New Oxford City Stars head coach Dean Birrell is relishing his new challenge at Oxford
It has been a whirlwind start for the Scot who joined the Stars amid the COVID-19 lock down.
It has meant Birrell has not had an opportunity to meet anyone at the club in person so far.
And while the club does not know when the new season will start Birrell’s key focus has been planning and recruitment for the new campaign.
“I’ve not been off the phone this past couple of weeks,” he said.
“The club have been great and while normally we’d have all met up, like everyone right now we’ve adapted.”
Birrell who has a reputation for building teams and developing young players following a successful 15-year stint in senior coaching roles at Streatham and Chelmsford is thriving in his new role.
“I’ve had a great response from everyone and I’m thoroughly enjoying the role,” he said.
“This first couple of weeks have been an intensive time getting to know the club and my colleagues better, working on our plans and recruitment.
“I’ve spent a lot of time talking to the directors and digging into the strategy and culture more.
“The former coaches have been a great support and have all helped, which has been important. I am in regular contact with Darren Elliott as well on the recruitment side. I have spoken to all the players and explained to them what I expect in terms of standards, attitude, fitness and style of play. Plus, I’ve spoken to coaches at other clubs to build relationships and hopefully some partnerships that can benefit everyone.”
He added: “A good work ethic is important to me and competing as a unit.
“We’re now in the recruitment phase and we’re making positive progress.
“It’s unusual as we don’t know what the future holds due to COVID-19, but we have to plan as best we can.
“This is a great opportunity for players to join a tight-knit club with a focus on being competitive, working hard and progressing young talent.”