Former Clarets youth team captain David Lynch tapping into the psyche of his former mentors in readiness for first managerial stint
Clitheroe player-manager David Lynch will be looking to tap into the psyche of some of his former mentors ahead of his first term at the helm.
The new Blues boss has worked with some of the best in the business at non-league level and he’s ready to draw on such a rich education.
A number of contributors have made their mark on a carefully woven Bayeux Tapestry during the midfielder’s career and it’s something he’s greatly appreciative of.
Terry Pashley and Andy Farrell had their say on the 27-year-old’s development when he was pursuing a career with the Clarets and that was just the start.
“I spent 10 years at Burnley and went right through the Centre of Excellence, as it was then,” he recalled. “I was offered a YTS contract at 16, which was absolutely brilliant, so I went full-time.
“I worked under Terry Pashley and Andy Farrell and Craig Mawson, who is now at United, was the youth team goalkeeping coach when I was there. I’ve got great memories, it was a fantastic club and, if anything, it’s drilled that professional mentality into me.
“I want to bring that to Clitheroe in terms of training, the way we play, because preparation is paramount, you don’t leave a stone unturned. I’m a firm believer that if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail.
“I want the lads to enjoy it, I want to have a great team spirit in the dressing room but, first and foremost, when we’re there we’re there to work.”
The former Burnley youth team captain went on to work with the likes of Simon Garner, Billy Heath, Kevin Davies, Liam Watson and Neil Young.
Each and everyone of them, he’s sure, will influence his managerial make-up. “I was made club captain after two or three games under Simon Garner at Clitheroe,” said Lynch.
“The first season was a bit stop-start, we were a bit inconsistent, but Simon was just finding his feet as a manager and was identifying the players that he wanted. We were on a shoestring budget during the second season, but we gave it a really good go.
“We had Sefton Gonzales, Louis Mayers, Scott Harries, myself, Ross Dent, Simon, Chris Lynch, Jimmy Heywood, it was a proper team and that’s the sort of team spirit that I want to build at Clitheroe.
“The team spirit in the dressing room and the connection between the players and the fans is paramount. When I was there I remember scoring a goal in the FA Trophy to win 3-2 against Droylsden and running into the fans.
“I want that connection and I want Shawbridge to be buzzing. I want supporters to know that they’ve got a squad, from one to 16, that will give 110%. That is what I demand off everybody.”
The former Burscough and Workington AFC man then went on to enjoy spells with Altrincham and Halifax Town as the journey continued. “I got an absolutely fantastic opportunity to sign for Halifax Town for the 2016/17 season,” he said.
“I really kicked on, went from strength to strength, and that was probably the best season that I’ve had since being in the non-league. We ended up getting promoted from the National League North under Billy Heath who, in my opinion, is the best manager in non-league football.
“His CV speaks for itself and I’ve got a very good relationship with him having played under him for three or four seasons. He’s a manager that I’ve learned a lot from.”
Lynch continued: “I was in and out the following season and then Kevin Davies came in for me at Southport. That was a terrific opportunity.
“It was a drop down to the National League North, but it was a great opportunity to go and work with somebody as professional as Kevin Davies. I absolutely loved it.
“Once Kevin got the players that he wanted and we changed the spirit inside the dressing room it was absolutely fantastic. We went on a record number of home wins on the spin and then Jack Sampson, our striker, picked up an injury.”
The landscape at Shawbridge has changed significantly since Lynch succeeded Phil Brown in the Ribble Valley. As well as retaining the nucleus of last season’s group, Lynch has added no less than nine new faces.
Billy Priestley, Danny Pilkington, Ross Dent, Danny O’Brien, Craig Hobson, Jon Worsnop, Cole Lonsdale, Jack Lynch and Chris Smalley have all jumped on board for the 2020/21 campaign.
“I worked with another experienced manager in Liam Watson when he replaced Kevin Davies,” Lynch said. “He was a very successful manager and renowned for being one of the best in non-league in terms of what he’s won.
“That’s going to help me given that I’ve worked under some very experienced managers. There’s also Neil Young, who I know very well. He took me to Altrincham. You probably couldn’t get more experienced managers in non-league than those that I’ve worked with.
“They all have different ideas and I can pluck things from each of them and pass on things that I’ve learned from them.”
Lynch also has the unwavering support of his backroom staff. Former Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City midfielder, who played 10 times for England’s Under 21s, has been sworn in as Lynch’s second in command.
Meanwhile, Carl Garner has returned to the club as director of football and Louis Mayers has pledged his expertise to the coaching team. “I’ve got a lot of contacts in the game that I can tap in to,” said Lynch, who also represented the Republic Of Ireland at Under 18 level alongside Michael Keane, Patrick Bamford and Aiden O’Brien.
“There are people there who can offer me advice if I need it. I’ve got Chris Holland coming in as well and his CV speaks for itself. He was the unanimous decision of the board as well, which I think helps.
“I know Chris really well, but I think the fact that the board and the director of football [Carl Garner] wanted him as well speaks volumes. I’m glad that I’ve got somebody coming in with me that’s got the knowledge of the game, somebody who’ll be fantastic with the lads and somebody who I know and can trust.”
Lynch finished: “We’ve got Carl’s experience as well; he’s been chairman, manager, head of recruitment, he’s done pretty much every experienced role at a football club. The fact that I’ve got his knowledge to tap into as well will bridge that gap between me taking my first job in semi-professional football. I think that will bode well.
“Carl’s a man that I know inside out and somebody who I massively respect. There aren’t many people in football who you can trust, but he’s certainly one of them. He helped me leaps and bounds during my career as did his son.”