Manager Keith Curle on creating a professional environment
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the remainder of his pre-season programme and about creating an environment within which his squad can flourish.
“Pre-season has gone as I expected so far,” he said. “The area I’ve put the emphasis on first and foremost is the environment I want to work in.
“I wanted to create the right kind of professional environment for the players and the staff. I think the Creighton training ground here at the Rugby Club has been excellent for that.
“I’ve been able to condense and privatise what we’re trying to do and there have been few distractions to get in the way. I’ve been able top keep the focus on the players and that’s been good.”
“Another good aspect is how quickly everyone has settled and bonded,” he continued. “We had a few new arrivals and it isn’t easy to get that to happen. That’s why, relatively speaking, we came back earlier from pre-season than other clubs did.
“We were in a week early and there’s been a lot of work done since then. The pleasing thing is when you then see them doing what you’re asking of them with smiles on their faces. There’s a camaraderie building and you can see them encouraging each other when they’re going through the physical work that’s needed. They’re also taking that into their football, so it’s all very encouraging.”
“Credit has to go to the football club because they’ve allowed me to change the physical environment at the stadium to get things the way I want them to be,” he explained. “The room set aside for the coaching staff has been developed into something I feel we can utilise in a good way.
“The changing room is somewhere the players will walk into and they’ll be able to identify that the club is trying to help them to improve. It’s now a very professional environment and it’s one where the coaches, players and management staff are united.
“Prior to all of this we had a corridor and a couple of fire doors separating us. That allowed the players to have their space – and they’ll still be allowed to have that and to get the freedom to express themselves. What they understand now is that it needs to be done in a professional way. The players will get enough room to be themselves, but not to hang themselves.”
“I think people are now starting to buy in to what I’m trying to achieve because they’ve wandered down the corridor and commented on the fact that they like what they see,” he commented. “When the building work first started people were asking why we were bothering. Now they can see what it’s all about, they’re coming on board with it.
“We’re doing things slightly differently but there is cost, and that means there has got to be value put into the equation. We’re not going to revamp things just for the sake of it. I want to do things which will give me a professional environment, which is fit and proper, and which give us a place where we can do our work in the manner it should be conducted.”
“We’re also trying to create a demanding squad of players where it isn’t only the coach who steps in and speaks up when things aren’t good enough,” he added. “We want the players to identify when things area a little bit loose and when they need to be tightened up.
“That’s coming and there’s a level of aggression there as well. That comes from competition because everyone is realising that we have a group of players which is starting to form a squad.
“My task, once I have a squad I’m fully happy with, is to get a team mentality within the whole group which means that every one of them will be able to go out there and get us points, as and when they are asked to do the job for us.”
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