Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town is the ‘perfect club’ for him as he begins his first full day as the club’s Head Coach
The 35-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Cod Army this summer and, after officially taking over on Saturday, can’t wait to get stuck into his new role, claiming there’s nowhere better for him to make the step into management.
“I feel this is the perfect club for me to begin my career as a football manager,” said Barton.
“I can’t wait to get cracking. I’m delighted to get the opportunity and I have been chartering the clubs progress over a period since I came and trained with you when I was at QPR.
“I’ve been watching the club from a distance and have finally got the chance to work here on a permanent basis, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
The role sees Barton make his move into management after a superb playing career which saw him play more than 450 times for the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR and Burnley.
And after time away from the game allowed him to plan his next move, Barton revealed the decision to join Fleetwood Town was the result of plenty of thought.
He explained: “As a young coach you want to go to a club that has similar principles to you, and obviously with Fleetwood getting multiple promotions it’s a model that suits me.
“The team I’d like to be involved in is a team that represents my core values which are honesty, humility and hard work. I know if the lads turn up on a Saturday or on a Tuesday night, we can be off to a successful start.
“I’m not saying we will be in the Championship next season, but it’s about progression and maintaining stands that my predecessors have set and building on from that.
“The club had a meteoric rise up the leagues and someone like myself likes to challenge the status quo and shake things up a bit. I have known the club for a while, I know what has been going on at the football club.
Barton, who will be joined by Clint Hill and Steve Eyre in the dugout, knows recruiting superbly on and off the field, can give any team an incredible chance of getting positive results.
“They both come at this club slightly differently,” said Barton.
“Clint has just finished playing for Carlisle United, and probably could have played for another ten-years if I hadn’t given him the opportunity, and Steve is somebody who knows the lower leagues like an encyclopaedia.
“Clint was the captain at Queens Park Rangers and with him we shared the rollercoaster that football is, and we’ve also been in the trenches together, and he is someone I can rely on.
“I met Steve at Manchester City when I was 14-years-old and we’ve kept it touch ever since and I’ve chartered his football and coaching journey. He is someone I enormously respect and for both guys, they will complement the coaching structure that is already in place at Fleetwood.”
The new Head Coach sees togetherness as a big factor in any future success and hopes the coming season will see the fans, players, and staff all pulling in the right direction.
“Fleetwood is a football club that is at the heart of the community,” said Barton.
“We have to harness it as long as we can because you always need the club to be at one with the people who pay to come through the turnstiles.
“I am really excited to be here and I can’t wait to see how the fans judge the style of football that we intend to play.”
Fans can support Joey Barton and his team by purchasing the new Onward Card in the club shop at Highbury Stadium, over the phone by calling 01253 775080, or online HERE.
Should supporters have any questions about the Onward Card, they should call the ticket office on 01253 775080.