Keith Curle on managing loan signings as the loan rules change
Manager Keith Curle spoke more today about the positive impact loan signings can have and about the importance of building relationships with other clubs in the region as the rules surrounding loan signings change for the 2016/17 campaign.
A change to domestic loan rules has been agreed by the powers that be after the Football League lost a prolonged battle to maintain the emergency system, which FIFA ordered to be scrapped at the end of last season.
That ruling, which outlaws loan signings for any period less than half a season, comes into force in July and puts pressure on lower league clubs and their managers to get their decisions right from the outset.
“Looking back at least season I feel all of the loan players who came into the club showed good characteristics of why we wanted them to be here,” Curle said. “We’re very thankful to the parent clubs for allowing us to have those players and I have to say they’ve all bought into us and what we’re trying to do.
“They’ve been a credit to themselves and they’ve represented their own clubs magnificently well in how they’ve conducted themselves. On the flip side of that we’ve looked after them and they’ve been given a real Cumbrian welcome.”
“All of those lads added something different to what we already had here,” he commented. “They gave us different dimensions and I think it’s fair to say it was easy for people to see why we brought them here.
“That shows we have eyes and ears in the right places and we’ve been able to attract the right sort of people to the club. Forging relationships with clubs around us like Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Preston, Blackburn and others is important because they’re in higher divisions and they could all have players we can utilise.”
With changes to the system meaning that players can now only be signed on half or full season deals, he said: “You have to ask whether or not these changes will hamper the progression of younger players at Premier League and Championship clubs because clubs at our level will not be in a position to gamble.
“In the past we could take a player on a youth loan, or for the short-term, knowing if it didn’t work out then the player could go back. Now, if you sign a player on a half season loan they have got to be right.
“We’ve been doing our due diligence since Christmas because of that and we’re in a position where if we bring someone in on loan we’ll know a good bit about him. That’s important because we can’t afford to have passengers.
“There are some stand-out players I know we won’t be able to get next season because of how they’ve played with us. We’ve put them on the radar and they’ll be looked at now as having played league football. That could take them to the next level up, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
“With younger players in particular, and even if they have solid attributes, they can approach it with a bit of naivety and a lack of game understanding,” he explained. “That means you can get circumstances where you don’t have the experience levels out on the pitch to deal with certain situations.
“We saw that last season where we didn’t have the experience we needed out on the pitch in some games. It’s those games where we know we could have turned some of the draws into wins.
“The pleasing thing there, it has to be said, is that when we first got here we were turning defeats into draws by scrapping away. Last season we’ve looked more than good for the points we picked up so we need to go a stage further and start to get wins from the games where we’ve walked away with a point.
"Had we managed that just a few more times we’d have been sat comfortably in the play-off places, or even definitely promoted.”
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