit all in order and me and Ryan were now left to search around for our training kit for today. We found our training kit stacked up on top of the washing machines and me and Ryan then moved the training kit out into the changing room. We laid the kit out around the room and waited for the players to get here. Before long, Ryan headed out to the training pitch to set up the drills and I was left to command the players.
Soon after Ryan left, the players began filtering in and some were left in shock when they learnt that I wan supporting Ryan today. The team seemed merely happy that I was helping with the training and they all made sure that they were ready and changed quickly. I told the boys to hurry up for training and I headed out with the first player ready, captain Tom Jordan. "So then, are you looking to take steps into management and coaching then" Tom asked me.
"Yeah. I am. But I'm not gonna stop until my playing career's over" I replied to Tom. We walked through the grey metal gates at the back of the stadium and we walked onto the training pitch. There, we found Ryan standing alone as he was waiting for the team to come out and join him. "Go on a jog Tom" Ryan said briefly and Tom jogged off. "After training, I need to speak to you in my office Liam. I've got an idea for you" Ryan said and I quickly said I could but immediately wondered what it could be about...
Liam Drury Retires From Football
It is with great sadness that today, we as a club, have to announce that talented and influential winger Liam Drury has today, the 23rd January 2015, has decided to retire from playing football after breaking his leg against Chelmsford City in front of the Weston faithful on 10th January this year.
Liam's retirement has come as a shock to many at the club due to his speedy recovery from his last leg break and it is widely believed, to the disgust of Weston fans upon hearing the news, that newly appointed Weston manager Ryan Northmore was the person behind Liam's retirement after holding talks with Liam in his office this afternoon.
Weston Chairman Paul Bliss has today spoken out about Liam's retirement and how he learned about he development regarding Weston's key player. "This morning, Ryan [Northmore] approached me in my office before training and told me that he was planning on trying to persuade Liam to retire from football as this was his second severe leg break in the space of 3 years".
"I was surprised at Ryan's sudden insistence that it would be the best thing for Liam's career if he retired from playing football and focused on other careers outside of the playing world. However, I did eventually agree with Ryan after seeing his side of the story and having known and spoken to Liam many times over the past 5 or so years, I knew that he would be able to take Ryan's plan into his head".
"Then, this afternoon, Liam and Ryan both approached me after training and we all held talks over Liam's future here at the club".
"Me and Ryan both settled Liam down and he agreed to retire for the sake of the team and for the sake of his own health and this also gives him more time to focus on his girlfriend and the child they are both expecting together later this year. I would like to end this with thanking Liam for everything he's done at this club and to wish him well for the future".
This afternoon, following Liam's announcement that he is retiring, I was able to catch up with him and the manager upon them confronting The Weston And Worle Mercury to tell them the news.
Q: So, Liam, this may be your last ever interview before you depart Weston for good. How does it feel about retiring?
A: It is something I didn't want to end up doing so early in my football career but it appears that after I have suffered 2 leg breaks while being a part of the 1st team, it seems like the right thing to do to protect my body and my health.
Q:Are you going to continue in football once your back to full fitness?
A:I don't need to have full fitness to continue on in football. My next steps are preferably going to be coaching some youngsters at a club or something along those lines, but I just need to see where the road takes me.
Q:Have you enjoyed your years at Weston?
A:They have been some of the best years of my life. I don't know how I was able to keep on pushing myself at a high level that I did, from the U12's right through to the first team but if I had a choice, I would stay at Weston but unfortunately my injuries have got the better of me.
Q:Is your retirement your chance to be there for your pregnant girlfriend and your child when they are born?
A:Yes. My girlfriend needs me and I intend to be there for her every step of the way.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to personally thank for your time at Weston?
A: There is. Dan Jackson, my coach from the age of 10 years old. Ryan Northmore, the current 1st team manager. Craig Laird and Mickey Bell, the former 1st team managers for helping me develop and my team-mates who I've played with over the past 10 years for generally being amazing.
I was able to catch up with Ryan Northmore, the 1st team manager, as well earlier upon his departure from The Woodspring Stadium after addressing the media about Liam's sudden and imminent retirement.
Q; Thanks for speaking to us Ryan. It has been widely speculated in the media that you were behind Liam's retirement. Is this true?
A:I'm afraid it is true. I believe that it was in the best interests of his health and of the club that he retired with immediate effect.
Q: Is it a shame to see such a talented player go?
A:Definately. It's always a shame to see any player go, let alone a talented one. In my eyes, he was one of the best players so far during my reign as manager and now I need the other players to step up and fill the gap.
Q: We have also received news that Liam helped you take training today. Is this going to be a regular occurrence?
A:It all depends on what Liam wants to do with the rest of his life. If he's happy about carrying on, then he can help. If he doesn't want to, I won't force him to help.
Q: Following on from the last question, do you see Liam having a future in the coaching side of the game?
