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INTERVIEW: He didn't want me to go

17 June 2013

Second part of our Eric Kinder interview

In the second part of our interview with Eric Kinder he spoke about his relationship with first team manager Greg Abbott and about leaving his current group of U18 players behind.

“Greg wished me all the best when I told him what my final decision was, but that’s the kind of man he is,” he said. 

“I felt like I was letting him down because he's supported me a huge amount throughout my time at the club. He works very hard for this club and I think he sometimes gets unfairly criticised.

“We are really close and we can talk about anything, so there have been occasions where I have given him an opinion that he has disagreed with. That’s football and it’s the way it should be. The fact that we're friends means we can do that even better than if it was just a working relationship. We have both been able to discuss everything and anything, and then move on with whatever the final decision has been.

“He told me that he knew I had to go for the job – he accepted that – but he also said that as my manager and my friend he really didn’t want me to go. It was a hard conversation to have with him, but he was very professional about it all and he knows that I'm ambitious.

“We'll definitely keep in touch because we've parted on really good terms. There has never been any sort of friction between us but I don't think you can work as closely as we do and always agree on everything. 

“We've both disagreed with things the other one has done but I can honestly say that not once in all of our time working together have we ever fallen out. We actually shared a flat when we first came to Carlisle and we've worked together for close to seven years now. 

“I'm not really sure where the stories that we don't get on have come from, because we have a really good relationship, and it is frustrating to read that kind of thing. It’s just not true.”

One thing which will be at his disposal are the facilities which go hand-in-hand with a former Premier League giant.

“It probably goes without saying that there will be more at my disposal,” he agreed. “I know Terry McPhillips [assistant manager] really well because he was youth team coach at Crewe and he actually took my job at Blackburn when I moved up to Carlisle. 

“Knowing the ground, the facilities and some of the people will make it much easier to settle. It will almost be like going back to familiar surroundings but with totally different people in place.”

And his experience with the YTS set-up at Carlisle United is bound to also stand him in good stead.

“The lads who broke into the first team last season are coming up to the age I'll be working with down at Blackburn, so I'll take a lot of what I've learned at Carlisle down there,” he told us.

“I've learned a lot from the three managers I've worked under and I always listen to the conversations after the game with the opposition manager, just so I can hear what they say and what they do. 

“Sometimes I have gone home and written it down and on other occasions I’ve completely ignored it. Whichever, I’ve always tried to learn from it.”

Leaving the club, of course, includes leaving behind players who have made it through and others who are still on the pathway and hoping to earn themselves a professional deal.

“I've worked on the plans for the coming season since last November, so it is difficult to leave that part of it behind,” he admitted. “We've had a lot of success over the last couple of years, not just with players getting a contract but with others getting on the bench and then onto the pitch.

“We even had four players who came through from the youth team who made over 30 appearances each last season. I've now got very high hopes for Jack [Lynch], Alex [Salmon] and Brandon [Gwinnutt]. If they come back in the right frame of mind then they'll get their chance. It’s up to them to take it.

“That’s a big part of why it is so difficult to leave. I wanted to keep it going because it's enjoyable when you know you can get three or four of them through. The players we've recruited for next season are all young but it will be an exciting team. 

“On a whole I think it's probably the best group we've put together. We've prossibly had better individual players in the past but, as a group, they've got a great chance. Whoever comes in to do the job will really enjoy working with them.

“I wrote the new intake a letter last week to explain what I'd done. The parents have all replied to wish me well, which is nice. I'll follow them with interest and I'll do my best to watch them in the youth cup, and things like that, whenever I can.”

Click HERE for part one of this interview.

Click HERE for part three of this interview.

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