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David Longwell Interview


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Did anyone else catch this?

It was sent to me on my Facebook account by someone who wanted my views on it.

It's interesting. Those calling for a ban on coloured boots might be impressed. I'm not sure what I would take out the insistence that kids shake hands with their coaches before training though, and I certainly don't make much of the amount of standing around some of these poor kids are having to do - hopefully because of filming, and not because that's standard.

The charts are nice. Very pretty.

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David is a very, very good coach. I've been fortunate to have played a couple of games under his direction, and have done a small amount of training under him, and make no mistake he knows exactly what he is doing. Anybody who says otherwise either knows very little about coaching, or has an axe to grind for some personal reason.

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I honestly believe that Longwell comes across fantastic in the interview. Very passionate about the job and said all the right things. Unlike some of our previous managers he actually sounds like he believes in what he is saying.

Agreed. He talks a good game and comes across well. I find the boots thing funny personally. I never had an issue with coloured boots but I hated kids wearing blades, particularly on a plastic pitch. In the close up of the boots on the rack there's blades shown. I know that's probably first team players boots used on grass and it's probably just an edit thing but that jarred with me.

Also Longwell talks about the pressing game and about playing the ball out from the back. Fair enough, I prefer that style of play too - but under Ian Murray the team were playing a completely different style with the sitting deep and the Langfield punt so there's a clear disconnect there.

Longwell also confirms what other pro youth coaches have told me. He's got one or two "talents" in each age group. Nothing wrong with that at all. If the Academy produces two high quality sellable talents per year that would be extremely successful, but what about all the other lads who are just making up the numbers? Isn't there a better way to develop Scottish kids in football? If nothing else is it right that pro youth football grasp such of the games resources when it clearly isn't that efficient in terms of success?

A good interview though none the less. Now if only the club structure would allow for a scout to be hired to recruit kids into the club without the first team coach having to weigh up long term advantage against having an extra player in his squad.

Edited by Stuart Dickson
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Did anyone else catch this?

It was sent to me on my Facebook account by someone who wanted my views on it.

It's interesting. Those calling for a ban on coloured boots might be impressed. I'm not sure what I would take out the insistence that kids shake hands with their coaches before training though, and I certainly don't make much of the amount of standing around some of these poor kids are having to do - hopefully because of filming, and not because that's standard.

The charts are nice. Very pretty.

Did they, aye?

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Agreed. He talks a good game and comes across well. I find the boots thing funny personally. I never had an issue with coloured boots but I hated kids wearing blades, particularly on a plastic pitch. In the close up of the boots on the rack there's blades shown. I know that's probably first team players boots used on grass and it's probably just an edit thing but that jarred with me.

Also Longwell talks about the pressing game and about playing the ball out from the back. Fair enough, I prefer that style of play too - but under Ian Murray the team were playing a completely different style with the sitting deep and the Langfield punt so there's a clear disconnect there.

Longwell also confirms what other pro youth coaches have told me. He's got one or two "talents" in each age group. Nothing wrong with that at all. If the Academy produces two high quality sellable talents per year that would be extremely successful, but what about all the other lads who are just making up the numbers? Isn't there a better way to develop Scottish kids in football? If nothing else is it right that pro youth football grasp such of the games resources when it clearly isn't that efficient in terms of success?

A good interview though none the less. Now if only the club structure would allow for a scout to be hired to recruit kids into the club without the first team coach having to weigh up long term advantage against having an extra player in his squad.

The style of play thing was what got me as well. Langfields aimless kicks to short forwards have been nothing short of laughable. He did mention Danny Lennon and how it was more his style so clearly Murray never quite got round to imprinting his philosophy at this level.

As for the kids that miss out, where do you want them to go? How do the more exceptional talents show their game without having teammates and opposition to outclass for lack of a better word.

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Hopefully the new manager shares his philosophy as well otherwise all his work could be undone if we have a dinosaur running the first team. A club's philosophy should run from top to bottom, at all age groups. There should be a "St Mirren Way" of doing things, certain standards and ideas that all of the clubs teams should follow. Longwell personifies this, IMO, and is doing things the right way. Obviously he's not perfect, no one is, even Sir Alex had his faults, but he's doing a great job.

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Longwell also confirms what other pro youth coaches have told me. He's got one or two "talents" in each age group. Nothing wrong with that at all. If the Academy produces two high quality sellable talents per year that would be extremely successful, but what about all the other lads who are just making up the numbers? Isn't there a better way to develop Scottish kids in football? If nothing else is it right that pro youth football grasp such of the games resources when it clearly isn't that efficient in terms of success?

One of my collegues has a son who was at Kilmarnock, came to the saints system for 3 years and when it was plain he was not quite good enough the kid moved on to Ayr , he is now in the juniors. Both father and son are fulsome in their praise of Longwell and say that he developed immensely under him and that all of the kids loved the set up. Everyone got more than enough attention. So there you have a better player in the juniors than we would otherwise have-I get stories of many more just like that kid.

there are no negatives to exploit here.

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The style of play thing was what got me as well. Langfields aimless kicks to short forwards have been nothing short of laughable. He did mention Danny Lennon and how it was more his style so clearly Murray never quite got round to imprinting his philosophy at this level.

As for the kids that miss out, where do you want them to go? How do the more exceptional talents show their game without having teammates and opposition to outclass for lack of a better word.