A:Definately. He's captained the Weston Youth Teams and really, for me, I feel that if you have captained 5 times in your career at least then you are a suitable choice for manager.
Q: And, finally, do you have any words for Liam himself?
A: I said most of the things I wanted to say earlier, however, there is one more thing. Liam, if your reading this, then I want you to make a go of your future career and that your welcome back at Weston anytime.
Reporter: Thank you for your time Ryan.
Ryan: Thank you for having me.
17th February 2015
It was a cold, wintery morning in February and today I was up in Scotland as I was taking my coaching qualifications for my Coaching Pro Licence. I pulled up in my car at the training centre and I calmly stepped out of the car and grabbed my coaching bag before stepping through the automatic doors at the front of the complex. I walked up to the reception desk before waiting to be served and I placed my bag down on the floor. Soon enough, one of the receptionists looked up from their computer screen at you.
"Hello, sir, how may I help you?" the kind woman asked me. "Er, hi, hello. I'm Liam Drury and I'm here to take the Coaching Pro Licence course" I said confidently before the receptionist turned around to look at a female counterpart. "Suzy, there's a man here who's taking the Coaching Pro Licence course. Can you please show him to the appropriate room?" the receptionist asked. As if in an instant, the woman being spoken to, Suzy, stood up and walked through a side door before walking toward me.
"Hello, sir. If you'd care to follow me" Suzy said and she led me up some flight of stairs. I noticed that Suzy had long, blonde hair, had amazing legs, was wearing high heels and had amazing curves as she climbed the stairs. She reminded me of Darcy and Suzy seemed like my type of girl. Before long, we reached a door on the 3rd floor of the complex and Suzy stopped me outside. "Here you are, Liam" Suzy said before she smiled at me with amazing white teeth and deliberately brushed past me, as if to make sure I caught the scent of her.
I walked through the doors into the classroom and realised there were 5 other students waiting to be taught. I quickly got talking to them and found out their names were: Alex, Tom, Kieran, Jack and Andrew. I settled down into a desk next to Alex before our lecturer, Danny, entered the classroom. He placed his bag down onto the desk and beamed at us all. "Right, good morning gentleman. I hope you are all here to take the Continental Pro Licence course" Danny said. "Yes" we all replied before Danny sat down in his swivelly chair before wheeling toward us.
"Coaching is a big deal in football these days. A good coach can do anything with any set of players, whether they are the Messi's and Ronaldo's of the world or whether they are the Barton's and Bowyer's of the world. A good coach is vocal, good with tactics, good at training, good in matchday situations. He needs to lead his team toward success. That is why you 6 have all been accepted onto this course. Because, based on the CV's you have sent in toward us, we, here at the complex, we feel you are all capable of becoming the best".
"On this course, I feel that it would be a better thing to see you all in action. I don't believe in classroom teaching. I never have done. I never will. I believe the best form of teaching people like you lot is by doing things the practical way. By letting you get hands-on with players. And because the half-term in schools is coming up, we have entered 6 different age groups into 6 different half-term competitions among schools, sunday league sides, the lot. And you are the 6 who can lead our sides to success".
Danny then stood up and consulted a piece of paper on his desk. "Right, today you will all take training with your respective sides with our judges watching you. During your course, you will also be given an assistant manager to work with from the National A Licence course. So, taking charge of the U12's is Kieran. The U13's will be Tom. The U14's will be Andrew. The U15's will be me. The U16's will be Jack and the U18's will be Alex. Right, let's go meet your assistant manager's and your teams" Danny said before he led us outside into the corridor and into a separate room.
I was introduced to my assistant manager, Will, and I immediately shook hands with him. One by one, the teams were all led out onto the training pitches behind the complex. Me and Will have been assigned pitch 4 with the U15's but first, we all had to gather equipment we wanted. Me and Will decided on gathering some cones and some footballs before carrying them outside. On exiting the complex, Danny told us that we had access to the various facilities needed: swimming pools, gyms, all weather rooms and the training pitches.
Me and Will got out to the training pitch and there we found the U15's that we were about to make the best in Scotland. We quickly found out the positions we had available from our 23-man squad. GK's were Harvey, Andy and Callum. RB's were Charles and Jack W. CB's were Jamie, Jack G, Jonny and Josh. LB's were Lewis and Kieran. CM's were Conor, Tom, Isaac and Haroon. LM's were Lewis and Aiden. RM's were Thomas and Nathan. ST's were Jake, Dean, Josh and Ryan. I told the boys to go out on a jog while me and Will set up.
When the lads got back, I all made them pass the ball around in squares and after they had passed the ball, I made them move to the square on the right. Me and Will both went around coaching them individually about how to improve their passing and then I decided to set them up in playing an 11-a-side game. The teams were Harvey, Kieran, Jonny, Josh, Charles, Aiden, Isaac, Conor, Thomas, Dean and Josh vs Andy, Lewis, Jamie, Jack G, Jack W, Lewis, Tom, Haroon, Nathan, Jake and Ryan. Me and Will watched as Team 1 managed to win 5-1 and we then headed inside after a long day. Today was just the start of my coaching adventure...
