Only hours after his appointment as the new TFF FC manager, who are a team formed of the staff here at TFF for the purpose of playing some charity games across the summer, we caught up with Andrew Cliff to talk about his recent appointment and his philosophies.
Q1: Hi, Andrew. Thanks for talking to us. Firstly, what made you take over this job at TFF FC? A: The opportunity of becoming a club legend to the fans and to the players.
Q2: You’ve inherited a really young squad here. Is youth the way forward? A: I see potential in these lads and I always see youth as the way forward as they have the fight and the will to succeed.
Q3: Why has Josh Keeble-Wells and Kieran Masters been selected as the captain and vice-captain?
A: Josh Keeble-Wells has shown great commitment by playing for our side, as I know, he has a soft spot for the other team but I am really glad he has let his football do the talking on this big occasion. Kieran has the leadership factor that we are looking for as a backup in case the main man gets injured, we then have a suitable replacement.
Q4: From the players available, you’ve got smaller players who are good with the ball on the floor but strikers who are good in the air. So what sort of playing style can we expect from you?
A: Now I wouldn’t want to give too much away pre-match but our players are composed on the ball and are dangerous going forward, so you can assume in the media what I will play but until it comes down to game day you will not know the tactic chosen.
Q5: Players like Liam Byrne, Connor Revill, Thomas Galliers, Alex Crowther and Liam Drury are all young. So will you be expecting them to handle the pressure or hope that the senior players deal with it? A: They seem like mature lads. If I thought they wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure they would not be in the first team but I see them as good as the senior lads in terms of handling the pressure and the big occasion.
Q6: Have you had any discussions with the senior players about the squad yet? A: I have not been able to grab the senior players into my office yet but I will talk to them before the game to ask for their feelings on the squad available.
Q7: Do you expect your squad to all be on the same wavelength? A: All of the lads will know what sort of manager I am, easy and approachable when needed, but on game days they will know my tactics and will have to adapt to that and I know that the lads will all be on the same wavelength in the first game because everyone wants to get off to a positive start.
Q8: You are known to have a highly positive relationship with CM Jack Pattison. Can you reveal more about that relationship? A: We have known each other for a few years now so we know how each other are, what kind of bond we have and I have a feeling he will adapt quickest to the tactic I would give out due to this relationship.
Q9: In the first game as manager, will you look to put the senior players out first then slowly bring the youngsters in? A: The youngsters may have had less game time over their careers than the senior lads but if they have the stamina and commitment for the cause more than another senior player the younger player would start.
Q10. With only one left-back in Liam Drury and one right-back in Ryan White, will you be looking to use another player there as well? And if so, who would it be? A: I’m sure if needed then some players could drop into a lb/rb role and I can’t tell you who they would be in the interview because of how the opposing team would see that player as either a threat or easy to defend.
Now for some quickfire questions…
Q1: Messi or Ronaldo? Messi
Q2: Favourite Team: Newcastle
Q3: Best Newcastle player? Dwight Gayle
Q4: Role model? Alan Shearer
Q5: Best mate in the TFF squad? Jack Pattison.