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Jim Honoured to Take Clyde Role

Sun, 21st May 2017 9:45pm

Jim Chapman has given his first interview to the official website, after being announced as the club's new first team manager yesterday.

Speaking at Broadwood today, the 51-year-old took the time to give his initial thoughts, before going on a family break tomorrow and officially starting his duties on Monday 29th May.

Jim started by explaining what attracted him to the role with The Bully Wee and a switch from fellow League 2 club Annan Athletic:-

"I've been involved in Scottish football for long enough and you look at the potential that each club has. I know exactly what Clyde Football Club stands for and what it means to the fans. When I met the new chairman, he was infectious and the plans he has for the club going forward are exciting. For me, it's an excellent fit with what I feel that my strengths are as well.

"I'm really looking forward to this exciting opportunity. We know it's going to be tough and it's a massive challenge, but with that kind of enthusiasm and positivity about the club, there's no reason why we can't go to where we want to go to.

"I'd also like to convey tremendous gratitude to Henry McClelland and everyone else at Annan. There are a lot of great people at the club and I have made many friends over the last four and a half years."

In terms of the skills and experience that he will bring to the position, Jim continued:-

"My career finished short because of injury, so my background over the last 20 to 25 years has been varied and I'm lucky enough to have a lot of fantastic contacts across the country. 

"I've been working in the lower leagues so I know the standards and exactly what it takes. Recruitment is crucial. I know what it takes to be strong and competitive in this league and you need to have the right type of players and staff.

"I'm a great believer that it's not about what you have, it's what you do with it. Contacts and relationships are crucial and that will stand us in good stead. The way that we work and the environment that we create will also help to attract the right type of person to take Clyde forward."

Just over two weeks have passed since a hugely disappointing 2016-17 season ended with Clyde narrowly avoiding the relegation play-off, but Jim didn't want to deliberate about the campaign.

"I don't dwell on the past - you have to look forward," he said. "There is a real fear because of the pyramid system now but that means that clubs have to make good use of what they've got. Anyone that starts to dwell or rest on their laurels can end up in a position that they don't want to be.

"I know that expectations are always high at Clyde. We'll do our very best to meet those expectations but we'll guard it with reality. To make sure everyone understands that, we'll get out there and mix with people and let everyone know exactly where we want to go. I think that's part of the chairman's plans as well. We want everyone working together towards getting three points on a Saturday.

"We will need every resource possible coming into the club. Everything that we do has to underpin what happens on a Saturday, but what we do on a Saturday also underpins what we can do in the community. It goes hand in hand and that's a responsibility that I will thrive on.

"It's going to be a very tight and competitive League 2 next season, but I know where Clyde should be and that's the most important driving factor for me."

The first team playing squad is, as expected, Jim's main priority for the coming weeks, as he set out:-

"The way that we work is that everyone has an opportunity. As soon as change happens there's always uncertainty but the best way to manage that is to go and meet people and talk to them. Some players are already contracted but some are sitting in limbo, just like every club. 

"I intend to meet with the squad as soon as possible after my break and as soon as we do that we will tell the players how we work and what we are expecting. If they buy into that, then there's no reason why they can't be here. If not, then I'm not afraid to make tough decisions."

Jim admitted that his matchday personality isn't always a typical reflection of himself but he was keen to stress that he wanted to get to know supporters when possible:-

"I'll be honest, I don't even like myself between 3pm and 5pm on a Saturday! I'm a winner - because I know the importance of getting three points and the impact it has on the bigger picture of the club.

"I believe in openness and transparency and I will, if requested, attend meetings of fans and talk to them. The only way to get clear understanding is when it comes directly, rather than the usual football speculation and rumours that is always rife. I'm absolutely open to go and meet any group at any time and people might see a different side to me from what they see in the dugout!"

To conclude, Jim issued a positive and determined message:-

"It's time to draw a line and forget about the past few seasons. I'm honoured and grateful to the chairman and to Clyde for giving me the responsibility to assist them in going forward and that's the only way we want to look now - forward.

"I know the stature of the club and, to me, there's no reason why Clyde can't be the best part-time team in Scotland. In order to achieve that, I'm asking that everyone forgets what's happened before and everybody gets together to drive Clyde forward. I know what the club means to its fans and I know what football means to a community. I'll do everything I can to make Clyde successful."

Pictures by Craig Black