for anyone not able to listen to the audio, I transcribed some bits of it:
Interview with David Sharpe on D3D4football, 10 June 2020
“So far with Graham (Coughlan), he’s been great. He’s welcomed me, he’s done his research on me speaking to people in the game. We speak every day and so far it’s been great, obviously only 3 or 4 weeks into it.
“Graham has a huge emphasis on fitness and desire. When he came in, he tried to have an impact, but the games kept coming every Saturday and Tuesday, and he couldn’t quite get the fitness levels to where he wanted them to be. He plays a certain style that requires certain fitness levels. He plays a high press. His two centre halves either side of the middle one have to be very fit and quick. So there was a few things where it just didn’t all click into place.
“We’ve released a number of players. We want a fresh start. We want players that we feel can buy in to what we want to put in place.
“We’ve got Andy Burgess, the head of recruitment, who myself and Graham are with more or less every day. He only got appointed last summer and I’ve found him to be great. We’re in a WhatsApp group with me, Graham, Andy and Joe Dunne, the messages are constant, the information is constant, we have constant zooms.
“We do have to realise, the season we’ve just had cannot happen again. So we have to put in place everything from top to bottom to make sure we’re at the right end of the table.
“We did a squad analysis. And Graham had already done it before I even mentioned it. The average age of the squad was ageing, was above 28. We’ve just released a lot of them that were all over the age of 30, that you couldn’t class as assets. Yes, I’m all for experience, the same as Graham, but we need to bring the average age of that squad down. We need assets, we need sellable assets, and we need players of the age of 24, 23, 22, that are ready to achieve something in their careers. That’s something we’re going to look towards this summer. The conversations are well under way, and with released and retained lists, a lot of them are already out there. And with a sprinkling of experience. I think we’re already got a very good core with what we’ve kept on. We’ve got players like Danny Rose who I feel is one of the best in League Two. We’ve got CJ Hamilton, who two seasons ago was on fire, he’s the quickest player in the division in my opinion, and he’s an asset. We’ve got experience with Andy Cook, who’s been on loan at Tranmere but he’s had a great career in League One and League Two and he scores goals and he’s a handful. Ryan Sweeney is a good age, left sided centre back, he’s got a great future ahead of him. We’ve got Tomlinson and Charsley in the middle who are both young and ready to kick on in their careers. Joe Riley at right back, Kellan Gordon who’s highly rated. Mal Benning. So there’s a basis there of a strong core. We just need to add the right characters and the right profiles to that.
“Because of the situation, there’s going to be an opportunity to get players we may never have got in previous windows, because of players wanting security. We’re looking right now at League One players that are out of contract that would normally get a League One move, but we may be able to snap them up and offer them a bit of security. We’ve got issues that we need to deal with, salary cap being one, we can’t rush into anything because I don’t want to rush into agreements and then a salary cap comes into place. So we have to be very careful. I’m working off about 5 different spreadsheets at the moment with different salary caps. One with no salary cap. One with a 1.25 salary cap, 1.5, 1.75. I’m trying to piece it all together so we stay within our limits if one does come into place. And also we don’t know when the season’s going to start. So we’ve got to be careful we don’t sign players too early, and end up paying out and paying out and still no games and then a salary cap comes into place. It’s my job to manage that situation.
“We’ve got to be realistic. We’ve just finished 21st in the league. Of course we want to be successful, we’ve got goals privately that we’ve shared. We’ll see how our recruitment goes this summer. I believe with the players we’re taking to, and with Graham as the manager, we can be successful. But we don’t want to talk about promotion until we see that make-up of the squad.”
Full interview here: http://d3d4football.com/30-minutes-with-david-sharpe/