Jason has been the manager at Harefield United since the 2014-2015 season and last year lead the team to promotion from Step 6 in non league. What was even more amazing was completing the season unbeaten.
What made you want to become a manager?
I’m not sure I did want to become a senior manager, but In march 2015 I was given the Harefield u18 Allied managers job, youth football and the plan was to progress the lads I had coached from u7 to u16 through the Allieds and hopefully into the Harefield 1st team, but at the end of the 2014-15 season the Harefield Utd 1st team manager resigned and before I knew it, my name was put forward for the 1st team managers job and the rest is history
How have you developed over your time as a manager?
Having managed youth players and Senior players I feel I have developed / learned how to work with different groups / types of players. I’ve also leaned to move with the times and the way in which the game has changed / progressed. For example, preseason today involves a football from the 1st session, whereas in my day you didn’t see a ball for about 3 or 4 sessions if you were lucky,
What are the greatest challenges for a manager these days? Social media?
My biggest challenge isn’t social media, its keeping players at the club, Some will chase the money, which I understand as they may have bills to pay and a family to provide for but others just feel they should be playing at a higher level and say they are off to trial at XYZ clubs in step 4 / step 3. I just don’t understand it, if they are good enough for that level a club will come in for them. If no one comes in for them then i guess they have found their level
What other leagues/countries football do you study to develop your coaching?
I don’t really study other leagues / countries to develop my coaching / managing skills, but if there is any football on TV then it will be on in our house, doesn’t matter what football it is and I will always try and listen to the pundits after the game. I encourage my players to watch the MNF as they analyse all the Premiership games that have taken place over the weekend
What has been your greatest moment as a manager?
That has to be the season that has just finished, 2018-19. We won the league with 110pts, went unbeaten in our 38 games, winning 36, drawing 2 and losing 0 and then finished the season with winning the Middlesex Premier Cup. The players attitude and commitment were outstanding along with the coaching team that have supported me since I arrived at Harefield
What has been the lowest moment?
That would be when Billy Bonds the West Ham United youth manager told me that I would not be getting a pro contact and that they were releasing me,
What do you think the biggest issues are affecting non-league football these days?
Finances / Ground grading’s there seems to be a lot more travelling involved following all the restructuring of the leagues. with regard to ground grading’s, FA / league make rules and allow them to be broken ie: A clubs spend money on players to win a league and gain promotion, but they don’t have the ground grading to go up, FA / league give them until the following March of the new season to complete the works, hence they get their promotion, work don’t get done and they end up staying in the league and teams with the right ground grading have to go to a not so good ground to be polite. This should be black and white – No appropriate ground grading for the league no promotion, If the FA / leagues stuck to this then there would be few conflicts and clubs that were ambitious would 1st spend on your ground and then the squad
Who is the best player you have played with or coached?
I’ve been lucky enough to have played with a number of top top players over the years from pro’s at West Ham, ex-pros in Non league and some top non league players that have represented the non league England side so I am going to pass on naming one person
Do you think the FA should subside the cost of coaching badges?
Yes, i believe we need to ensure grass root coaches have the right qualification / knowledge of how to deliver sessions so they are able to coach the young kids starting out in the game the right way. Reducing the cost would help get more people involved in coaching the right way