26th February 2015
It was now the February half-term and I pulled up at the Scotland Football School before climbing out of the car, in my Weston tracksuit, and walked into the School. I signed in with the receptionist before being led out to the changing rooms. I placed my coaching bag in a little room assigned for the 'home manager' and I changed into a suit and tie. This was the semi-final of the competition and after I had managed to hang the shirts up on the hangers and place the shorts and socks on the bench, I was joined in the room by Will.
Around 5 minutes after Will had put on his boots, all 23 players flooded into the room and began to get changed into their kit. I was stood in the manager's room, writing out my team sheet for the game. This game, we would be facing off against Rangers U15's team, and I was determined to lead my team to success and to prove myself. Will was stood alongside me, watching me as I wrote my team-sheet out. I then passed the team-sheet to Will. "Go and find the ref and pass him the team-sheet" I said to my assistant.
Will hurried out into the changing room and then out into the corridor before I stepped foot into the changing room and clapped my hands loudly. "Alright then, boys. This is a big game today. We are playing the U15's side of the most successful side in Scotland. We need to start well. Keep possession, make them do the running. We don't need to use our energy in the first 10 minutes. Make them do the chasing" I said determinedly and my team stood up before heading into the tunnel alongside the Rangers side and walking out onto the pitch.
I took my place in the dugout and shook the hand of the Rangers manager. Will jogged out and clapped me on the back before sitting down in the dugout. I crossed my arms as I saw my captain, Jonny, bark out instructions to his team-mates as the armband glistened on his arm. Will then sprung up from his seat to stand alongside me and whispered into my ear that I should play Aiden and Thomas off the shoulder of Dean. I quickly called Aiden toward me so he could tell Thomas this instruction and then the game got underway.
The Rangers side were able to take the lead 6 minutes before half-time despite us pushing forward in search of a goal. Rangers took a throw-in from the left. My right-back Charles managed to win the ball from the left-mid but his tackle ended up bouncing toward the Rangers striker, who beat Charles for pace on the ball and his cross from the left was flicked by the Rangers right-back, who was far too forward for my liking, and the Rangers midfielder was able to flick home for 1-0. "TIGHTEN UP BOYS" I shouted as we prepared for kick-off.
We were however able to regain the lead on the hour mark during the 2nd half when a penetrating run from Aiden down the left this time won Weston a corner. Aiden stepped up to take the corner and whipped a delicious ball in. Thomas knocked the ball down with his head as he was pulled down in the box but luckily, Jamie was on hand at the front post to smash through the keeper's leg to level the scores. "COME ON" I shouted as me and Will both leapt out of our seats at celebrating our goal.
The winner, however, came a minute later when the ball was pumped long by Jonny toward the corner flag. Despite being a CM, Haroon was the furthest forward and despite being behind the Rangers defender by 10 yards when he started running, Haroon got to the ball before the defender before back-heeling to Dean, who took the ball under control, run to the edge of the area and curled home superbly to seal a superb win. "GET IN" I shouted as I high-fived Will and all the subs celebrated.
The final whistle eventually blew and I shook the hand of the Rangers manager before going onto the pitch and hugging the players, especially Dean who won us the game. We all scurried back toward the changing room where I congratulated the team on our win as we got changed. "Boys, what a win. We're in the Final now. You can become the best set of U15's in Scotland if you manage to pull through and win that. Now, get changed. You all deserve a well earned rest" I said before walking into the manager's office and closing the door. My team were in the final...
8th March 2015
It was the day that I found out whether I had gained my Continental Pro Licence. I had been the only coach in the class that had actually won the tournament we participated in so in my eyes, that put me in better stead than the rest of the class. I reached the complex in my car and I climbed out of the car in my casual clothes. I walked into the complex and signed in with the receptionist before I was told to go up to my class. I embarked up the flight of stairs and reached my classroom on the 3rd floor. I opened the door and walked into the classroom before taking my seat next to Alex, who smiled at me as I sat down. Before long, Danny breezed into the classroom and placed his bag down on he desk before taking his seat in the chair behind it. "Good morning, gentlemen. I hope you have all had a good weekend but today is the day you find out whether you have gained a Continental Pro Licence" he said.
Danny then stood up and set his laptop up by inserting all different wires into it that were coming out of the wall and then he took his seat again as he found what he wanted on his laptop. Danny then turned on the interactive whiteboard behind himself and he brought a powerpoint up on screen. The powerpoint title read 'Continental Pro Licence Awards' and Danny then brought his swivelly chair to directly face us. "So then, everyone, this is officially the ending of your course. You have all coached at the level you have wanted, presumably, and the world is now your oyster, depending on whether you pass or not". Danny flicked the screen onto the first slide and smiled at us. The title of this slide read 'Liam Drury: Success To Greatness With The U15's'. I smiled at having the slide named after me and then Danny stood up before consulting a piece of paper on his desk.
