Ian Flynn enjoying caretaker role at Whitehill Welfare

Flynn says Welfare must improve their discipline afer Tony Muir was red carded
Flynn says Welfare must improve their discipline afer Tony Muir was red carded
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Caretaker Whitehill Welfare manager Ian Flynn believes he’s ready to manage at first-team level should the opportunity permanently arise

Flynn took the reigns following Grant Carnie’s resignation last week, and has overseen a dramatic 1-1 draw away at Dalbeattie Star and Wednesday night’s 2-1 win at East Kilbride. Welfare face the same opponents at Ferguson Park tomorrow.

Whilst the club’s under-20s manager didn’t say whether or not he actively wants the job on a permanent basis, his thinking on whether he was ready for the step up has changed since assuming the role.

“Obviously I’ve thought about it.” Flynn admitted. “Firstly, before last Saturday’s game, that was absolutely my ambition. I’m as ambitious as any player – you want to go and do what you do at the highest level you possibly can. I was thinking it was maybe a bit early for me, but after the reaction that I got and organising the team well, I feel that maybe I am ready.

“I can’t say yes and I can’t say no but we’ll see. I think we’ll have a few games before they appoint a manager – how long they take to decide, to see who they want to go with, we’ll see what transpires between now and then, but I wouldn’t rule myself out.”

Whilst keen to stress it’s no indictment on how Carnie set his stall out, Flynn offered some insight into how he’s changed things in his two games in charge thus far.

“Absolutely I’ve changed it.” He said. “We all watch games of football and we all have ideas on systems and things. Nobody’s right – it’s just opinions, just like nobody is wrong. Grant liked to play with a diamond and get width from his full backs, where I like to play 4-3-3 and get my width that way, so it’s very different from the way Grant plays.

“I like my back four to be a back four first and foremost and defend every situation, whereas a diamond maybe leaves gaps at the back. Everyone to their own though – I don’t want it to sound like I’m having a go at Grant’s system. Everyone has their own ideas.”

Another thing Flynn will address is discipline. The draw with Dalbeattie, like the drubbing at Edinburgh Uni earlier in the month, saw Welfare finish with eight men. Connor McGregor received two yellows, Tony Muir a straight red and Callum Connolly a second yellow for over celebrating the equaliser.

Flynn revealed it’s on his agenda. “It’s poor, but in their defence for Saturday, I asked the guys to be very committed.” He explained. “The first sending off, unfortunately the ball’s got away from him [Muir] and his tackle wasn’t the best, but it was pure endeavour to give us a platform to play off. The same with Connor, he was just being competitive. He was playing against their best player in Lewis Sloan and asked to pay close attention to him and it wasn’t bad fouls from Connor at all, just an accumulation of small fouls so he can consider himself unlucky.

“The last one, by anyone’s standards at any level of football, isn’t very good. I don’t want it to sound like I’m having a go at the laddie, but clearly it’s not acceptable, particularly in the circumstances in which we found ourselves. It’s unfortunate but absolutely I’ll speak to the players about that. Like every team I’ve ever coached, we give ourselves the best chance by keeping 11 players on the park. It’s massively important and always in my team-talks.”

Flynn did praise the players for their reaction to Carnie’s sudden departure. “I’m thrilled with the reaction.” He stated. “Coming from the 20s, they didn’t know me as well but it was very professional on their part. There’s no doubt they gave me exactly what I asked for.”