Assistant manager Steven Rudd says ‘everyone’s pulling for the same thing’ at Borough Park as the new season approaches.
Rudd, who joined Reds in January, has been Danny Grainger’s right-hand man so far and recently spoke about how things are shaping up ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
According to the assistant, a change of mood within the camp has ‘definitely’ taken place over summer, saying: “A lot of new faces help that, and not just being from one area either – we’ve got lads from Barrow, Dumfries, out West and Carlisle.
So it’s the new manager, the majority of the bunch being new lads, and it’s kind of everyone in it together again. Everyone’s pulling for the same thing.
It’s no surprise that there’s been camaraderie and bonding, and Rudd explained the landscape in the group regarding the dressing room banter.
They’re all good characters. You’ve got your experienced ones like Josh Calvert, Dan Wordsworth, Sam Smith, Dav Symington and Scott Allison, who’ve all been through it so there’s a bit of mickey-taking with the younger ones and a good laugh.
Everybody in the group has lead by example this pre-season, and that comes from Danny himself.
Everything’s been professional but it’s been fun, and it has been hard. Things like the ghyll scrambling and the lads have already had their night out which has brought everyone together.
It’s alright knowing each other football-wise but, the better you know each other away from football, the easier it is.
Grainger’s impact of the team on and off the pitch has been undeniably clear, and his assistant is aware of the fingerprints being brought into the building.
With Danny coming with [his] fresh ideas, and I obviously know what works and hat doesn’t with the lads, it’s been really good.
It’s been new for me, I’ve seen a lot of new things. The respect he’s got from the lads has been first class – being local as well, they all know what he’s about.
It’s almost three weeks until the new term gets underway and with lofty expectations, Rudd is fully anticipating challenges on the road to promotion.
Every team will be sat there right now wanting to go up – 20 teams, all looking at promotion. Every game will be a fight and a battle.
That’s why we freshened it up this summer, kept some good characters in and all we’re wanting to do right now is beat Pickering Town on the first day of the season, get off to a good start and just take it game-by-game.
Finally, Rudd’s primary profession is teaching in a local school, a slight contrast to Grainger’s football-centric life over his career and described the manager’s understanding of players’ personal lives lives outside of Reds has been ‘great.’
Everyone wants to be full-time, whatever it is – that’s the ideal word.
I’ve always been part-time, so you work all day and some of the group are on night shifts, leave here and go on night shifts but Danny’s been great part-time wise.
He’s adjusted really well, he really does appreciate what the lads do outside of football. He knows that himself how it feels. He’s even been on his Dad’s farm all day today [Thursday] and will be going backafterwards.
The lad have never complained once about finishing times or whatever, and – because training’s good – they don’t care. It’s got to be professional, done right and they’ve got to be ready to go.
Rudd and Reds will go again next Saturday in Greater Manchester, as they visit the Neuven Stadium to face Nothern Premier League newcomers Radcliffe, kick-off 3pm.