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MANAGER: Hunts will be our captain

Paul Simpson on the armband this season

3 August 2023

Boss Paul Simpson confirmed this afternoon that experienced defender and local lad Paul Huntington will be his captain this season – but also that he expects a dressing room full of leaders to come to the fore, with the armband possibly to be donned by others should the occasion dictate that it needs to be so.

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“I don’t think it’s any surprise that Hunts will be our captain,” he said. “He took it on at times last season and did well with it.

“I don’t know if I’ve said this before but I don’t really care who wears the armband. I want a team of leaders and when I look at the group we’ve got I think we’ve got that.

“We’ve got Joe Garner who is a leader, Sam Lavelle, Corey Whelan is a quiet leader and Callum Guy and Dylan McGeouch have had the armband before. Ben Barclay’s a leader in the way he talks and organises.

“I want everybody to lead in the way they go about it. Some people lead through example by going and running and tackling and blocking things.

“Owen Moxon led with his creativity last season, Jordan Gibson did the same with assists, and that’s being a leader.

“It can be about getting the ball and being brave on it, that’s being a leader as well.

“Hunts will be the captain when he’s playing, and somebody else may have an armband on when he isn’t, but I want as many leaders in that group as we can possibly get.”

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With the captain usually taking the lead off the pitch when it comes to being a link from the dressing room to the manager’s office, he said: “I have a group of senior players, which includes some young players, that if I have something I want to run past them I speak to them.

“I think it’s important that I’ve got a group of players with a spread of knowledge and opinions so I can make a decision from there.

“I think the days of a manager running everything with a stick are gone, I don’t think people react in the right way to that, certainly not young people. I think you have to get a buy-in from them for it to work properly, and that’s what I try to do.”

“The armband is one thing, and I think people add more weight to the armband than I probably do,” he added. “I want everybody to step up.

“Hunts has that aura, of course he does, and he’s done it many times before. He did it for us last season. It’s funny, I was thinking about this, thinking do I need to make a big announcement, and I thought no.

“Although on the outside it’s probably a big thing, it’s not a big thing in my mind. I just crack on with it and hope everybody has a part to play.”

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