"Now. Liam led his U15's to success with confidence, swagger and an aura of attempting to develop these players in his short spell in charge. Liam managed to come away with the tournament trophy, and I can quite frankly say that he has done superbly to lead an average team to a good one, maybe even a great one depending on what the future leads to. I would, firstly, like to congratulate Liam on his tournament win and every best for the future. But, first Liam, would you care to explain your coaching type?" Danny asked me. "Of course" I said, leaning forward onto my desk. "My coaching type is one which I like to take a reserved type to. On the pitch, if I see something that isn't working, I would change the formation maybe, the way an individual is playing or bring someone new into the field" I said. Danny nodded at me as if to continue.
"Off the pitch, I see myself as being the Head Coach. I always have done during coaching and I always will. If I had he most experienced and the best coach in the world, I would still be the Head Coach. There is a way that I like to train my players and I want them to play a certain way, so to make them play that way I would take charge and coach them to play that way. In the changing rooms, I would only shout at my team if they were professionals. If they were semi-professionals, amateurs or kids, I would never raise my voice because in my opinion, they wouldn't react the same way as if professionals did. When I'm talking to a player 1-on-1, I would make sure that they were ok with what I was being asked to do or with what I wanted them to do with their career. That is generally my coaching style" I said and Danny nodded at me.
"Well, Liam. I would like to congratulate you on your tournament success again and would like to congratulate you on gaining your Continental Pro Licence" Danny said finally. I smiled at these words before Danny indicated for me to stand and walk toward the front. Danny handed me a piece of paper and a certificate that read 'Liam is now a Continental Pro Licence' and Danny also handed me a badge which I fastened to my top before Danny said I could go. I exited the classroom before letting out a sigh of relief and a sigh of joy. I signed out with the receptionist before stepping out into the cool spring air. I immediately pulled my phone from my pocket and phoned Darcy. "Hello, Liam. How did you do?" Darcy asked me. "I did it. I'm now a Continental Pro Licence holder" I said to Darcy. "Ahhhhh. Congratulations. I'rr speak to you soon when you get home. I love you" Darcy said. "I love you too" I said to Darcy.
I hung up the phone to Darcy before picking it back up. I looked at my contacts number and found the number of my former manager, Ryan Northmore. I phoned it and listened to the phone ringing until Ryan eventually picked up. "Hello" Ryan said. "Hi, Ryan. It's me" I said happily as Ryan waited to hear a reply. "Ah, Liam. I wasn't expecting to hear from you so soon. What may I do for you?" Ryan said surprised. I breathed in heavily before speaking. "Now, Ryan. This next bit is going to come from the heart. I have been with Weston for 10 years before I retired. I came through the academy, through to the first team. And this morning, I received the knowledge that I have managed to gain my Continental Pro Licence. And I want to pass my experience onto the younger teams" I said. I could hear Ryan writing things down before he spoke again. "Alright. Come down to Weston and we can talk in person" Ryan said. "See you soon" I said. I jumped into my car before exiting the car park. I was off on the hunt for a job...
New manager and Assistant Manager for Weston 13's
It has been announced this morning by Weston-Super-Mare AFC that current U13's manager, Steve Flowers, has resigned from his position at Weston and moved to fellow Vanarama National League South side Dartford as U18's manager. And Weston have confirmed that a change has come afoot for their youngsters...
It has been confirmed that former Weston wonderkid, Liam Drury, has taken charge of the U13's down at The Woodspring Stadium after suffering a second broken leg only two months prior to his latest job role. It has also been confirmed that his former Weston team-mate Matt has taken up the assistant manager role alongside his former captain.
Us here at Junior Premier League were able to catch up with the pair and ask them about how they were settling into life as manager and assistant manager of the Weston U13's.
So, gentleman, how have you both been recently?
Liam: I'm in a much better mood now thanks. I've really been looking forward to taking my first steps into coaching and I'm happy it's come from the right team, at the right team, and in the right role.
Matt: Same as me. I have been with Weston for the same amount of time as Liam and we have both grown into coaches together and hopefully that can continue.
What are your plans for the rest of the season, considering there are only two months left to go?
Liam: It has to be to reach the top half of the table. We have a superb squad here at Weston who are capable of that.
Matt: Definitely. But also, as a coach, I want to help these players develop as much as I can because they really do deserve the bets they can for us in charge.
Where do you hope to take this set of youngsters in the future?
Liam: My ultimate goal is to make these kids the best in England. There is always a chance with kids and I believe Weston have the setup throughout the academy that can help us achieve our goals.
Matt: I agree with Liam on this one. I want to make these kids the absolute best and to do that, we need the support from everyone at the club.
Do you see your futures eventually lying away from Weston? Maybe in a different job role?
