Bryan on player development plus Gerard Nash, Kieron Dyer and Terry Butcher
Bryan Klug, head of coaching and player development with Town's Academy, recently spoke to the Club website to discuss a range of topics.
In the interview, which is transcribed in full below, Bryan discusses developing young players for the first-team, Gerard Nash's new role and the return of Kieron Dyer and Terry Butcher to the Club.
Thanks for your time, Bryan. First of all, what is your role in terms of establishing a style or styles of play at the Club?
"I’d like to think that over the years, the Academy have had not one particular style but a way of playing. It’s very good for the first-team to settle into a way of playing and it’s our job to produce players who can do that. There’s more than one way of playing football, that’s something I’ve learned over many years. When players come out at the other end of the Academy, we like to think that they’d be prepared to play in a way that any manager can want them to play. We haven’t had to adapt too much."
The positives of that come when the young lads get a chance, as they have recently, that they are ready to slot into the first-team…
"We know the work that the manager and the first-team staff are doing. By the time the players get to our U18s or U23s, they understand that way of playing. Also, there’s other ways of playing and we ensure that they get a full rounding and education."
There’s been a few changes behind the scenes in the Academy, with Gerard Nash's role changing...
"Gerard, over a number of years, has developed into a superb coach. He’s been involved with the first-team. He’s at his happiest when he’s working with any young player. We identified a need between when players go from the Academy to the first-team and sometimes come down too. Predominantly, he’ll be working with those players and making sure they don’t fall through the cracks. The first-team have their programme, it’s about going game to game. I still feel that there’s a lot of development in some of the players. Over the years, there’s been a few players who have had a few games but then their progression has stopped a little. Gerard is one of the best development coaches and is highly qualified so that really does suit him. It’s all about getting the best of all the people and resources you have. We think there’s a real role for Gerard, getting closer to the first-team. He’s picking up that role and we’ll see where that goes."
Kieron Dyer has come in to work with the U23s now. What’s it been like to have him back at the Club?
"Kieron has been on the fringes of coaching. He’s been out to Anderlecht to work with them. I think he’s going to be a really good coach. I think it’s right to give him a bit of responsibility and let him lead a team, which is what he’s doing. He’s not here for the financial rewards but he’s here to learn his trade and he’s doing really well. He’s here because he loves this football club."
How beneficial will that experience of learning from coaches and clubs in different countries be?
"That’s what it’s all about. We want the culture at this football club to be that we can always get better, every one of us. I’ve never been afraid to bring in people who I think can bring something new and a new perspective. We’re never happy with how we’re doing. I look around and I see a lot of young players in and around the fringes of our team but that’s not good enough for us. They’ve got to be players who go into the first-team and make the team better. Our culture is that we can always get better. Kieron is bringing in some new ideas and he’s also working alongside Terry Butcher - that's fantastic. He’s one of the nicest men but obviously a very experienced coach as well. The work he’s doing with the young centre-halves, it’s incredible to think we’ve got that. Again, he’s not here for any financial reason, he’s here because he loves this football club. We’re very lucky to have those people around us."
It’s great to have people who have given so much to the Club on the pitch, now still working with us off it…
"Absolutely. That’s what this football club is about. Terry knows what the standard looks like. We’re in League One at the moment but we’re aspiring to produce players that can hopefully play at the level that Terry did."