Interview: Callum Brooks after Bideford

Callum Brooks Photo Credit: Andy Orman

Originally published 21/04/16 on South Coast Journalism

Poole Town assistant manager Callum Brooks spoke to South Coast Journalism after the Dolphins lifted the Southern Premier trophy for the first time, but he admitted it wasn’t a game that was filled to the brim with excitement – despite the three goal winning margin.

“I think after Saturday, a thousand plus people watching us win a game, which we had to, to get what we’ve dreamed of doing, I think it was inevitable that it was going to be a little bit flat.

“I think the players coped with that, coped with it well. The gaffer’s asked us to raise the levels at half time, and if we did that, we thought we’d go onto win, so it’s another decent evening.”

Whilst Brooks hasn’t been in his current role at the club for a full season, he has earnt praise and respect from the players and fellow staff members – the feeling of which is mutual, as the ex-New Milton Manager believes that apart from being winners on the pitch, they are also brilliant off of it.

“I’ve come into a very, very good club, with a very good group of players, and I’m working under a very good manager.

“So, that made it easier, so I’ve thrown myself into the role. So, what I’ve been able to do this year is get on the grass, with some brilliant footballers, and just as importantly, they’re brilliant people.

“For this group to get over the line, I’m just so pleased for everyone. Who’s involved, it’s just a real great time for the club, so we’re going to enjoy that, and I’m speaking to the gaffer at the moment, and as much as we enjoy it now, thoughts are starting to turn towards next season, which will be even more challenging.”

Brooks had been involved with the club for some time – spending some time with the youth set up at Poole, which he believes has a bright future: “Part of my role is to oversee the u21s, and I’ve gotten involved with the u18s and u16s, moving forward to next year – that’s the kind of model that’s in place.

“We’re looking to become more professional with the path way from the youth, up to our first team.”

“So, we’re on the right track there. The u21 league failed a little bit this year, with a lack of games, but next year, we’re still looking to having a side that is in-between the u18s and the first team, because it’s probably going to be more vital that we’re producing some young talent. That’s a big part of my role, going forward.”

With only three teams in this year’s league (Gosport Borough, Wimborne Town and the Dolphins,) it was always going to be a slightly bare fixture list for the young Dolphins – but fixtures weren’t even completed, something everyone at Poole is trying to avoid next season.

“What we’re looking to do, is if the u21 Dorset league doesn’t give us enough games, is looking to arrange a couple of friendlies per month. We’ll be using the bulk of the 18s, but obviously Tommy needs to look at players, we get a lot of interest from trialists, so we do need games, between the u18s and the first team.

“Hopefully, a few more teams enter the u21 league, but if they don’t, then we will be looking to have something there, just to prove there’s a pathway, because there’s a lot of kids in this area, that are dreaming of playing for Poole, and I can see why.”

Players in the current side to have come up the ranks include Marvin Brooks, whose recent forms has ensured Poole’s promotion, and Will Spetch – a frequent name on Tom Killick’s teamsheet.

Another way of developing players the Dolphins have elected for is dual-registration with Wessex league sides – including Verwood Town, who featured 5 dual-registered players in their defeat to Sholing on Wednesday night (Ollie Davies, Sam Glatzel, James Guthrie, Zach Phelps and Bruce Goddard.)

It remains to be seen if there can be a conveyor belt of talent in the years to come, however.

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