Liam: I don't really know at the moment just because of the 50 years that lie ahead of me in coaching. I'm just going to see where the future takes me.
Matt: I do see my future lying away from Weston, hopefully as a manager, but I'm not really going to know unless the world takes me there.
Do you both have anything to say about Steve Flowers leaving and unknowingly, the opportunity he has given you?
Liam: He's done an amazing job for this club. He has nurtured and developed the U13's to the best of their abilities and now he's gone onto other things with Dartford.
Matt: He's given us a fantastic opportunity. He's made these players the way they are today and now it's down to me and Liam to keep his work going.
What tactics will you both be using this season?
Liam: I'm not entirely sure about that at the moment mate. It depends on what formations and tactics would suit the players we have at our disposal. If we have a big target man, I would play one up top with someone playing off him, if you know what I mean.
Matt: I agree entirely with the gaffer on this one but if we play different-style teams we will need to change the tactics we use then.
Finally, do you ever see yourself managing a first team at a bigger club than Weston?
Liam: As I said earlier, it all depends on what comes around really. If a club higher than Weston want me and are offering a decent opportunity, I would take it. But wherever I go, I would always speak to the boss first to see if he thought it was the right opportunity.
Matt: Same as Liam really. If a bigger club came in for me and gave me a good opportunity, in any role, I would take it. But for now, I am at Weston and nowhere else.
So, this interview has just proven that Liam and Matt have a tight bond with eachother having progressed through the youth ranks together. They both trained with the first team together with some fellow U18's but Liam managed to make his 1st team debut and so far, Matt has been unable to establish himself in and amongst the first team Weston ranks and has been sent out on loan to Bristol Manor Farm for the rest of the season. How will the new manager and assistant get on in charge of Weston 13's? Only the season can tell...
Great to see how much detail you can put into such a small scale event! I love it, keep it up
Dan Jackson departs from Weston as Academy Director
Weston's goalkeeper, U14's coach and Academy Director, Dan Jackson, has resigned from his position as Academy Director. The Academy Director is responsible for structuring the Academy every season, deciding who should be in charge of each team and attempting to breed through each player into their respective sides.
Dan was able to be caught upon exiting The Woodspring Stadium upon telling the bosses that he was planning on stepping down as the Academy Director. There were emotions at the news of Jackson's departure as Academy Director, with coaches Liam Drury, Matt and Will all looking shocked and upset at the news Dan was stepping down as Academy Director.
Dan. What made you quit as the Academy Director here at Weston?
Dan: I wasn't enjoying it one bit. I had to make everything perfect for the coaches and it's something I don't really have time for to be honest. But whoever comes in next, I hope they do a better job than I did.
So are you staying at Weston then as a goalkeeper and a coach?
Dan: That's right. I am. I like offering my experience to kids who are in the same position as I was a few years ago and I want to help these kids develop and ultimately give Weston a brighter future.
It has also been branded around that you and retired Weston winger Liam Drury have a strong relationship. Do you see him as taking over the Academy Director position?
Dan: Definitely. He's got a 90 percent chance of getting it, just because he's been through the struggles of what a young footballer has and hopefully he gets the chance he deserves.
So recently after Dan left his position as the Academy Director though, it has been reported in the media around Somerset that Weston are looking toward a promotion from the inside and that just this afternoon, U13's manager Liam Drury, U13's assistant Matt and U14's assistant Will were all seen arriving at the club around 3PM. Are any of them set to get the Academy Director role? Find out soon...
24th July 2015
It was the middle of summer and it was coming toward the end of July. I had recently been appointed as Academy Director after my former coach, Dan, stepped down from the role and I was viably the club's first choice ahead of my U14's assistant manager Matt and U15's assistant Will.
For this upcoming season, I had gone for a chance around for the academy with placing the two U18's managers in charge of the U12's team as well so they had control over the oldest and youngest teams in the academy.
I took over the current U13's with Matt as I allowed Dan to take control of the U14's, my last age group, with my former team-mate Lewis. Ben took charge of the U15's and Phil was in charge of the U16's.
I was proud of the work I was during in charge of the Academy and I was intent on making the academy the best it possibly could be. I was currently sat at home flicking through my emails when the U12's managers, Dan H and James, knocked on my door. I opened the door to them and the pair stepped into my house.
"What do you both want this afternoon?" I asked them as I sat back down in my armchair and leant back as a tentative Dan and James followed me into the living room. "Well, Liam. It's about the current teams below the U12's" Dan said.
"Go on" I said, indicating for them to carry on talking as I pulled a notepad and pen from the chest of drawers beside me. "I was wondering, who would be taking charge of them teams? From the U7's to the U11's" James said.
"Well, boys. In my eyes, I have been planning this for a long time. Ever since I took over as the Academy Director. I have felt that, because I have known these people for so long, I have decided that I would like to appoint my former team-mates from the first team to youth teams as managers for the younger teams" I explained, as the pair both nodded their heads.
