Introducing Anthony Bowsley

Introducing Anthony Bowsley

24th May 2024 Off By bartontown

We spoke to new Barton Town manager Anthony Bowsley this week to find out a bit more about him, his appointment and early thoughts on joining the club.

Barton Town: Welcome to the club Anthony.

Anthony Bowsley: Thank you. Excited to be here.

BT: Have you had a busy couple of days?

AB: Yeah, absolutely. A bit of a whirlwind really. Obviously I was attached to Beverley this time last week and then, from sort of nowhere… a couple of texts, a couple of phone calls and then an interview / chat on Monday night and then we’re here and the club announced it yesterday morning. So yes, it’s good to be here.

BT: From the club’s point of view, good to see you here. You’ve got lots of experience at this level, haven’t you?

AB: Yeah, quite a bit. I’ve been at a number of clubs in and around this level.
Started off at Hull and was there full time for, I think it was three or four years, and then part of the general non-league scene around here. I had spells at North Ferriby, Bridlington and Brigg. I also had a little stint at Barton as a player for a season; Dave Anderson was the manager with Mally Parker as his assistant. I think we finished second in the league if I remember rightly, so it was quite a decent season.

I’ve played abroad in Australia for a few seasons and did well out there.
And then on to a sort of mixed managerial and coaching career. Started off at Bridlington with Curtis Woodhouse, and then with Brett Agnew, who’s now at Brigg. Bridlington gained promotion to the league above this one, the Northern Premier League East, which was called the Evo-Stik at the time. We also won East Riding Cup, which is the local equivalent to like the Lincolnshire Cup here.

Then I had a brief little stint at Brigg, which didn’t go to plan really. That was with another good friend of mine, Nathan Peat.
And then obviously moved to Beverley, under Dave Ricardo, pretty sharply after Brigg. That time at Beverley, was quite successful, well very successful in fact. As probably most people are aware, Beverley won the playoff final two Saturdays ago beating Shirebrook Town on penalties.
So, yes, quite experienced really in and around both this level and in the league above.

BT: Is this your first job as the actual manager?

AB: Yes, as an actual manager although I was player/manager at Brigg. That would have been six or seven years ago. I was a player initially and the club captain. The manager got relieved of his duties and then they sort of asked me to take over for a couple of games to start with, which ended up being I think around 12 or 14 games by the end. Ian “Chalkie” Whyte helped me out, really massive thanks to him, as I was still playing at the time. It was a bit too much, really. I probably wasn’t the right time at that point to do and take it up. I still wanted to play as well, so I wasn’t ready to step up.

BT: So now you obviously decided to make that step and how do you see this job going?

AB: I’m hoping extremely well! I’m going to use my experience and contacts to make the squad simply better. And I say squad; it’s not just about eleven players. Nowadays, at this level with the amount of matches you’re going to play for various Cups and League games, there’s plenty of games so we need a decent squad. It’s all about getting the balance right and bringing in the right personnel.

Obviously, last year, finishing 14th wasn’t, from the club’s perspective, great.
I’m not going to comment on that outcome here, as I don’t really know what went on.

In terms of league position, I’d be certainly expecting a lot higher and a lot better; with the personnel coming in, I would expect that as well. We’ve obviously agreed already with three or four lads. Tom Waudby is staying, which is a massive plus. I think he was key last year, very key in fact, scoring 27 goals from a wide/midfield position, which is fantastic. So I’m glad he’s staying, especially he’s had interest from above, but to get him to stay first and foremost was my main target. And then I wanted to bring two or three in pretty quickly to make a bit of statement, really show the club is on the up and not sort of floating around like a “crisp packet in the wind”.

I want us to be ready to go time pre-season comes, not just the first competitive game; I want to have the final squad near enough in place at the start of pre-season. So we’ve got two players sorted tonight, which I’m absolutely delighted with, and they’ll improve the team and squad immediately.

BT: Obviously one of the positions we had a problem with last season was goalkeeper. Is that high on your list of problems to address?

AB: Yes, absolutely. I mean, it’s well probably documented that there was probably, I don’t have the number, but I think I saw a few goalies used at Barton throughout the season, which isn’t sustainable in terms of a defensive unit; I’d like to get the number one sorted.
I’ve spoken to one or two already, and I aim to get that one sorted pretty quickly. Ideally, I’d like to have just the number one in, who knows they are the number one, so there’s no grey area with that. Again, come pre-season all the players know that we can work as a defensive unit, and how we’re going to work throughout the season, really.

And if we’ve got that consistency, that the back three or four, whatever it may be, know who’s behind them, and what their qualities are. So yes, that’s definitely something that I need to sort and want to sort ASAP.

BT: Okay, so how would you describe your managerial style?

AB: I want my teams to be fit, energetic and play with a high tempo; and it’s as simple as that really. Something that people come down and watch and think these are a fit side, they’re organized, and they’re good to watch. I’m not going to go around with specific formations because I think that can depend on what personnel you’ve got in.

I was at Bridlington when they played a sort of 3-4-1-2 system, which was really successful, but we had the players to play that sort of formation, if you like. And at Beverley, we sort of played a 4-3-2-1 formation. But again, we had the personnel to do that, which obviously enhance the team’s performance. A couple of people have asked me that already, but I’m not setting any formations at the moment. I just want the team to play with high energy and high intensity and be enjoyable for the fans to watch. Simple as that.

BT: And you said you’ve obviously got Tom Waudby to stay. Will you be looking at other players that we’ve had from last season and bringing in new people but are you effectively starting from a clean slate?

AB: Well, yes. I’ve spoken to, I think, the majority of players who were attached to Barton last season. Some will obviously naturally move on. Like I said, the league position wasn’t great so I think I’m near enough starting from scratch in a way, which, which is fine by me.

It probably needed that. I think the board thought that and I think from the outside looking in, I think that’s what is needed and it’s not ideal, but that’s the way it goes sometimes with football. I think it’s going to have to be a bit of a clear out, but hopefully bring some quality in to improve the team.

BT: Are you bringing an assistant manager with you?
AB: Yes, I’ve spoken to the person I want, I’m hoping to hear back soon. And then the team; I wanted to get my number two in first, and then we’ll announce the rest in due course, which will be very shortly. There’s been quite a bit of interest with that one, but hopefully I’ll get the person we want in, but if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t; if it does, then great.

BT: And finally, what attracted you to the role?
AB: Well, Barton Town has really been a bit of a sleeping giant at this level in my opinion. Again looking from the outside in, it’s a club that’s got a big potential, and I know from my previous time playing here, it’s been wanting to go to at least the league above for a long period of time.

So I was aware of the ambition and having come and spoken to the club on Monday night, it was quite apparent that they want to progress quickly, but again, you’ve got to finish well. Bearing in mind we finished 14th it needs a bit of realism in there as well but I’m hoping to bring that sort of positivity and of course, finish as high as possible really.

I won’t be setting any targets, certainly not early on, but once we get the full squad in place we’ll just look to enjoy the season and see where it takes us.

BT: Okay, thank you very much
AB: No problem.