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Interviews

INTERVIEW: I like being part of this football club

Craig Wight on extending his contract at Brunton Park

13 May 2019

We sat down with goalkeeper coach Craig Wight last week shortly after he put pen-to-paper on a new one-year contract at Brunton Park.

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“I’m happy here and I like being part of this football club,” he said. “When I was given the opportunity to extend my contract it was a no-brainer for me, which was the same as when I first came down here.

“I joined the club in November and I was told in January that they were looking to extend my contract, it was just going to take some time to get things in place. Once you get that trust put into you from the coaching staff and the board at the club, you can then relax into your role instead of worrying about your future.

“If the contract was put in front of me in January I would have done it there and then. The fact that it’s taken as long as it has is just part of football. It was just a case of waiting to get it done once I’d been told I was wanted here."

“From day one, myself, Louis [Gray] and Adam [Collin] clicked, and once that happened it made my working relationship very easy," he explained. "It was the same with Tommy [Wright], Paul [Murray] and John Sheridan, and everything just seemed to come together very quickly and very easily. Once you’ve got that, it’s very easy to continue what you’re doing.

“We have a good relationship as coaching staff, probably because we’re all as crazy as each other. We all get along and have a laugh, although the rest of them do pick on me a little bit. We have that relationship where we enjoy being in each other’s company.

"We don’t just talk football all day long because that can get very boring. Tommy gets mad because myself and Muzza watch Game of Thrones before he does, so we can’t talk about it until he watches it. Little things like that help us enjoy being around each other, which is ultimately what makes the staff work so well together.

“I was speaking to some friends about how the northern clubs in this country are supported by working class people who all have a strong work ethic, and that breeds throughout the club. If the players give 100% out on the pitch, the fans get right behind you. It’s the same when you go into coaching those players, if you give 100% you get a little bit back."

Looking ahead to next season, he said: “What I’ll be looking to do is continue developing what we've started already. What we’ve already done is a good starting point for where we need to go next.

"We’ve offered a new deal to Louis and we’re in discussions with Adam, so hopefully both of those things will get taken care of quickly, and we can get into what we need to do to be ready for day one of pre-season."

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And having taking on the new role as head of goalkeeping across the club, he commented: “I think the trust that the club has put in me by changing my title is where I need to put a marker down.

"I’ll now look to help the academy in how they develop their goalkeepers, so instead of us having to sell a goalkeeper on, we can keep the best ones here. They would then go on to be our first team goalkeepers. That’s where I’d like to put a marker down, because the first team will take care of itself.

“I was speaking to one of my goalkeepers from Stirling Albion yesterday and he said the head of goalkeeping is basically like being the manager for goalkeepers, which is essentially what it is. It’s the job that any goalkeeper coach in the world wants because it gives you that added responsibly where you’re in charge of all of the goalkeeping at the club.

"I think if we get that right, with the blend from the academy into the first team, then it should be something that everyone can be very proud of. If we can build our own goalkeepers here and have them be something that the club can be proud of, that’s where we need to go.

"Not only will it save us having to use loan goalkeepers for the first team and things like that, it will mean we don’t have to worry about the goalkeeper side of things. That is the end game, whether it happens this year, next year or the year after. It might be three or four years down the line that we start to see the product from that, but hopefully that’s where it will end up going.

“I’ve just sat with Edmo [Darren Edmondson] and Wilkesy [Dave Wilkes] and I think the head of goalkeeping role is a lot bigger than I first thought it was, which is fine. Once I get my head into all of it and work out how it’s all going to fit together, I’ll be happy.

"It’s almost like building a jigsaw. Once I get the outside framework done it’s going to be very easy to fill in the middle part.

“I’ve got a meeting next week down in Stoke with a friend and their goalkeeper coach, so I can then start to look at what they’ve done. They’ve been very successful in bringing keepers through, so I want to see what I can take from there.

"It’s not about copying what they do, I just want to look at what works well and see if I can get those things to work here. Getting that right is going to be vital, because it isn’t a process that’s going to happen overnight." 

Click HERE to watch an interview with Craig Wight on iFollow United now.

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