Dean Barker

Next up on #Offthepost is Dean Barker who is currently in charge of Welwyn Garden City at Step 4 in Non-league football. This is Dean’s 4th job in charge of a 1st team, having managed Cockfosters, Wingate and Finchley & Northwood before arriving in Hertfordshire. I sat down with Dean a while ago to ask him all about management.

What made you want to become a manager?

After finishing my playing days through injury I wanted to give it a go and see how it would pan out. Luckily it’s been successful so far.

How have you developed over your time as a manager?

You never stopping learning as a manager. Dealing with people in general is a skill so you pick up things along the way.

What are the greatest challenges for a manager these days? Social media?

Good question. There are plenty of things to deal with as a manager. Players, club members, management team, supporters, officials, agents etc. Social media has its good points but also there can be negative points to it.

What other leagues/countries football do you study to develop your coaching

I like to watch football in general. Having been to America, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Holland, Scotland, Wales to name a few its good to see how different countries see the game.

What has been your greatest moment as a manager?

Winning leagues and cups are great but also seeing players progress into the professional game are positive moments.

What has been the lowest moment?

Losing finals are disappointing but conceding 90th minute goals are heartbreaking.

What do you think the biggest issues are affecting non-league football these days?

Some leagues the travelling effects commitment. Football has changed a lot since I started playing and players have changed over the years.

Who is the best player you have played with or coached?

I have been lucky to play with and manage some top players so I wouldn’t want to single out one individual. All I would say is the ones who perform on a match day and are good for the team on and off the pitch are the ones you want.

Do you think the FA should subside the cost of coaching badges?

Yes but I do believe they try to help where possible. A lot of people are doing coaching badges in different countries these days because of the cost.

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