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INTERVIEW: You get a gut feeling with most players

3 June 2015

Second part of the interview with head of recruitment Lee Dykes

In the second part of our interview with head of recruitment Lee Dykes he spoke about the sense of achievement when a signing is completed and the frustration which can creep into the job if a target slips away.

“I think it’s a good feeling for everybody when the work is completed and a player actually signs on the dotted line,” he said. “To be honest, you feel as though you've known him for a long time already because of the amount of work you’ve put in. 

“You have a lot of conversations over the week leading up to it and you do feel like you’ve started to build up a positive relationship with them.” 

“It's great for the fans as well,” he continued. “It’s when they get to see the end product of the work that’s been done. There can be a flip side, and that comes from the frustration of getting close to a signing only for the player to go somewhere else. 

“However, the manager does an excellent job of selling the proposed philosophy of the club and we're constantly looking for the right people to come through those doors.”

On the factors affecting the recruitment process, he said: “I do tend to take our location into consideration when identifying targets. I'm not going to drag a player up from Southampton if he's a homesick kind of character. You speak to people before it gets to that stage, to find that kind of thing out, because we aren't interested in wasting people's time. 

“In this game you can get to the point of thinking that everything being signed, sealed and delivered – we actually had one earlier in the season – but they then choose another club for whatever reason. Luckily the recruitment process we've got in place means we've got another target already lined up.” 

“Having said all of that, you get a gut feeling with most of the players you talk to,” he told us. “Using Michael Raynes as an example, I felt early on that he wanted to join us. There was a positive edge every time we spoke to him. He's a player who has vast amounts of experience in the divisions and he's a real man and competitor. 

“He's somebody who easily and quickly influences people around him. He certainly influenced me when I first met him. I already knew he was a player with ability and technique, but he’s a real man who will put his body on the line. 

“We're excited about working with him. You can see the excitement in his eyes and you could see he was pleased with the facilities and the challenge ahead when he came to look round the club.”

On his working relationship with the manager, he said: “He’s fairly relaxed about things when it comes to the signing process, but when it gets to the stage when we know what we're going to be bringing into the building he ramps it up and we then do everything we can to get it over the line. 

“That’s because we’ve gone for targets we feel will propel us to the next level and sometimes, when it doesn’t go through, it can become very frustrating for us. However, I love the game and I love the part I play in the building process we've got at Carlisle United at the moment. 

“I get excited about the philosophy the manager is laying down. He wants to kick on quickly but there’s also an understanding about the amount of work that’s needed to get there. 

“The fans don't see that side of it, but hopefully they'll start to see the output when signings are announced and when we start playing games again.”

“I enjoy the pressure that comes with the job and I know the gaffer enjoys it as well. It’s all about three points on a match day and hopefully what we’re doing now will mean we’ll enjoy things a lot more next season.”

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Lee Dykes 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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