Build, Balance & Belief

Obviously at this moment in time there are much bigger issues in the world, however we’ve no doubt that Basingstoke fans are missing the game that will eventually return; so we thought we’d catch up with Manager, Dan Brownlie, to ask his feelings of the season being drawn to an early finish and his plans for the next campaign.

Firstly, how are you and how are the boys?

The boys are well; obviously they are disappointed that the season came to a close in such an abrupt manner; but we are all understanding of the situation and overall decision. Obviously, it’s a difficult time for everyone; particularly those with older family members but they’re all being sensible. A lot of the boys are still able to work from home and a few have changed their offering slightly – the club have been great in offering support to them.

On a personal level, I’m doing well, thank you. In truth, my day to day hasn’t been hugely effected as I work from home. I’m pleased that there is at least clarity upon the closure of the season; those at Step 2 must be having a tough time trying to work out what is going on! But, on a football side; it gives us an opportunity to start planning for the next campaign.

How are those preparations going?

Aaron and I are in constant communication; and we’ve discussed at length the profile of players that we want to bring in. Together we have written a list of targets and created a pipeline that consisted of a number of different attributes including quality and character. We know what we want from our team and we are confident the targets will want to be part of the project. Good players want to play with good players; and we’ll be looking to build a strong and balanced team full of determined and characterful players who hold an unwavering desire to win. I’m also looking forward to hearing from players who want to be part of this project; you sometimes get one or two that show the initiative and end up making a real difference to the squad, that takes confidence and I like that in a player.

Despite the current situation, we are being pro-active and ensuring the plans are in place, the execution of which will come later.

Are you looking forward to pre-season?

I think we all are. I imagine that first pre-season game in early July (all being well!) is going to be some event – it will be fans first true football fix in months. I always enjoy pre-season and of course this is my first in charge at Basingstoke, so I’m particularly looking forward to this one. Pre-season isn’t just about running around aimlessly, it’s about setting expectations, creating links between players and generating that overwhelming sense of belief of an exciting season ahead.

Have you any message to our supporters?

First and foremost, it’s that I trust and hope everyone is looking after themselves as well as possible in this crazy moment in all our lives. I penned a quick letter to community members over the weekend which focussed on them belonging to a network with a common and passionate interest; and for that alone should never feel isolated but to utilise the network if they ever do – thats for everybody. The football community is a very supportive network and should you ever need it – you just have to ask for its help and feel no shame in doing so. Football will return and we’re looking forward to that moment, but for now it’s about looking after yourselves and each other.

Oh, and up the ‘Stoke!