As Reds prepare to return for pre-season training next week, manager Danny Grainger has taken the opportunity to update supporters on preparations for the new campaign.
Firstly, I would like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity to manage Workington Reds. I am excited by the challenge and working towards helping the club climb back up the leagues.
I am delighted with the backroom staff that we have assembled. Steven Rudd staying at the club as my assistant is great news for me personally as he is someone I hold in high regard and trust implicitly. Gari Rowntree agreeing to become first team coach is also a huge positive as he knows the club inside out and only wants what is best for Reds moving forward.
Lee Fearn’s decision to join us is something else I’m pleased with. After working with him at Carlisle United, I know what he brings – on and off the pitch – and how much time and care he devotes to having the players ready for the many challenges ahead. Ronan Irving is young, enthusiastic and a very talented physio who is looking forward to working alongside the staff and players and getting the best out of all the lads and keeping them on the pitch throughout a long hard season.
After starting the job later in the off season, many clubs had already planned their pre-season friendlies but we spoke to several potential opponents and are happy with the games we have arranged. We feel there is a good mix of high challenge games as well as ‘performance improvement’ matches. We would have loved to have added a high profile game on 10th August but, due to the majority of leagues already underway, this may not happen but we are still hopeful of arranging an exciting fixture for the fans to look forward to.
Regarding the playing squad, we are happy with the business conducted so far and delighted to be able to persuade the bulk of the group we wanted to keep to stay and help the club to bounce back. The new lads that have agreed to join the club all have a great attitude and that is one quality we look for first and foremost. We don’t want players just to come and be happy whatever the situation but more a desire to strive to become the best player they can be, a scenario that helps them and us.
I’m pleased to retain and add some younger players to the squad and hope their hunger and drive to be successful here can only be a positive for us all at the club.
We are still looking to secure a few more additions to the group and will be monitoring these through the next few weeks before making any final decisions.
On those players who have left since the end of last season, I would like to wish them all the luck in the world and hope they go on to enjoy success in their personal careers.
I would like to thank the people working hard helping secure funding for the ‘war chest’ and, to those backing this, all at the club are grateful for this support. Personally, I also appreciate the efforts of all the staff working tirelessly behind the scenes who have made me feel so welcome since I joined Workington.
The season starts next week and I’m looking forward, hopefully, to bring some success to Workington Reds!