12:07PM, Tuesday 04 May 2021
The former Windsor FC boss Mick Woodham has said he’s delighted and excited in equal measure to be given the opportunity to get back into football management.
Last week Woodham was appointed the new manager of Isthmian League South Central side Staines Town after greatly impressing the Swans interview panel with his ‘solid work ethic and deep understanding of the game’ at the club’s level.
Woodham had recently been working in a scouting capacity for Neil Baker and Jon Underwood at Slough Town, a position he was enjoying, but he always felt he was more suited to a managerial role.
He didn’t expect to be out of the dug-out for quite so long after leaving the Royalists back in August 2019, however, the COVID-19 pandemic and suspension of competitive football for many clubs has limited his opportunities to get back into the game.
He now has a ‘unique’ and more relaxed opportunity to bring together his backroom team and build relationships with the players ahead of the club’s return for pre-season training later in the summer.
“You know what it’s like in football, one minute you’re in and one minute you’re out,” said Woodham this week. “I was enjoying myself at Slough, it was going along nicely, but then this came up a week ago and I thought I’ve got to go for it.
“Thankfully, I managed to secure it and I’m delighted and excited in equal measure.
“My record suggests I’m capable and when this came up, I was happy to take the opportunity. While I’d been enjoying myself, I always felt that in time I’d find a managerial role somewhere because I feel I’m more suited to it. I’d been looking for seven or eight months but the COVID situation created a lot of uncertainty and it made it more difficult.”
Woodham brought success and stability to Windsor during his eight seasons at Stag Meadow. He guided the Royalists out of difficult period following the dissolution of Windsor & Eton FC and enjoyed cup success in the Berk & Bucks Senior Trophy and Hellenic League Cup. He also took his hometown club on two memorable runs to the latter stages of the FA Vase. He’ll be managing at a slightly higher level, with Staines set to stay at step four following this summer’s restructure, however, he insists his principles won’t change. The club is currently playing in the Isthmian League South Central Division but Woodham said there is still the possibility the Swans could be switched into the Southern League this summer.
“No, they won’t change,” he said. “They’re important to me. The challenges will be slightly different to Windsor, yes, but it’s football at the end of the day. It’s how you speak to people, how you coach them, how you conduct yourself. I’ll get the right people off the pitch around me, but I know the responsibility is mine.
“I’ve now got this unique time and opportunity to put faces to names and build relationships in a relaxed environment. I’m fortunate in that regard because often in football a manager doesn’t get that time.
“I’m fixing up friendlies and training games and getting some dates nailed down. The boys genuinely want to play football and if there is a pitch and opposition available, I’ll be happy to get them out to have a look at them and for them to get an idea of what I’m about and what I want to do.”
Swans chairman Kevin Rowell told the club’s website: “I am very excited to be working with Mick as we face the challenge of returning to football following a long lay-off. We had a number of excellent applicants for the post and Mick greatly impressed us with his solid work ethic and his deep understanding of the game at our level.”
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