After Tuesday’s cup victory over Harlow Town Reserves, we caught up with new manager Max Mitchell to discuss his appointment, how other manager roles have prepared him for the remained of the season and his targets for this season.
Firstly, welcome to Walthamstow. How excited are you to be here and for the challenge ahead?
I think we’ve got a massive job on our hands. As I’ve said in the statement that was released the other day, when a new manager comes in, there is a transitional period and I’ve told the boys we need to get through that period in a week. All I can say on tonight’s victory is that we’ve been really good. We have showed a lot of aggression and a lot of belief and passion to actually be here and hopefully that leaves us in a good light for the rest of the season.
What was it about Walthamstow that attracted you to the role?
I’ve been following the club for a couple of years and what [Ryan] Maxwell has done at the club means the club has been propelled into a really good position and that’s through hard work and determination. We want to ensure we follow suit and ensure we are working hard every single week. Its a good club and, after speaking to some under 18’s, I can see there is a structure which we want to build on and be winners at the end of the day.
As manager of Hertford, you performed a great escape and saved the club from relegation. How did that better prepare you as a manager?
I think coming into adversity in not foreign to me. As I said, we did it last year and we went into a really tough position. They had 1 point in 10 and we were able to keep them up and do it style which is exactly what we want to do here. We want to put in performances and we want to get three points every time we turn up on a Saturday (or a Tuesday). We’ve put down a good marker and showed a good intent to do that.
You’ve managed St Margaretsbury in the Essex Senior League. How important was that in your decision to manage Walthamstow?
It was massive. I have loads of respect for St Margaretsbury because they gave me my first opportunity in football management. I have a great relationship with the chairman and vice-chairman down there and it was the start of something I want to do over the next 5-6 years and further in the future. They gave me a good opportunity and I’m sure we’ll be meeting them later in the season and I’m sure we’ll have a beer with them.
You take over the squad with some key players still here. How important is it to have those foundations?
Firstly, I’d like to thank those players. There are 9 that stayed with the club and they have been consistent performers with the club. They’ve show me a lot of intent and respect since I’ve been here which over a matter of days and we showed that respect by starting the players today. They were excellent tonight as well as the new additions who you’ve also seen tonight so we need to kick on and there are no excuses for us now.
This season the club have been competing for promotion and the Essex Senior League title. Do you think we are still on course for that?
100%. The new additions we are going to welcome with strengthen the squad. We wish all the best to the players who have departed but that happening creates an opportunity for others to come in. We need men and we need experience. We are trying to get some deals over the line before Saturday and the players who played tonight and made an impact like Jason Beck and Connor Scully have done what we expected. On the title challenge, I hope we are up there and we will put all the tools in place and we will see what happens at the end of the season.
Which players have impressed you the most this season and who are you looking forward to working with?
Being a player myself and having played a bit this year, our front three can be scary when they show up and they showed that tonight. We want to empower the people at Stow and especially the staff; We’ve got a fantastic head coach in Kras and we have a really experienced assistant manager in Tony. We want growth to evolve around them and the players know they need to kick on.
The Waltham Rabble follow this club home and away. How important will their support be to you as a manager?
I think the fans are important to any club. I’ve seen the party poppers go off when we score a goal and you can see throughout the game, they are cheering us on. We need them week-in and week-out. These boys have done fantastic and showed they want to be here and so have the Rabble. I’m looking forward to it.