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ACADEMY: Finding it easy to settle

2 July 2014

Youth coach Vince Overson on moving to Brunton Park

Former-Stoke City and Burnley skipper Vince Overson joined United as Development Phase Coach this week as he teamed up with Academy Manager Alan Moore on the youth team backroom staff here at Brunton Park. 

Overson, 52, made over 500 appearances for Burnley, Birmingham and Stoke and worked previously with Moore as a coach with the U18 team at Bury prior to his move up to Cumbria. 

“Predominantly I will be the youth team coach with the U18s,” he explained. “I’ll be working closely with Alan [Moore] on a day to day basis and hopefully, somewhere along the line, I’ll be able to look at the younger age groups to see what players we have coming through at that level as well.

“I’ve worked with Alan at Bury for two and a half years and we think the same way in terms of what we expect from players and what we expect from ourselves. I coached the U18s and the U16s down there and it all seemed to work for us. It was a natural progression for the U16s coming into the youth team and we kept a close eye on the other age groups as we looked to identify players who could possibly make it through.”

“I enjoyed working with Alan at Bury so when the opportunity came up to join him here I jumped at the chance,” he confirmed. “I have a huge amount of respect for him, and for Graham Kavanagh, both because of what they’ve done in football and because of what they want to do. I’m looking forward to working with them going forward from here.

“There were no second thoughts about making the move at all. As a player I travelled from Burnley to Birmingham, which was a bit of a drag, and I did the same from Burnley to Stoke. Moving around is all part of the job and not something which has ever bothered me.”

“We’re a few days into it now and, with football being the way it is, I’m finding it very easy to settle,” he added. “The staff are extremely friendly and I’ve been made to feel very welcome. It’s a good place to be and hopefully everyone will enjoy working with me.”

“I do find working with the lads at youth team level to be very rewarding,” he said. “You’re never too old to learn in any job and you do find yourself dealing with things you hadn’t even considered on a fairly regular basis. 

“Hopefully I can use the experience I’ve had in the game, and from the coaching I’ve done, to help Alan and his staff with bringing some of these players through our system. Having been through it all as a player myself I know how the lads will feel in most of the situations they will face. 

“The current first years are a great example of that. It’s a totally new experience for them and it can be a bit daunting, particularly on that first day. They were very nervous on Monday and, when I think back, that’s exactly how I was. Knowing what they’re thinking, feeling and going through definitely does help and hopefully everyone can benefit from that.

“I’ve also had two sons go through the system so I know what it’s like from a parent’s point of view. They were both scholars at Burnley and one of them progressed to get a professional deal at Bradford. I saw their highs and lows and, when all of that comes together, hopefully it will help me to assess when an individual needs an arm round his shoulder or when he can be pushed just a little bit further to help him meet his full potential.”

On the club’s aim to have a first team squad made up predominantly of players who have come through the youth system, he said: “If that wasn’t achievable I don’t think we’d be doing what we do with the amount of passion we have. 

“For us to achieve it, in the way we want it to go, then our recruitment has to be spot on. We need to make sure we’re identifying the best players available, even at young ages, and it’s then down to the coaches to bring the lads on as much as they can. 

“I think it’s crucial that clubs like Carlisle nurture these youngsters and do everything they can to bring them through. If other clubs can afford to spend £500,000 on a young player, it’s good luck to them. Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to be able to do that so youth development is a massive part of where we have to go.”

And on the achievement of Academy category 3 under the Elite Player Performance Plan, he said: “I don’t think EPPP is a bad thing at all, to be honest. Standards have to be maintained and improved at all levels all the time and the procedures now in place help with that. When it comes down to it, if something helps with the development of players then I’m all for it. 

“It’s also helping with the development of the coaching staff, at all levels of the club, because much of what they were doing anyway is now documented and audited. Certain standards are required for coaches to work here and again, in my opinion, the better the coach the better the player. Player development is enhanced with the more information they get, so it’s up to us to make sure as much as possible is passed on. 

“Our challenge, as staff, is to give every player the best chance possible of making it all the way through to a professional contract and it’s one I’m looking forward to being part of.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Vince Overson now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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