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Phil Buxton
Phil Buxton

Why Notts County should take Mick Walker's approach going into next season

The season is over and it's been arguably the worst one in Notts County's history as they tumbled out of the Football League but the pain must subside ahead of the rebuilding job, something which us fans must be mentally prepared for.

Pride of Nottingham is taking submissions from fans with their take on the events that have taken place over the season and, most importantly, looking forward - here is a piece by Phil Buxton on how he feels the Magpies - and fellow fans - can do this, based on Mick Walker's philosophy from the 1990s.

With all the anxiety around Notts County and the rumblings going on at Meadow Lane, may I take you back for a very short tenure of a guy called Mick Walker.

He was the guy who developed and brought to the fore the likes of Dean Yates, Mark Draper and Brian Kilcline.

In 1993, I think it was, and I remember the football, he played, in my opinion, just like watching Juve as the saying goes.

His first instructions to the players after Neil Warnock had gone was, go out there lads, enjoy yourselves, but most of all express yourselves for who you are, and leave the field proud.

If words are really needed in our present plight, those words wouldn't do any damage at the moment, of that I am pretty sure.

Is there someone out there who can do this, is he already here?

Who knows, but if I was given the opportunity to see it all again, I'd certainly be glad to pay for the pleasure.

Now, admittedly, the results weren't the best, but the football was awesome.

We all have our individual take on football, good, bad, or indifferent, but first of all, you have to enjoy what you're doing, and not running around, with a cloud six inches above your head. Pretty sure we've seen enough of that this season.

A training pitch would help, half a dozen decent scouts would add to that, but more than anything, give youth a chance, make them feel important, make them feel wanted, make them feel they are part of a major plan going forward, and you will bear the fruit in the end.

After all, football hasn't changed my friends, it's attitudes that have. COYP!

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Edited by PON_News

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My very first season was whilst Mick managed Notts, I recall my grandfather being unhappy that we had sacked the manager before him (Neil Warnock) and I believe we was somewhere like 4th in the old First Division (now the Championship).

I was too young to realise that we had been relegated before that from the top flight and narrowly missed out on being a part of the first Premier League season (Oldham and Swindon made it though). I recall the football though, it was pretty entertaining and the squad Notts had worked well together.

I'm not sure why we let Mick go TBH, again too young at the time.

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If they don't play, they don't learn or gain experience.

If the easiest answer is to say youth players are "no better" or about what the club has already, then sitting them on the bench or in the stands won't change anything. It makes the academy quite pointless! It's important that promising youth players have a clear path into the first-team and has the managers full support.

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Hello Phil, thank you for taking the time to write this up. I think the gist of your point is to back youths, give them freedom and let them gain experience by playing. Good read!

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Fantastic read and some great points in the article as well let’s hope we adopt some of this ways and the approach as well  👍🏻👏

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