I'm of the opinion that these elite programmes should be scrapped and that we should go back to a system more akin to the s form one that saw a lot of Scotland best players coming through. It seems to be a view that is shared by a growing number of people in the game, and more importantly around the SFA.

If you think about it logically these shirt fillers are wasting their time, their parents time and they are wasting valuable money which could be better put into grass root facilities. There is also a very high probably that when those shirt fillers are finally released they will be bitter about their experiences and may never play football again which is a real shame.

That doesn't mean there shouldn't be a place for the likes of a David Longwell in the game. I've always said senior clubs should work far more closely with teams in their community.

Anyway that's my opinion, but back ok topic I think Longwell shows in this interview why he may well have left Strachan with a very positive impression.

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One of my collegues has a son who was at Kilmarnock, came to the saints system for 3 years and when it was plain he was not quite good enough the kid moved on to Ayr , he is now in the juniors. Both father and son are fulsome in their praise of Longwell and say that he developed immensely under him and that all of the kids loved the set up. Everyone got more than enough attention. So there you have a better player in the juniors than we would otherwise have-I get stories of many more just like that kid.

there are no negatives to exploit here.

Good. Its nice to hear positive stories. I don't think it's an experience shared across all of the pro youth set ups in the country though. I've seen a few fall off the bus at Motherwell and at Airdrie United at different stages and they certainly weren't of the same opinion. Not enough game time was a very common complaint. We also had a few lads who came to us after being very brutally dumped by Clyde who appear to do that kind of thing all the time.

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Great interview. It does make you wonder, that when the club relies so heavily on youth, this season in particular, we are not carrying the same playing philosophy across to the first-team.

I do remember there was a stage under Danny Lennon when we we playing really impressive stuff, working the ball out from the goalkeeper to the defenders, just as Longwell said he encourages.

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Surely there have always been lots of players who weren't good enough for first team football in the old days and this isn't because of the academy programs? Think the academy programs have to be changed, maybe, but not removed altogether.

JJP, there were obviously players that didn't make it under the old S Form system but they were far fewer in number. The reason for that was cause clubs couldn't sign a boy until he was 14 years old and there were restrictions on the numbers of S Form registered players you could have.

The thought process behind the move to academies was that if senior clubs were able to get kids in at 8 and 9 years old they could teach them better habits and progress them with a greater range of skills, but what actually happened was that many of the acedemies locked down the players they then signed by stopping them from playing football for the school team - as an example - and reportedly telling them they shouldn't play football with their mates. These days you hear a lot of denials about academies placing restrictions on kids, but it definitely existed. My son was given a list of do's and don't during his short spell at Hibs and plenty of others have been in the same boat. This meant, for all the good intentions, kids were spending much less time with a ball at their feet and whilst they were being reasonably well coached technically they were often being stifled when it came to the kind of freestyling we used to see in our game.

Recently Gordon Strachan has joined in with a number of people who now believe we're going down the wrong path with academies and that we need yet another revamp and Strachan was mooting going backwards to get back to the days when Scotland really was capable of producing high quality talent. At the SYFA they've been pushing for higher standards and qualifications throughout all of the grass root clubs in juvenile football but for whatever reason - I think financial - senior clubs have continued to push their agenda which means a large proportion of the grants and sponsorship in the game for grass roots is being diverted into academies and away from facilities.

At the most basic level if you think about it this way, there is literally thousands of kids in the elite system who are taking a high proportion of the grants and funding out of the game, on various pieces of kit and on transport all over the country, when even their own coaches don't believe they are ever going to make it.

For once though I'm not having a go at St Mirren or David Longwell. I think the interview painted David Longwell in a very good light and I'm pleased many others have said the same thing. It's the system that is wrong and hopefully one day it'll get fixed.

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reserve team football is what is missing, playing against/alongside experienced pros is what our young players lak

Agreed. The argument for academies was that better players would get better playing against players of a better or similar standard. Well if that's true why have an Under 20's league where they just face off time and time again against the same pool of kids they've grown up playing? Surely pitching them in against professionals has to happen to improve the standard of player they are up against.

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These days seem about shiting on everyone everything St Mirren it's really sickening and something that could make me stop attending games as I feel so apart from the negative shit that surrounds the support to the very foundations of the club. I get concerns and passion but down right abuse towards the board and players who love the club pass me off. Christmas now the catering is in the firing line. We have a terrible sickness of negativity . Yes things are not great but these are the times we should help .

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St Mirren are very lucky to have David Longwell. A top bloke and a credit to himself and St Mirren.

How long can we hold onto him? After Brian Caldwell leaving it would not surprise me to see David move onto a bigger club in the near future. :-(

An inspiring chap, full of positivity and you can see why the U20's are doing so well under his stewardship.

Watching that video makes you realise why we all love our club. The last few years watching us has been pretty brutal. Hopefully we can turn the corner under the next manager. :-)

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These days seem about shiting on everyone everything St Mirren it's really sickening and something that could make me stop attending games as I feel so apart from the negative shit that surrounds the support to the very foundations of the club. I get concerns and passion but down right abuse towards the board and players who love the club pass me off. Christmas now the catering is in the firing line. We have a terrible sickness of negativity . Yes things are not great but these are the times we should help .

I wouldn't imagine that stopping attending games will help the club too much. Only by the core support staying strong and continuing to attend will we have any chance of getting through this rough spell.

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