The reserves’ manager Ivan Stone, who has done a sterling job managing the Reserves since the forming of the 2nd team to supplement the 1st team 2 years ago, has been replaced by Leo Mansell, who brings with him immeasurable wealth of managerial experience varying from teams such as the once-famous Luton Deaf Football Club in its prime, and more recently, managing Barnet Deaf Football Club. Leo is not a stranger to FDFC, having been the assistant manager to the 1st team in his first tenure with FDFC. Ivan Stone has not left the club, he has replaced Nick Beese who has stood down as the club secretary, and we at Fulham Deaf are pleased that Ivan Stone is staying on board. With the new manager installed at the helm of the ship, we took the opportunity to interview Leo on being the Reserves’ manager.

Leo, many congratulations on being the new Reserves’ manager for next season, what challenges do you seek ahead of you to face in the upcoming season?

Thanks, I am already looking forward to the upcoming season with Fulham Reserves DFC, I know there will be challenges for me and the players as we move to a new league where we don’t know what the opponents are like! My one of the challenges is to bond with the players and to discover their football abilities and build from there.

With your vast experience in managing teams in the past, with the Reserves, it provides you with a new challenge where it’s a different side to managing a developing squad, rather than an established squad, what will you bring to that developing squad?

Well, there wont be major differences as Barnet DFC was a developing team during my management last season so my first aim is to get the team more disciplined as I believe it is vital in any team. I will also bring passion into the team as I strongly believe
HUNGER are important elements in a team. Without them, there is no drive to win games. I would like the players to enjoy the game of football and to bring the best out of them..

What would be your aims for the squad to achieve throughout the next season and onwards?

My first aim is to get the squad to be more consistent in matches so the players will beccome more condifent playing with each other and go from there. I would like to see the players understand more about tatictical positions. My second aim is to improve our standing in the league and improve any weak areas. Remember Rome was not built in one day!

As with Christof Niklaus who has been coaching the Reserves throughout the season, Christof has done a wonderful job with the coaching aspect for the players in the squad, who have benefited immeasurably from his tuition, with many vast improvements in each player which has not gone amiss, with 4-5 players breaking through in the 1st team squad throughout the season. It is with sadness that Christof is stepping down, to concentrate on his other pursuits. We have brought in Amrish Vasdev to coach the Reserves alongside a mentor which will be announced at a later date. Amrish also plays for the Reserves on a regular basis. With the new management in place, and with a new coach to coach the Reserves next season, it is an exciting outlook to go throughout next season!