Budleigh ladies have a new manager and the future looks very exciting for the Robinettes

PUBLISHED: 09:42 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:42 21 May 2020

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There’s a new man in charge of the Budleigh ladies football team.

Following the departure of former Robinettes boss Dan Carthew, albeit to take on the top job of looking after the Budleigh men, his former number two, Nick Long, has stepped up to become the Robinettes new manager.

We caught up with the new chief and first up asked how it felt now that he was the ‘number one’?

He replied: “Really good! I am really grateful to be given the opportunity to take on the Robinettes.

“I’ve watched, supported, played and loved football for as long as I can remember, so to be given the responsibility to coach a team is a big test, but one I’m very much looking forward to.

“I’ve got to know the players over the last season and I’m really looking forward to working with them over the coming season, they’re a great bunch!”

We then asked Nick how he first got involved with the Greenway Lane club and his reply was: “My wife joined the Robinettes as a player a few years ago and has been with them for three seasons, so I’ve been coming to the games as a fan for a while now. Then I became more involved last year when Dan asked me if I’d be interested in helping him out with coaching the team.

“Obviously I was glad to help and I’ve learned a lot about the team over the past year, so I’m really looking forward to continuing the great work that Dan’s put in during his time with the team.”

Next up to the question of does the new coach have a favourite style or a particular way he likes his teams to line up. He said: “Personally, I think football is about how it makes you feel, and for me football is never more exciting than when a team wants to play with speed and creativity.

“I’ve always focused more on the attacking side of the game and that will continue with the Robinettes, so I’m hoping we can bring a desire to attack into every game.

“Obviously each game will throw different challenges at us, but my goal is to be able to take on those challenges and still bring our approach into the game... and of course, have fun while we do it!”

With regard to recruitment, the new boss said: “We have a great group of players at Budleigh ladies, but we’re always open to adding to the squad with any new players that might want to come along and join us.

“This season we will be looking for a couple of new midfielders so please do get in touch if you (or anyone you know) might want to come along to training when things start up again.”

That led us nicely into a ‘fairly obvious’ current question when we asked the new Robinettes head coach how much he is missing the game at present.

He replied saying: “I’m really missing the game - football plays a big part in my life.

“I play twice a week myself and then I have training and match-days with the Robinettes so I can’t wait to get back on the green grass. The players are also really keen... we’re just waiting for the green light to say we can start training!”

On the subject of working with a number two, Nick says: “I don’t have an assistant as such, but our club captain and one or two of our more experienced players will be helping me out, so the players will get plenty of support. “That said, if any physios or strength and conditioning coaches out there would be interested in helping out then I’d certainly ask that they get in touch, because while I’ll be doing what I can, I don’t think you can ever have too much help and support with the physical side of the game.”

The question of where he’d like the Robinettes to be if we could wind the clock on 12 months, he replies: “Obviously, given current circumstances with the on-going Coronavirus pandemic, none of us know quite when the league(s) are going to get underway.

“However, last season was our first season in a higher division after Dan took the ladies to the league title the previous year and the team definitely stepped up their game, so I’m hoping we can continue on that path.

“There are some top teams in our division and each game is a challenge, but we’re very much up for the challenge and I’d love to see the Robinettes pushing for a top four spot by the end of the season.”

He continued: “As soon as we get the go-ahead to return to some sort of regular training routine and planning for the new campaign then we are sure to be out on the training pitch as much as we can.

“Given the extended ‘break’ we’ve all taken from football everyone is keen to get back to it, and we’ll be working hard on both fitness and football to get ourselves in the best condition for when the league kicks off.”

He then turned his attention to when we might see a return to football by saying: “In terms of a return to football, I honestly don’t know because things are still so changeable.

“I’m staying optimistic though, and hopefully if everyone follows the guidelines set by the government, we might see a return to football in the next two to three months – fingers well and truly crossed on that one.”

He finally turned his attention to more general matters saying: “The final thing I’d like to add is that Budleigh is a great local club and we love seeing locals at the games. The Robinettes are very lucky to have a good group of supporters that come and watch us play (good weather always helps of course!), so if anyone fancies coming to a game then we’d love to see you there. The clubhouse is always open after games so pop in for a drink and say hello – we look forward to seeing you!”

As for prospective new players, physios and conditioning coaches getting in touch, Nick can be contacted by email at nicklong1983@gmail.com


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