Scott Harris – Interview

We caught up with Scott to find out more about our new manager and what fans can expect to see from his side next season

How does it feel to be manager of the club and are you ready to manage the high expectations of the owners/fans?

It feels great to be responsible for the team, and having the canvas like this to work on. Thankfully, I am aware of the history of the club, and therefore the expectancy. I share the same expectancy levels. I truly believe that if you don’t expect to win, you are already accepting being average. I will be as demanding of my players and staff as the fans and board will be of me.

You’ve previously been at the club before, describe your memories of the club and your time here

Yes, this question comes at a time when I have been thinking a lot about my early memories at the club, because sadly Laurie Craker died earlier this month. He was the First Team Manager at the time I arrived there and he was a real man’s man. Very funny, extremely dry. The club were at the top end of the Ryman Premier, which at that time was the next league down from the National Conference. As an 18 year old, it truly seemed like a huge achievement to even get asked to train with the first team.
We had a great time as a youth team, and then progress through the reserves was also a lot of fun. Eventually making the first team never truly turned into the success I hoped. It was a different time in football, and myself being the kind of player I was, it was like a square peg in a round hole.

Do you see your lack of experience as a First Team Head Coach being an inhibition on your capabilities?

To be honest, it fills me with excitement. Having been an assistant before, as much as I was given a lot of rope by Anthony, of course there are always times where the manager had to have the final word. It’s easy being an assistant, because every team you pick is undefeated, and every idea you have is a great one. They never have to take the field.
I embrace that pressure and I’m very strong willed in my beliefs. I hope that holds me I good stead when these ideas maybe don’t go according to plan, or take some patience.
I am also fortunate to have grown up in dressing rooms with my Dad being a manager for 30+ years. He will be very useful, especially on the man management front. There won’t be a situation he hasn’t come across.

Who are you looking forward to seeing most out of our new signings for next season?

Haha. I have to say them all really don’t I?! We have a crazy good core of players here. With all kinds of flexibility. I want to say that my first port of call when it comes to recruiting any player is talent level and football IQ. Each and every one of the players we have secured here are very talented. I see no reason why we can’t expect to have talent at every position. It’s our job as staff to make them want to do the ugly things, and organise them. I’d much rather be trying to organise talent than trying to get skill out of someone that just doesn’t have the capability.
Ok, I’ll give you one name.
I’m excited to be working with Sean McCormack again. He’s a young forward who will be very popular in the dressing room, and will score and create a lot of goals I’m sure. He loves to practice and work on his game, and is such a willing listener. If he’s not on Instagram, that is.

What vision do you have for the football your team will play at Walton?

I’ll try not to rant here. Or give too much away haha.
Well, I guess the place to start is treasuring possession. And with that, trying to create situations all over the pitch where we can outnumber opponents.
Simplicity impresses me. I want my team to be able to play without the idea of getting a cheer from the crowd for their own ego. Every action should be what’s best for our team. If the others are where they should be, then simplicity should always be an option.
Going back to what I mentioned earlier, about different eras. The kind of patience required of the fans in order to try and implement this kind of style just wouldn’t have been there. These days, gradually, as a country, people are becoming more in tune with this and more accepting of the idea that it can win.
Most of all, people will have their money’s worth on a Saturday. I hope we will win fans each week, and bring more and more locals back.

Where do you see the club in 2-3 years time and what do you see us having won?

For me, given what I knew of the club as a kid, and knowing of the great history before that… I see this club as a Step 3 club bare minimum.
I was just thinking today, about just how long this road is in order to get there. It’s ok all of us predicting this and that, get through this and get through that, but we all have to take it one step at a time. There are a LOT of football matches to be played just to get out of this league.
As I said right at the beginning here, I always aim high. We will be aiming to win the league. And I am actually thankful to have Jersey in this league for one more year. I think they will help to pull us along and really give the boys something to aim for. By no means am I selling anyone else short in this league, but what Jersey did last year is unprecedented, and something for us all to chase.
I have to mention the FA Vase, and in turn mention Chertsey. Another team that have shown the way. Teams from this area should be inspired by it. I know I am.

In your opinion who are the best footballing team of our generation and would you draw any comparisons with what you intend to do with The Swans?

Good time to ask this I guess. As the world has come to a standstill, we have all made lists and cast votes on the best all time of absolutely everything haven’t we. I’d have to say the Barcelona team of Guardiola. Ok, Real Madrid won most of the Champions Leagues, but I was never in total awe of them like I was that Barcelona team. I feel they turned the football world upside down. Along with what the Spanish national team did, I think they made people believe that skill truly can win. These ideas can translate to any level of you really believe in them.

A signing off note…

Thanks to all our fans, I just want to say that I hope everyone is keeping well out there and I can’t wait to see you all down at the ground some time soon.