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Macc Town manager: Covid-19 won't stop us training and getting ready for the season ahead

  • New training regime in place at Macc FC
  • Coach Paul McGuire says his players are fighting fit for the next season

Paul McGuire, former professional player for Morecambe FC and now a youth development manager for Macclesfield Town, has spoken to The Northern Quota about last season’s performance and how Covid-19 has affected training.

Paul said: “I do believe if the season would have concluded as normal, I think we have won that league, just missing out on goal difference.”

Striving for success, with Macclesfield Town first team managing to retain their status in League Two of the English Football League it’s a huge plus to the Academy, with Paul adding that this is a “good stepping stone for them”.

For the players, being associated with a professional club and being part of one of the higher-placed clubs in the EFL CEFA leagues has brought a sense of achievement and pride.

 

Macclesfield Town FC coach Phil McGuire
Macclesfield Town youth development manager Paul McGuire

When questioned about what remaining in the EFL meant to the team, Paul admitted: “If we’d have got relegated and you asked me that question, I could have spun that, and it could still be a positive.”

Following an injury which resulted in Paul’s retirement, he used spare time to kickstart a coaching career. Utilising his skills and experience, he educates future generations of footballers to be the best they can.

Paul says that he has seen other players achieve great things by just happy circumstance.

He said: "For my time in football, I realised that it’s not always the very best that go on and work hard. If they are in the right place at the right time, and then things like working with some decent managers and picking things up along the way.”

Paul believes that any player can do well by working hard, practicing and consistently honing their skills. While other elements may help, drive and determination will be instrumental towards their development.

Finding the dark horses of the team isn’t always straightforward: “Sometimes you just got to look at the ones below the best ones at times and think of the ones that have got the attitude and the ethic.”  

Using his personal experience as a guide to inspire the players, Paul wants them to visualise the team’s potential both on and off the pitch. He said that “I think that’s what I would take from my playing days.”

With the recently lowered Covid-19 restrictions, football can now kick off once again. Abiding by the government and FA guidelines football has once again started giving a sigh of relief to all football supporters.

Starting as the green light came, Macclesfield Town players were quickly being reintroduced to their fitness routines. Tackling the two-metre rule by “doing what you would call fitness in the park we was doing it straight away”.

“Bear in mind the school meets 70 odd lads in and around Greater Manchester is challenging.”

Macclesfield Town A Team

Wanting to get their heads in the game, Paul and other coaches started to visit the lads, in pairs of twos in local parks in their area, “going around everywhere to see the lads personally”, from to Ashton to Hazel Grove, Stockport to Macclesfield

Having the restrictions lessened by the government a second time allowed groups of six individuals to meet, while abiding by the two-metre rule allowed the group’s number to increase. With this in mind, Paul explained that instead of two players to one coach, they now train in two groups of five with a coach each.  

From open evenings to trial nights to taster sessions, normally around this time of year, football academies will be in full swing of the recruitment process, getting ready for September.

Under these circumstances due to the pandemic, it’s forced the academies to change their recruitment tactics. However, this predicament hasn’t stopped Macclesfield Town’s recruiting strategy, as they had met the majority of the lads beforehand through their original recruitment process.

“If you’d be sat here now and were trying to get thirty players and you’ve only got seven, you’d be struggling and a lot of academies will be, but we’re not,” said Paul.   

When asked what he’d like to see in the next couple of months, Paul said: “It’d be nice to return to the game to see the crowds at Macclesfield Town, getting down to the club and getting behind a team which they’ve always done.”

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