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MANAGER: One of the most important parts of a club

Paul Simpson on the recruiting of players

14 April 2022

United boss Paul Simpson highlighted one of the areas he feels is key for the club to address going forward at his Wednesday press conference when he spoke about recruitment, and the need for a clear strategy to how players are brought in and released.

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“I have talked about the fact we have no recruitment process in place, which I find really hard to believe,” he said. “How do you get players, how do you do it, if you haven’t got a recruitment process in place.

“That’s something that’s got to be changed, but if there’s no budget for a recruitment process, it’s going be really difficult, so let’s see what comes.

“It’s probably one of the most important parts of a football club, to have a recruitment plan. I don’t know how players were signed in the past here because you have to go and watch them.

“You can do a certain amount on video analysis, I’ve done plenty of that, but you have to go and see them live, you have to go and get there early, watch them come out for the warm-ups, see what their attitude’s like in the warm-up, see whether they’re engaging with other people, whether they’re a quiet person, a loud one, a leader, a strong personality, you pick things up all the time.

“I’ve sat in many a ground when there’s not many supporters in and watched them warming up, and picked up so many little nuggets. You have to have people out on the ground.

“So far in my time here, I’m asking favours of people up and down the country to go and watch games, do match reports, look at players. You’ve got to have it.

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“I’m not saying it has to be a full-time employee at the club but you have to have people in place up and down the country to be able to go and look. There’s a big wide world out there where you can take players from.”

“It’s not as wide now as it used to be before we left the EU and you could have players coming in from all over, there’s now a real tick box criteria that you have to go through to get work permits to get players over,” he continued.

“For example the Brentford model that worked a few years ago isn’t going to work nowadays because you just can’t do it. But there’s a market out there and a hell of a lot of players out there in the leagues you can go and scout and watch, and try and bring them in.

“We have to do that because everybody has to accept although we all know Carlisle and love where Carlisle is, everybody else in the country thinks it’s the end of the world and don’t realise what a lovely place it is to be.

“We also can’t offer them thousands and thousands of pounds a week to come here. We have to make sure we do all the processes, try and get in early, see as many players as we can, and that’s a real challenge at this club that you have to get right.

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“There’s a really good network to get into Carlisle, it’s not a major issue to get here, it’s a lovely place to live, really nice place to be, whether or not you’ve living here a few nights a week because you work here or you move up permanently, it is a wonderful place to be.

“We’ve just got to get the right people to come up, to sell the football club and tell them what the plans and aims are, and make sure we do all that stuff right.”

Part of that process is making decisions on players currently here and who are about to come to the end of their current contract period.

“I haven’t had any input on that so far,” he said. “I’m sure at some point I will, but there hasn’t been an input from me, in terms of players retaining or release.

“That conversation hasn’t happened, and I don’t know whether it will. What I said to the club is, a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me, if I was following a manager into this club who’d left at the end of the Bradford game and hadn’t done any preparation for pre-season, I’d probably think they were a bit lazy and out of order.

“I don’t want anybody, if it’s not me, who takes the job to think that. I’m starting to put a pre-season schedule together, simple, not major stuff, like dates to come back, when the testing would be, the fitness testing, what games I would think you should get into place.

“There’s a little bit of a process going on about organising pre-season games. I felt I had a duty to the club to do that, so I am doing it, with the other staff. We’ll try and help in that way.

“If they want my input regards the contracts, brilliant. I’ll give them my personal view on it, and it’s up to them whether they decide to listen to me.

“If everything goes to plan it could be me making those decisions, but at the moment it’s not and we haven’t had that conversation.”


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