The Bootroom with Carl Shaw

The Bootroom with Carl Shaw - Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC

Ahead of this Saturday's Welsh Cup game at Caerau we caught up with reds manager Carl Shaw for his thoughts on season 2016/17-

Hi Carl, what do you think of the improvements at the Old Road over the summer?
The ground just gets better and better every year, the new stand is quality and makes it look more of a football ground! It is nice to see a proper disabled area as well but it will take some getting used to with the new dugouts the other side of the pitch though but they are great too! I just hope we can do well and fill the new stand.

What are your thoughts on the new back room staff and what they can bring to the club?
My biggest mistake last season was I tried to do too much myself! The first thing I had to was to increase my coaching staff and share the work load, so I spoke to the best assistant manager I have come across when I was playing and luckily enough Ray Pennock was keen to get involved with us and I know with his experience of football and especially the knowledge he has of the Welsh League it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and the club to learn from his experience.
The addition of Gary Elsey as a goalkeeper coach just shows how we are hoping to do things right now off the field, not only will Gary bring on all our keepers at the club, his knowledge of the game is second to none and will help the outfield players as much as the keepers.
The final addition to my coaching team were the two experienced players from my squad last season Gaz and Hills, and I already used them to run ideas off last season! They are very important to me because they know all the players and the club inside out and the experience they add to my coaching set up is fantastic.
And to have Kerry Nicholas also now on board just finishes the off field team perfectly, knowing that the boys will be able to see Kerry with any little niggle and getting them back to full fitness as soon as possible is a real bonus.
And between us we not a bad 5 a-side team and can’t see the boys winning many games in training against us!!!

Thoughts on the comings and goings of players and how the new signings have settled?
It was a very difficult summer with 7 first team players leaving us in total! But we have worked hard and added some real quality signings for the club to go with the players who stayed loyal in the summer I am more than happy with the squad we have and looking forward to working with them all and hopefully achieving the targets we have set ourselves.
They have all settled in brilliantly and the team spirit in the camp is fantastic and can only see it getting better the more everyone gets to know each other.

Regarding the start we have had - happy?
Yes, I’m happy with the start we have made, like I said it was difficult over the summer so to start the season with two wins and a draw in the league is a good solid start. Even though we lost up in Barry in the cup I still took encouragement from that game and giving one of our youth players his debut was pleasing.

Expectations for the new season in the league and cup?
This season is a difficult one for us, everyone is expecting us to go straight back up to division one, but people have got to realise we did lose over half the side who played last season, yes we have replaced them with good quality signings but we need time to blend together and build as a side. If things carry on progressing has quickly as they have since we got the squad together then hopefully we can be in the mix for promotion this year and get us back to where I think we should be!
As for the Welsh Cup it’s about going as far has possible, with hopefully a trip up north at some point so the boys can experience a different match day experience, but we have been handed a very difficult draw playing Caerau away is never easy but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to and let’s see how far this squad as come and how far can we go!!
And finally can I just thank the club for the support I have had over the summer and the players who stayed with us, hopefully we can reward you all with a successful season and play some good football.
Also, please after every game come and join us in Bar Red, where we will always be and ready for a chat with everyone!
All the best

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