"Ok then. Who do you have in mind to take over then?" Dan asked me as I pulled a document up onto my screen. In charge of the U7's I would like Dayle Grubb as the manager with Jamie Edge as his assistant".
"For the U8's, I want Luke Purnell as manager with Jake Mawford as his assistant. For the U9's, I want Scott Wilson as manager with Ash his assistant".
"For the U10's, I want Jay as manager with Glen as his assistant. Those two would be formidable together and for the U11's I will have Harry as manager with Sol as the assistant for that age group".
"Does that answer your questions, you two?" I asked them as they both leant on the armchair of the sofa, taking in the information. They both nodded their heads before James spoke up once more.
"Will you be sending the fixture lists around once they've been finalised?" he said. "Yes, James. Don't worry" I said with enthusiasm. "I've always booked in the U12's for a friendly at home against South Glos on the 27th. Is that ok? " I told the pair.
"Of course it is. Thanks Liam" Dan said before him and James exited my house. I leant back and smiled at myself having realised how well I had handled that previous situation. Suddenly, my phone rang beside me.
I answered the phone before waiting for the person on the other side to speak. "Hello. Is this Liam Drury?" said the voice. "Er, yes it is. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking to?" I asked calmly.
"Good morning. I am Randy Lerner, the Aston Villa chairman and I have recently been informed that there is a talented Academy Director at Weston who I am interested in speaking to. Would you like to come up to Birmingham this afternoon and speak to us?" Lerner said.
"Of course, Mr. Lerner. I shall be at the club by 5PM" I commented before I put the phone down. I locked the house up as Darcy was working today before I climbed into my car, parked outside my house, and made my way to Birmingham....
24th July 2015
I pulled into the Villa Park car-park before turning the handbrake on and grabbing my phone from the passenger seat next to me. I quickly texted Darcy to tell her I was in Birmingham and what I was doing there before stepping into the warm, evening sun and swinging the car door shut. I locked the car doors before walking a 2-minute walk across the rest of the car park and walking down the path that led up to the players' entrance on game day. Tim Sherwood had been sacked by Aston Villa just over 2 months ago and they were yet to get a replacement, but I doubted that would have been my chance to get into management. I was probably here for another reason. I followed the signs that pointed upward toward Lerner's office and eventually I found my way there. I knocked on the door before I heard the call of "Come in". I stepped into the room before smiling at Lerner and taking a seat in front of him at his desk. "Good evening, Liam. I'm glad you came along to speak to us. As you may be aware, I recently made the horrible decision of sacking Tim Sherwood just over 2 months ago and have been searching for a new manager ever since. And word has recently reached me that down at Weston, there was a talented Academy Director and an impressive U13's manager" Lerner explained.
I immediately sat up in my seat and craned my neck to try and look professional and not be slouched in my chair. "I agree, Mr. Lerner" I said before Randy pulled a document from underneath the pile of paper that lay in front of him. "So, Liam, would you be up for your first ever managerial role in charge of Aston Villa?" Randy asked me. I almost blushed at Randy's last question and I instantly though to myself that this could be my chance in management but I was still so young. I looked around at Randy's office before making myself comfortable in the chair I was sat in.
"Are you sure Randy?" I asked him cautiously, trying to hide all doubt I could from my voice as I spoke. Randy then leant over his desk before smiling at me, this time attempting to get all his white, pearly teeth on show. "Of course I'm sure Liam. I wouldn't have invited you here otherwise. We have already set up accommodation for you and your family only a 2-minute drive away from the training ground and a 10-minute drive away from the ground" Randy said. I considered this before I spoke again.
"Ok then" I said. "Ok?" Randy said cautiously before I spoke up again. "I accept your managerial offer Randy" I replied before Randy pressed a buzzer on his desk. "Sharon. Can you please bring Tom Fox and the photographer, Helen, through please?" Randy said into the microphone before releasing his hold on the buzzer. "So, Liam, would you like to talk about money?" Randy said. I smiled at Randy before leaning back in my chair. "It's not all about money, Mr. Lerner. I don't care about money much. A reasonable amount would do for me" I replied.
Before long, Tim Fox, the Aston Villa managing director, entered the room with the club photographer, Helen, and I settled down at a longer table with Tim and Randy. "So, Liam, how much money would you be asking for?" Tim asked me. "Well, Tim, it's not all about money for me, you see. I think £22,500 would be enough for me" I replied and Tim wrote this figure onto the document he had placed on the table before handing me the pen. "Would you care to sign there please?" Tim said and I quickly scribbled my signature onto the dotted line before Tim wrote the contract length onto the piece of paper '1-year'.
This contract length didn't bother me at all, because in my eyes I had to prove myself to the Aston Villa board, the backroom staff, the players and most importantly, the fans. My task here would be to get them on my side from the start. "Smile for the camera, Liam" Helen said as she pointed the camera in my face. I put the pen on the paper to look like I was signing and I looked toward the camera while smiling. "Perfect" Helen said before lowering the camera before asking me and Tony to shake hands, which we did while Helen took photos. Before long, I signed the deal by scribbling my name at the bottom of the document.
