Craig Faulconbridge says he is ‘absolutely buzzing’ after being named as the new manager of Evo-Stik League……
……Southern Division One Central club Aylesbury FC this week.
The veteran striker was overjoyed at the club’s decision to hand him the job after Steve Smith vacated the role.
Faulconbridge said: “I don’t think my feet have touched the ground yet.”
The appointment comes after chairman Danny Martone said he wanted a more experienced incumbent for the manager’s seat but has instead opted to continue with his ‘tradition of giving a young guy a go.’
However, the chairman insisted his decision was vindicated.
“An excited Martone said: “The difference between Craig and Steve is that Craig has had experience at a managerial level. He’s also coached at this level, whereas Steve had none of that.
“This is a new season and a new beginning for us.”
Faulconbridge, has previously coached Oxford United under-16s to an unbeaten season and had a spell coaching at Didcot Town.
After the Moles struggled in an unexpected relegation scrap under rookie boss Smith, the former Coventry City player insisted it would be different story next season, both in terms of their league position and approach.
“I want to be in the top five. I don’t like losing. I’m a winner and I always have been. I want to win at all costs.
“I want to change our mentality. I want to win at all costs. If we are going down 2-0 in the 90th minute, I want to see us still trying. A team is only beaten when the final whistle is blown.”
As far as tactics are considered, many may accuse Faulconbridge of naivety after he insisted he would love to adopt ‘Barcelona’s approach.’
“I want to hammer home that if we are in a position to attack, we attack as one.
“If we lose the ball we’re going to have a 10 second rule where we do all we can to win the ball back as hard as we can. It demands a lot of fitness to do it but it’s possible.”
Despite his new role, the 34-year-old stated he would not be hanging up his boots just yet.
He admits ensuring players no longer thought of him as their ‘matey mate’ would be key.
“They have got to show me they want to play and they might need to change their attitude towards me.
“They have got to earn the shirt and then keep it.”
Smith’s troubles with some of the club’s fans have not deterred the new man, who says he will not be daunted by their expectations, saying: “I like the fact they want to be involved. But I’m not going to be influenced by what they say.”
With big friendlies coming up against Oxford City and Maidenhead United in July, the new man is now busy attending trial days to identify players to bring in.
“My major area to strengthen is midfield. There was no real cover for us last year and with Sonny French not back till September we will need to get somebody in.”
One new man who will be coming through the door will be an assistant-manager with an announcement expected within the next week.
However, there is further mystery after Martone revealed Faulconbridge did have a competitor for the managerial post.
“There was one other to seriously rival Craig. Unfortunately, he had other factors which would mean delaying his appointment.
“It was too much of a risk to take to only have a few weeks left before the start of the season and no manager in place.”
Despite the complications involved Martone did admit the mystery man could join the club in future in a different capacity.
For now though the focus is on what Faulconbridge can deliver and the striker was full of attacking spirit.
“It’s going to be quality. We are going to have a really good season.”