I had the pleasure of taking a trip up to the training ground on Tuesday, not only to present Bruno Andrade with his PFA Player of the Month award, but also to chat to Jamie McCombe for this weeks programme.
I say it every week, but the interview this week is superb. Jamie worked under Keith Alexander and was a teammate of Richard Butcher and we spoke about some of the more unusual methods Keith used as a manager.
Stories of the two, along with Jamie’s own memories of the pair, will appear exclusively in the programme this week and they’re a must read for anyone who remembers Gary Taylor-Fletcher bagging a brace at Orient. Yeah? Remember that? The story behind it will have you chuckling.
We also chatted about his current role at the club, relaxing in the rather sumptuous surroundings of the gym at the Elite Performance Centre. Surrounded by machines, pitches and staff, Jamie explained how important the facility had been to not only the players, but the coaches as well.
“The club has moved forward at such a rate that it’s only right the facilities move with it to keep the momentum going,” he told me.
“To move here with the gym, pitches and everything together it gives you more time. It’s a better, more efficient use of our time.”
“With the three pitches we can divide ourselves up and do a lot more specialised work. I can take the defenders off to one pitch, Nick might use another half with the midfielders and Dan does shooting drills on another pitch. When we were on one pitch and it was quite tight it was really difficult to work on the different facets we wanted to work with.”
Jamie is a highly valued member of the management team, part of a quartet including the brothers that walk on water and keeper coach Andy Warrington. Despite living in Yorkshire and travelling every day, he explained that he’s got little desire to follow the likes of Simon Weaver and Gary Taylor-Fletcher into club management, not when he’s settled here with the Imps.
“I’m happy doing what I’m doing. I’m learning all the time and I’m someone who goes into something wanting to be a success at it. I don’t want to wing anything. I’m more than happy where I am at the minute and as long as the club keeping moving forward I’m going nowhere. I’ve always been a winner, we’re onto a good thing here with the fans and the momentum we’ve got. It’s where I want to be.”
For the rest of the interview, make sure you check out the programme this weekend.