20th Apr, 2021

Reds' progress on and off the pitch is vital - Clarke

Ben Tyler 24th Mar, 2021

Matt Clarke is in good spirits ahead of the new season. Picture: Harish Chavda (Dingle Images).

REDS manager Matt Clarke is confident of continuing the upward momentum at the club, now that his future at the Trico Stadium has been tied down.

The 47-year-old put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal last week, a real sign of United’s intent to look to the future under the guidance of chairman David Faulkner.

And it only appears to be the beginning of what promises to be a successful partnership between Clarke and Redditch, given the upturn in fortunes on the pitch last term, with the Reds boss buoyant about the long-term picture.

“[I’m looking for] significant progress on and off the field,” he said.

“It’s not just about the 11 boys that start the game – it’s about how the club has grown, the vision from the chairman, the structure that he wants to put in place to build the club.

“We’ve all got ambitions. I was fortunate enough to play in the National League North here, and I believe at some stage that’s definitely where the club wants to be.

“I’m not going to say anything like that [could happen], but I just want to see progress between now and two years time.”

Progress, Clarke believes, can only be instigated by improving the club’s playing personnel, adding: “When we came in, there were players probably at the wrong age – we had to change that because I didn’t feel we’d be able to get the type of brand or identity that we wanted with the personnel that we had.

“In the final third, it’s all about young, talented lads that want to express themselves.

“It’ll be a recruitment tool that we’ll use when trying to attract players in the summer.

“It’ll be a case of [them] coming in, letting them express themselves, and if they come in and do that then it’s a win-win for everyone.”

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