11:45AM, Friday 11 September 2020
Having put pen to paper as the new player-manager of Burnham FC a month ago, Ashleigh James is pleased with the progress he has made with the club since his appointment.
The 30-year-old admits he has been ‘learning and improving every day’ since he stepped into the managerial hotseat earlier this summer.
Working alongside former Slough Town striker Manny Williams, James has also managed to attract plenty of new faces with 23 players available to select from the Blues roster.
With the start of the new Hellenic Premier season just around the corner, James is bracing himself for a hectic first week of action that starts with the Blues’ visit to Leverstock Green in the FA Cup Preliminary Round this Saturday.
“We’re about to go through a week of very important games,” said James.
“On Saturday we have the FA Cup match and then on Tuesday we have our first league game. We then have an FA Vase match the following Saturday.
“It’s all so hectic but it’s a very important seven days for the club. We’re hoping to win all three games and I think that would be the dream start [to management].
“The attitude of the players has been spot on since I started.
“At the start, we had just five players in training and I thought ‘oh my goodness what have I got myself into here?’, but now we’re actually having to turn players away.
“It’s good because it shows we’re doing something right and that players want to actually come and play for Burnham.
“I think I’ve signed on about 23 players now and that’s my squad basically complete for this season.”
“Being a manager has definitely been a challenge,” added James.
“I’m forever on the phone. If I’m not talking to players then I’m talking to other management or directors of football and chairmen.
“There’s a lot going on that people perhaps don’t realise but it’s very exciting at the moment and I’m enjoying it a lot.
“I’m trying to get the right balance in playing and managing and I’m learning so much as I go along.
“I’m about five weeks into the job now and it’s still early days but I’ve had some really good feedback from the fans.
“They just said to keep up what I’m doing so I just hope I can give them a good start to the season.”
Burnham kick off against Leverstock Green at 3pm on Saturday.
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