As soon as I signed the deal, I stood up and shook hands with Randy and Tim before being handed an Aston Villa shirt and heading out onto the balcony overlooking the stadium. I held the shirt to my side as it stayed flat in the summer's air and then I had Randy take one end and me held the other while our photos were taken together. I then re-entered the chairman's office before Randy turned to speak to me. "Now, Liam. I think it is time to show you around and help you with other business" Randy said. "Tim will help you out with all that" Randy said before Tim showed me out of the office into the corridor.
"So, first Liam, we need to get you your Villa suit and tie" Tim said before leading me downstairs and into the kit room. There, I was introduced to the kitman, Mark, before I was sized up for my new suit and tie. Mark then hurried off into the suit section before handing me my new suit and tie in its wrapping. I entered a changing room behind the kit room, which is where I was allowed to try my suit on. I put my suit and tie on before exiting the changing room. "You look a model professional Liam" Tim said before exiting the kit room with me, my casual clothes in my hand.
Tim then walked me back upstairs to the top floor, which as I walked through the double doors at the top of the stairs, I realised that was where the chairman must have been because there was a sign above the doors saying 'Board Of Directors'. Tim then introduced me to each of the 'Board Of Directors' one-by-one from Chairman Steve Hollis, director Charles Krulak, Robin Russell and Henrik Almstadt. Tim then made it certain to me that it was only the Board of Directors that were permanently based in the stadium. Tim then showed me where my office was for matchday. My office was located on the 1st floor and it had a nice scenic view of the pitch.
Tim then showed me around the pitch and I took a wander as I was photographed by Helen as I walked around the stadium. Tim then showed me into the changing rooms and I smiled as I saw how spacious they were compared to Weston's ones. Me and Tim then exited to the carpark before climbing into Tim's car and being drove to Aston Villa's training complex, Bodymoor Heath. Me and Tim climbed out of the car and walked the 30-second walk into the reception area. There, I saw two stunning receptionists, one named Nicki and the other was named Jordan. Tim introduced me to the receptionists and I caught Jordan checking me out when I was being introduced to Nicki.
Me and Tim then passed through to the main training complex, where I walked up steps to the first floor and this was where I was introduced to my training staff: Goalkeeping coach Tony Parks, Fitness coaches Robert Duvenne, Michael Watts, Chris Lorkin and head coach Eric Black. I was also introduced to my chief scout Paddy Riley and his 12-man scouting team on the 2nd floor. I was then taken up to the 3rd floor where I was introduced to Head of Youth Development Sean Kimberley. I was then taken up to the 4th floor where I was introduced to Head Physio Alan Smith and his 1st team physio Adam Crump.
Tim then informed me that all of the youth team staff had gone home for the night as they weren't needed past 4PM and I brushed Tim off, by telling him that I would introduce myself to them personally the following morning. Tim then showed me up to the 5th floor where I was showed into the Games Room, where this room was generally for the players to play on the PS4 and to play a game of darts or table tennis or a room where they could socialise. I was then taken through to the canteen where I met the canteen staff and was given a paper menu for the rest of the month so I knew what was served on each day.
Tim then took me up to the 7th floor, which I regarded as the most important floor because the sole room on this floor was my office. In my office, there was a desktop computer, a printer, a filing cabinet, a TV on the wall, a DVD player and a trophy cabinet for all my personal accolades. I smiled to myself as I walked out onto the cabinet and looked out onto the training pitches, where I would be training my players to make them the best in the world. Helen then took a photo of me holding the Villa shirt out with the training pitches in the background and as I turned back around, I though to myself that this is the start of a great adventure...
26th July 2015
It was a cold, rainy day in Birmingham and I was sitting at my desk at the Bodymoor Heath training ground as I was watching Sky Sports News on my TV, as the constant bullets of rain banged down on my windows. I then picked a document up from my desk that I had noticed there earlier. The document read 'Weston Super Mare AFC Resignation form' and I then began to fill in the correct parts of the document. Suddenly, a knock came at my door and I looked up to see Reginald Ray.
Reginald stepped into the office and I smiled at him. "Hello, Reginald, what may I do for you today?" I asked him. "Um...Recently, Liam, I have noticed that there could be a few more backroom staff at this club and I feel it would be necessary to bring some more in just so it can help us achieve our arms for this season" Reginald said. "Ok, Reginald. I will take your concerns on board and go and visit the owner right away" I said as I turned my TV off before standing up and sweeping out of the office.
