Hunt joins coaching staff at Callington Town
NEW Callington Town first-team manager Matt Hayden has added James Hunt to his coaching staff at Marshfield Parc, writes Nigel Walrond.
But Shaun Vincent, with whom Hayden was joint manager at South West Peninsula League West division rivals St Blazey, will not be joining the club, contrary to reports, at least not for the foreseeable future.
There has been much speculation since Hayden took over that Vincent would give up his manager’s job at Peninsula League East division side Plymouth Marjon and also move to Callington.
That seemed to be the case when a club press release last Wednesday confirming the arrival of Hunt referred to Vincent as Callington’s assistant manager, even though no formal announcement had been made.
However, Hayden explained that circumstances have changed.
“I have known Shaun for a few years now and we were going to get the band back together, as they say, and we had every intention of that happening, and Shaun had a meeting with the club, but he has got a lot going on in his personal life at the moment, so he has had to take a bit of a step back away from football for a while, and we will wait and see what happens after that.
“At the moment, he can’t put his full focus into football, like he used to be able to, and unless he can do that, he says it is pointless doing it because it will not benefit anybody, which obviously I completely understand and respect his decision, and he is still a good mate of mine and I will still be there for him,
“I have known Shaun for a few years now, but Shaun and myself will not be together this season.”
One man who Hayden has brought in to his backroom staff though is Hunt.
A UEFA B coach, he has played across the SWPL and has a coaching degree.
“I didn’t want to rush into anything with regards to my coaching staff, but I spoke to a few coaches online, a lot of them were good, but more importantly, it needed to be someone that was going to fit in well with the boys, because it would only have caused issues down the line if I brought a coach in and it didn’t work well with the lads and it would have caused a bit of friction,” said Hayden.
“I am delighted to add James to our team for the forthcoming season. His wealth of knowledge will be invaluable to our new-look squad as we prepare for an interesting season ahead.
“He is a younger coach, he is aged 25 or 26, and he knows some of the boys already and they get on well with him.
“Away from that, he holds incredible qualifications for a coach at our level.
“His football brain is amazing, he is enthusiastic, organised, and he has already drawn up training plans and shown me what he has got in mind, so things like that are music to my ears, and I am looking forward to that side of it.”
The expectation is that many of the players who were at St Blazey and followed Vincent to Marjon will now be heading to Callington, but Hayden said it is likely to be several weeks before any signings are confirmed.
“I don’t want to announce players too soon. We have all still got to get together and start training and get the vibe going at the club and have people turning up for our pre-season games, so when we start getting towards the end of pre-season, then we will probably start announcing players.
“I may have a number two come in by then, but I am not going to be jumping into anything. It has got to be right for me, the club and the boys.”
Hayden was planning to hold his first pre-season training session on Monday of this week.
“We have had a long lay-off, and a few of the boys played some games in March and April time, but they have had a month off now, so we are going to get back, start easing ourselves in and do a couple of sessions at the beach, just to get the conditioning in the legs,” he said.
“Then we will start getting the balls out and do three or four weeks with that, and then I have packed July with pre-season friendlies to get our match fitness right.
“We did beach training last season at St Blazey and the boys absolutely loved it.
“It is hard graft, and trying to do exercises and running in the sand is difficult, but it just amplifies the exercise you are doing and it is a good little ice breaker to get pre-season started with.”
Hayden has arranged eight pre-season friendlies for his squad, starting with the visit of P&D side Lakeside Athletic on July 10 at 2pm before welcoming Southern League outfit Tiverton Town to Ginsters Marsh on Wednesday, July 14, with a 7.30pm start time.
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