Deakin on the management learning curve and the ‘rare’ camaraderie at Kimberley

Kimberley MW managers, Ian Deakin, left and Martin Lench.
Kimberley MW managers, Ian Deakin, left and Martin Lench.

Ian Deakin says the camaraderie at Kimberley Miners Welfare reminds him of a successful time in his playing career.

The former goalkeeper admits management can be a difficult learning curve, but he finds solace in the support network at The Stag Ground.

And he insists having such a good atmosphere at a club is a rare thing.

“I’m enjoying it, it’s a new experience,” he said. “I’m still learning and I will still be learning when the season is over.

“It’s tough at times but we have a good team morale.

“The coaching staff, the guys who help off the field, the directors and chairman, we’ve all got a good camaraderie and it’s unusual to find that.

“The last time I experienced that was at Eastwood when we really over achieved.”

His relationship with the other coaches at Kimberley helps keep Deakin buoyed when things aren’t going exactly to plan.

“Sometimes when I find it difficult I can bounce off the other coaching staff, I’m good friends with all of them off the field.

“It’s all new to me and I will make the odd mistake.”

Deakin’s men sit eighth in the East Midlands Counties Football League after 17 games, but he’ll wait until Christmas to evaluate progress.

Until that point, he wants to put together a string of results that worry the teams at the top of the table.

He said: “Looking back we’ve won some games we probably didn’t deserve to and lost some games we deserved to win.

“We’ll evaluate ourselves at Christmas time.

“We’re probably four or five points off being in the mix to challenge, but I want to be right up there with something to play for.

“If you put five or six games together other teams will be looking down and seeing us coming.”

With no midweek fixture, the club lined up a friendly with Long Eaton United and although Kimberley lost 4-0, it was a chance for fringe players to catch the eye.

“We’ve got a lot of young lads in the reserves and the youth team I wanted to look at,” said Deakin.

“I want the lads to see an opportunity to rise into the first team.

“There were two or three who impressed me, in the second half we had mostly reserve lads and youth team players out and they held their own.

“It will give me a bit of a headache.”

Saturday brings a visit to midtable Birstall United and Deakin, as ever, is expecting a stiff test.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of managers who say they’re a strong side, they work hard for each other.

“We don’t take any game for granted. Our away form could be better, we’ve struggled away from home in the last few games but the lads have shown me they have fighting spirit.

“Sometimes when you don’t play very well it’s important you grind out a result.”