Yorkshire Amateur appoint Liam Willingham as new assistant manager

Yorkshire Amateur’s new assistant manager Liam Willingham says his focus is on the Ammers’ club culture and off-the-field structure, allowing manager Mark Maspero to concentrate on the tactical side.

“We’re a step five football team and professionalism can get lost easily at this level,” began Willingham. “I’ll make sure it maintains.

“The way I look to be the most effective is to understand the players. Speak to them, learn more about them – It’s the man-management aspect.

“Setting the changing rooms up for when the boys walk in so they get the most professional entrance they can. Or if it’s getting the paperwork done or ensuring the pitch is cut.

“The pre-match warm-up I delegate to Emeel [Mati] – he’s good at the technical side. Then also Tom [Michael] with the goalkeeping. Sometimes we might bring those together, depending on what instructions Mark gives.

It’s important we look the best we can, especially with everyone watching us at the minute in our current situation. Yorkshire Amateur are certainly under the spotlight”.

Willingham, a former Otley Town, Robin Hood Athletic coach, reiterated the importance of basic behavioural attributes when explaining the principles involved in what he believes is successful team culture.

“Respect is huge; listening to your coaches. If the players carry out what us coaches ask and it doesn’t work out, it’s on us.

“Punctuality is important, being on time, getting that professional aspect.

“Presentation, how you present yourself, how you act, pre-match especially, how you carry yourselves in the changing rooms, respecting your teammates.

“We watch people in training and it’s all about keeping the standards.

“These are generic things but it reverts back to getting the basics right.

Maspero and Willingham have signed several NCEL experienced players recently, including Jordan Spencer and Adam Shaw, helping progress the management team’s objectives.

The pair’s off-the-field relationship, built over the past few years, assists their job, according to Willingham.

“Mark and I are very different people, but we understand each other.

“Mark is very good at what he does but he also likes to be challenged. I’ll bring another point of view.

“Mark doesn’t see that as a negative.

Willingham’s next job is preparing his players for the visit of Hemsworth Miners Welfare to The Southerns Stadium on Wednesday evening, kick-off 7:45pm in the NCEL Premier.

Tickets for Hemsworth Miners: Adults – £6, Concessions – £4.50, U16s – £2.50