Ascot United-Jamie Tompkins

You were sitting in 1st  when the season finished for COVID-19, what were your thoughts when the season ended?

It was completely understandable why the season had to end, health must always come first.

You have been in charge since June 2018 , have you been impressed with how the club has developed over time?

We are very happy with the progress the football club is making on and off the pitch, it is a community club and we continue providing opportunities for our local community. With over 60 youth teams and 900 players plus a fantastic amount of volunteer coaches, we have become a great hub for all to enjoy.

What made want you to step into management?

The competitive nature of the game but more importantly, support he growth and development of a football club and the people within it.

What are the team’s aims for the season?

Like any season, we want to reach our potential and continue getting better – if we perform consistently well to our high standards set from the start then the league takes care of itself.

What type of football do you like your side to play 

Easy to say winning football but it has to football that plays towards the strength of the group of players.

How has preseason gone so far?

Really well, it has been a long one but more time for our players to work on themselves and the team.

Have there been any comings/goings since the summer?

We are delighted to welcome Dan Bailey, Riccardo Andrady and Josh Masters to the football, they will add many qualities to our squad.

Are you looking to develop links with local pro clubs Clubs?

None, it’s about developing stronger community links to build and grow the football club.

Any players we should be looking out for this season?

It is difficult to choose from a very talented squad, we will soon know once the league season kicks off.

Do you think the FA were right to void all leagues below Step 2?

Understanding how difficult the decision was, I feel it is wrong for the game to be treated differently at all levels of the game. I am not saying the answer should have been a points-per-game situation, but there is no reason why we could not continue the season when appropriate to do so. Only the teams who failed last season benefitted from the decision to null and void.

How will non leagues have changed due to COVID-19?

I would hope clubs would concentrate on building a sustainable model, whilst developing their community outreach and growing their youth section. There are many clubs that focus on big money being pumped in at senior level but it will only push clubs on so far, if at all, which we see far too often. If only the thousands of pounds each season was put towards player and coach development within club’s youth sections, then you may see long term success.

What club do you support

Manchester United

How have you developed your coaching during lockdown?

Good coaches are always open-minded and always learning, lockdown and social distancing sessions has allowed for more detail and player specific training sessions but I have spent more time on supporting other coaches development.

What manager/coach do you admire?

Sir Alex Ferguson and Thomas Frank.

What are the clubs plans for the next 3-5 years?

We will continue making progress on and off the pitch, strengthening our offer as a community hub and work towards a long-term success. We need to continue thinking about the bigger picture whilst immediately thinking about our next game.

How hard was it during lockdown to keep the players fit and motivated and looking after their mental health?

We found it very easy. As a club, we set challenges for our senior and youth team players to stay engaged with the club and the first team squad, board of directors and chairman donated £1200 to the fantastic NHS. The month of May provided a physical exercise challenge for our squad to remain competitive and club quiz nights complimented this.

Who do you think will win the league this year?

If we did not choose ourselves then why turn up in the first place? Although, it will be a very competitive league season between many clubs again – great competition is what we all want.

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