Assistant manager Darren Way sat down with the media for the first time since joining the club earlier in the week and told all about his move to the Fylde Coast.
Way, who signed the dotted line on Monday, joined with more than a decade of coaching experience and has seen success in that time as he was part of the coaching staff that helped Yeovil Town get promoted to the Championship for the first time after winning the 2013 League One play-off final.
Since then, he has earned multiple awards as a manager and has also guided Plymouth Argyle’s Under-18s to consecutive league championships in their Youth Alliance competition. Now, Way joins manager Lee Johnson at the Cods with all eyes set on their first clash together against The U’s at the weekend.
Here’s what Darren had to say in his interview:
On his relationship with manager Lee Johnson…
“At the age of 20, his dad became the manager of Yeovil, so we’ve played together since then, I went on to have my own playing career after that, and Lee went into management at a young age. After I finished playing, I worked for Lee’s dad at Yeovil as a coach and then moved into the assistant manager role and was very successful as we got to the Championship.
“Lee asked me to come to Oldham when he was manager there, but my time at Yeovil was going well so I decided not to join him, he didn’t like that but, we had real success, and we work together now. If you look at experience, the gaffer has managed over 500 games now and I’ve had experience as a manager, assistant manager, first-team coach, and at the Under-18s level.
“I’ve also worked at most levels in the professional game from the Championship to the Conference and I feel that there is a niche in the market for a manager, as well as the assistant manager, to both be elite and experienced in all areas, I feel that is what I can bring for the gaffer.”
On the environment and atmosphere at the club…
“This is the first time I’ve worked with the gaffer in a coaching setup, and it is a win-at-all-cost environment. It’s important that the manager has his own space as it becomes a bit intense in the way that we work so we have to choose our moment as to when it’s friendship or professionalism, but I’m sure we’ll get that balance right.
“I’m a great believer of ‘everything happens for a reason’; Lee was out of the job for a week, and I think that shows his enthusiasm and obsession to get back to work. It’s an obsession working in football, we are all obsessed with our jobs, but at the same time, we enjoy them.
“When you go into a football club, your eyes don’t lie; what I’ve seen this week from the players and staff has been togetherness, everyone has worked extremely hard to be able to go into a game and do what it takes to win. You can sense it, see it, and feel it; there is a good vibe in this building, and we are looking forward to Saturday.”