After he signed a new three and a half year contract with Leiston, Non-League Daily (NLD) sat down for a chat with Blues manager Glen Driver (GD) to get his thoughts on the deal and the club’s future.
NLD: The club offering you a new contract must be a massive boost for Tony and yourself?
GD: Yes, it is a big boost because it’s something the club has never offered a manager at Leiston before. The Chairman and the board can see what we are trying to build here and that going to take time.
NLD: Three and a half years is a big commitment for a non-league club and may be a surprise to some people but what are the benefits of that length of deal for you?
GD: The length of the agreement is not something that worries me. There are benefits for both parties because we agree we need to get some stability at Leiston. It’s gives us the chance to develop the youth and reserve team and put a system in place that will benefit the club long term.
NLD: You stepped up from the reserves last summer and into a very competitive Ryman League, what are the main differences you have found?
GD: The higher the level you go the more demanding the role becomes. It’s a very good level that suits us because we are in agreement that’s there is only one way to play the game, and that’s to get it down and play. It’s like a full time job but as long as your honest to yourself and the group I believe it will help you gain respect while carrying out the job.
NLD: To be sat in fourth place, with games in hand on your play-off rivals, is some achievement. What are the key factors behind the progress so far?
GD: We have set out a style of football that lets us attack teams. Our first line of defence is to attack. This has been proven with the amount of goals we have scored in all competitions. We encourage all our players to be attack-minded, be good with the ball but even better without it.
NLD: Seventy seven goals scored in twenty eight league games so far this season, obviously Matthew Blake has taken many plaudits but is it a team effort that you put that statistic down to?
GD: Yes it’s is a team effort! Matt Blake has scored 34 in all competitions, yet we have scored over 115 goals this season, so as you can see we have goal scorers in all positions. We are a team and Matt would be the first to say his team mates have been great for him this season but so is our style of play.
NLD: Do you believe the club are well-placed to push for promotion throughout the remainder of the season?
GD: Yes we are in a good position at this stage and I’m sure there will many twists and turns in the coming weeks. For us we just have to make sure we compete and demand a lot of each other in every game between now and the end of the season. Promotion would be great but where we end up at the end of the season is where we will deserve to be.
NLD: How important is Tony Kinsella to your success?
GD: Tony is very important to what we are doing now and moving forward. We are like brothers both on and off the field. I was lucky to play under Tony and our philosophy on the game is the same. Tony is a great coach, his sessions are very enjoyable and the advice he gives players is always honest and professional.
NLD: Club chairman Andy Crisp has given you a lot of praise when he was commenting on your contract, how is your working relationship with him?
GD: Andy Crisp has gained lot of respect in non league football. He is a Chairman that is honest and true to his word. We talk all the time and along with the board, they have trusted me and supported me in the decisions I have made. Had he not been Chairman I doubt I would be where I am today. He is a gentleman and whatever happens in football, we will always remain close friends.
NLD: It has been well-documented that the club’s attendances have gone up this season, how important is it that the supporters continue to back the club?
GD: Our supporters have been unbelievable this season both home and away. The football we are playing is attracting both old and new supporters back through the turnstiles. Last season we attracted over 200 through the gate for home league games, this season we have had over that at every league game. That speaks volumes as to how the players have performed this season. Supporters are everything to our club, without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.
NLD: What do you and Tony hope to achieve over the next three and a half years?
GD: Over the next three and a half years I hope we can build a foundation that can hold Leiston in a good position for years to come. It’s not about just a first team, we are a club and we need to build as a club. Time will tell if myself and Tony are the right people to to carry this out and hopefully the club can look back on our long term agreement as being the right choice.
Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Leiston FC