10 minutes after departing the training ground, I pulled into the Villa Park carpark before turning off my windscreen wipers, turning the engine off and stepping out into the rainy air. I then jogged across the car park to the stadium and entered through the players' entrance. I then made my way up to Randy Lerner's office, where I knocked on the door and heard Randy's call of "come in". I entered the office and sat opposite Randy before he acknowledge me. "Liam, why do I have the pleasure of seeing you today?" Randy asked me.
"Well, Mr. Lerner, recently me and my assistant, Reginald Ray, have decided that the club are lacking more backroom resources to help us push on and achieve our aims for this season and the forthcoming seasons afterward this one coming" I explained to the owner of Aston Villa. Randy then looked up as he typed all this down on his computer. "And who may you be interested in bringing in, Liam?" Randy asked me. "Well, first things first, I would like a Director of Football to help me with transfers. Graham Wood from Gateshead would do" I said.
"Who else Liam?" Randy asked me again. "As U21 assistant manager, I would like Bob Hepburn from Great Yarmouth and for U18 assistant, I would like Derek Lightstone from Bishop's Cleeve. As coaching staff for the 1st team, I would like to bring in Dejan Stefanovic and Mick Fogden from Worthing. I also want Simon Dwight from MK Dons, Ryan Kidd from Bury, Graham Dougall from Reading and Mick Halsall from Notts County as my U18's coaching staff additions. I also want Charlotte Soffee from Chippenham and Kevin Mulholland from Sheffield Wednesday as physios for the first team" I said.
"I would also like to bring in Andy Lord from Oxford as my U21's physio. I feel that if we can bring all these additions on board, then I feel that we could really be capable of achieving our aims for this season and hopefully beyond. My job here is to set up this club for a successful future with or without me at the helm and I want to be successful with my staff" I said.
Randy nodded his head after he had finished typing my words down onto a document before he acknowledged me. "Ok Liam. I will try my best and see what I can do" Randy said before he indicated for me to leave his office. I calmly stood up before exiting and in the corridor, I let out a sigh of happiness and relief as I phoned up Reginald Ray to tell him the good news as I climbed into my car and drove off...
Drury Appointed As Aston Villa Manager
It has been revealed that today, the 28th July 2015, that Aston Villa have eventually appointed former Weston-Super-Mare wonderkid Liam Drury as their new manager. Drury is set to take his place in the hotseat at Villa Park and he appears up for the challenge of attempting The Villans away from the relegation dogfight and into the land of mid-table security. Drury is set to replace Tim Sherwood successfully.
Randy Lerner appears ecstatic at Drury signing the contract with Lerner stating that "Aston Villa are a club that deserve to be taken into the promised land and that after Sherwood failed in that task, it is now down to Drury to do it. I have every single confidence in Liam and because he is young, I know that if he succeeds, he is hopefully more than likely to be here for a few more seasons" Lerner said.
Lerner also added that "Liam is a young manager with bags of potential and because of his recent disasters in his playing career, he has been forced to turn toward management to achieve a career in football. I am ecstatic that he has chosen to take his first steps into professional management with us here at Aston Villa and I can't wait to see the new man in action here" Lerner said.
Drury was also spotted leaving the Aston Villa training ground today after preparing his first few training sessions in charge and we were able to catch Liam as he climbed into his car. "I am ecstatic at I have been trusted with taking over at this historic club. They are basically the furniture of the Premier League and I hope to become the furniture of this club and more importantly the league" Liam said.
"I would also like to thank Randy Lerner, the Owner, for giving me this chance in charge and the players, hopefully, for accepting me into this club and hopefully for making me the proudest manager in the world of football at some point this season. Now, if your excuse me, I need to get home to my loving girlfriend and start planning my next few training sessions with this amazing team" Liam finished off with.
Also, earlier in the day, we were able to catch Aston Villa captain Micah Richards leaving the training ground and were able to ask him for a few words. "It's obviously been hard the past 2 months or so without a manager after Tim Sherwood left us and I think it's amazing news that this club has now successfully been able to appoint a young manager who is down to our level and knows what management is about" Micah said.
"I also like the way that Liam is instantly trying to make the club feel like his home and to make us the best in the league by appointing people from the outside. People who know what coaching is all about and are willing to work alongside us and the rest of the backroom staff and create a professional but strong atmosphere on and off the pitch and I wish Liam the best of luck as the new manager" Michael finished off with.
We have also been in touch with Weston-Super-Mare manager, Ryan Northmore, and his take on the surprise appointment up north. "It's absolutely amazing news. To have somebody from Weston manage in the Premier League changes the outlook on the town. Liam was loved by all in and amongst Weston, as a club and the town, and that's going to change the whole outlook on the club and all I have to say is good luck to him".
So, it appears that Randy Lerner, Micah Richards and Ryan Northmore are all behind the new man in the dugout at Villa Park. But due to Liam being only 20 years old, some of the fans may be sceptical towards him, and some sections of the support have already spoken out about the new man in charge by saying that he is too inexperienced to manage Villa. As the new season approaches, can Liam Drury lead Villa to mid-table or drag them down in flames?
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