Paul Michael is a young man in a hurry and that can only be a good thing for Cinderford Town Football Club, their players and supporters.
The 31-year-old took charge of the club in November last year, performances and results did pick up after Michael’s arrival but not enough to stave off the inevitable and the one-time Risca United player/boss is now looking forward to putting his own stamp on the club as they prepare for life back in the Evo-Stik League South, West.
“We’d have needed a miracle to have stayed up last season and we were always looking at this season as the real start for us.”
“What last year did give us was a bit of run-up to this season. We already had a core of players and we’ve added some quality players which has made us much more competitive. We’ll be much better than last season.
“We’re confident in the players we’ve got and we’ll definitely be looking for a place in the play-offs. It’s an exciting time for everyone at the club.”
Michael, who says his assistant Andrew Smith – “Everyone knows him as Smudge” – has a big part to play in any success the club may achieve, and cut his managerial teeth in South Wales which is where he is from.
“I was playing for Clevedon Town in the Southern League, but when I was 24-25 I had to move closer to home for personal reasons so I took over as player-manager at Risca.”
It was a brave move because Risca were playing in Division Three of the Welsh League and at the time there seemed as much chance of them making progress as England winning the 2014 World Cup!
“They were second from bottom when I joined and they’d only stayed in the league that season on a legal appeal,” he said. “But we stabilised the club, won back-to-back promotions and then established ourselves in Division One. It was a good grounding.”
The situation at Cinderford Town was even tougher than the one Michael inherited at Risca five years earlier but he has enough confidence in his own ability to believe that there will be many more ‘W’s’ on the club’s results page this time around.
The central midfielder played a couple of games for Cinderford Town when they were short of numbers last season but although he may still name himself on the substitutes’ bench on occasion the intention is for him to concentrate on managing the team.