As pre-season training continues ahead of the first friendly later this month, Stuart Millar chatted to the official website about various topics.
He was keen to start by showing his appreciation for the work being done by his fellow members of staff:-
“The strength of our current arrangement is that it is not just relying upon one guy. As I said when I was appointed as head coach, it is different from the traditional role of manager.
“We are all in it together and, between us, our combined efforts will benefit the club. I really do believe that there is a feel-good factor around Clyde now and that is testimony to people throughout the club working together.
“An example of this recently was Gordon Wylde being instrumental in bringing Hadyn Cochrane and Iain Gray to Clyde. Gordon has a great knowledge of the youth system in Scotland and as soon as you mention a name to him he knows the player, his background and his character and that insight is invaluable.
“I should also mention Neil, who is a shoulder to lean on and a great sounding board for Gordon, Rab and myself. We appreciate his advice and wisdom.
“I’m just grateful for the whole coaching staff’s dedication to the task we have in front of us. It must be the first time in a long while that we have 17 players at this stage in the pre-season and that is encouraging; yet it is a young squad with 7 having not previously played in the SFL.”
Stuart went on to talk about the work being done on the training ground and a particular aspect of it that he feels is vitally important:-
“Training has gone well. It is part and parcel of the part-time game that some of the squad are away at various times on holiday but each player has worked well at his own personal fitness.
“The pre-season has also given us an opportunity to look at some younger players. It is important that we emphasise to the players in the youth academy that we are aware of them and will monitor their progress throughout the season. All areas of the club are working together with the view of producing quality players for our first team.
“Alan Upton, our head of youth, is key in this area. It is vital we have continuity throughout the club with players, if their ability allows, progressing through the age ranges until they knock on the door of the first team squad.
“Scott Brown is one such example. He is from our under-17 side and has joined the squad on the recommendation of Alan. Scott may get his chance in some of the summer matches but regardless of that we will continue to watch him and his colleagues in the hope that they can follow the example of Jordan Allan and Connor Stevenson.
“Our under-19 squad gets together for pre-season training tonight. Lee Sharpe and Eddie Annand are assembling the squad as there are wholesale changes from last year with a view to those young lads impressing. This is a vital area for the club as it is a virtual reserve squad for us now. Ideally, they would also have been involved in some of the pre-season matches but as they are just starting out this week it may come too soon for them.”
To conclude, Stuart had some news on how last season’s top scorer was getting on following an operation:-
“Willie Sawyers is hopefully going to get the all clear from the physio to commence some light running on Saturday. He turned up on the first day of pre-season training but couldn’t participate as he recovers from his cartilage op.
“He will be 2-3 weeks behind everyone else, which is unfortunate but it is a long season and we just need to ensure that we are careful and don’t do anything that may put him back further. Willie is desperate to start playing again and he did well to get ten goals last season in the Second Division.”