21st Oct, 2020

New Stratford Town boss Byfield says patience is a necessary virtue

Stratford Editorial 1st Jun, 2018

NEW Stratford Town manager Darren Byfield accepts he will need to bide his time to start his recruitment at the MoodChimp Stadium.

Byfield, appointed boss to succeed Carl Adams last week, says he has been encouraged by the early feedback from players, from the current squad and possible newcomers.

But at this stage of the summer it will be a waiting game. Players cannot be registered at this stage while Byfield knows a posse of clubs will be tracking the same group of players.

The former Redditch United manager says he won’t be forced into a bidding war.

“I’ve already spoken to a lot of players and a lot of them have agreed to come down for pre-season,” said Byfield. “But coming to training and signing are two different things.

“My phone hasn’t stopped ringing but the players have the power at this stage of the summer. They will try to play each manager they speak to off against another to get the best deal.

“I understand that’s how it works. I’m a lot calmer about it than I was when I first became a manager.

“I’m not going to get into a bidding war – you can agree something with a player now, but then he will be offered an extra £40-50 to go elsewhere.

“I want players to come for the right reason and Stratford has a lot to offer.”

Stratford have already seen four players follow ex-boss Adams to his new club Rugby Town.

Front-runner Justin Marsden has been appointed player-assistant and full-back Lee Thomas and defender Loyiso Recci will be moving to the Valley, who will be playing in the United Counties Premier next season.

Former Town player Simeon Tulloch, who did not play last season through injury, has also been reunited with Adams.

“Carl brought players to Stratford and some of them feel a loyalty to him, which I understand,” said Byfield.

“But I’m speaking to all the players and some have already said they want to stay.

“I want to keep the core of the squad and then bring in some new players as well.”

Byfield is also having talks to sort out his backroom team but nothing has been confirmed at this stage.

The former Aston Villa and Walsall striker, who also won six caps with Jamaica, says he cannot wait to get stuck into the Town job and believes he is more equipped now after his first managerial experience at Redditch.

Byfield had been part of the coaching team at Solihull Moors and Birmingham City Ladies before moving to the Reds to take over from Liam McDonald two summers ago.

But he says he learned plenty of lessons, not only about dealing with a different level of football in Step Three but with how to manage players.

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