Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Former Peterborough United coach Mark Robson appointed Barnet's new head coach
Mark Robson has been appointed as Barnet’s new head coach as part of what the Bees describes as “a comprehensive transformation of the club’s footballing strategy”.
The 43-year-old moves to Underhill from Peterborough United, where he was first-team coach under Darren Ferguson, and as well as overseeing the first team, another key part of his role will be helping the development of Academy football at The Hive Training Centre.
A former player with Exeter City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Charlton Athletic and Notts County, Robson succeeds Martin Allen, who took over for the last three games of the season and maintained the Bees’ League Two status on the final day of the campaign following the departure of Lawrie Sanchez.
Commenting on the appointment of the UEFA Pro License-qualified coach and the change of philosophy at the club, director of football Paul Fairclough told Barnet’s official website: “I want the club to become renowned for the way they pass the ball and try to play their way through opposition, as opposed to over them. Obviously, results and important but those results can be achieved by playing good, entertaining football. The season we were promoted from the Conference the side played some useful stuff.
“Things have moved on now and we have a fantastic Centre of Excellence producing good results at all levels by teaching the kids to pass and support, as opposed to using brute force.
“One of our major problems in the past has been noticed when some of our young scholars were called into train with the first team – they were lost as everything they were taught in the Academy went out the window. We need a structure that recognises and complements what goes on at Barnet’s grass roots level. We need a philosophy of playing the game that flows right through the club, including the first team. It does not make sense to do one thing then the complete opposite when the fruit is about to ripen.”
Fairclough continued: “With this in mind, rather than have a football manager with some coaching skills, I believe we need a head coach who can be taught management skills. To assist Barnet in establishing a footballing philosophy we have appointed Mark Robson as out new ‘head coach/manager’.
“Mark is a highly skilled, highly qualified and respected coach in the professional game. He will not waiver from his beliefs. I am convinced that if results were not going in our favour, Mark would look for new solutions without compromising our philosophy and his personal beliefs on how the game should be played.
“In Mark Robson we have secured the services of a forward-thinking coach who will lead the club along a new and exciting pathway. I truly see this a new dawn for Barnet Football Club.”
Bees chairman Tony Kleanthous added: “I am proud of what our youth policy has achieved in such a short space of time. Academy 2 status means a financial commitment of £1m per annum in the football club’s youth development policy and, coupled with the world class facilities available at The Hive, we hope to attract some of the best coaches in football.
“This season we are also looking to introduce an Under-21 development squad to provide a link through for the youth players into the first team. This structure will be overseen by Paul Fairclough, our director of football.”
The former Charlton development and head coach and assistant manager at Gillingham, Robson will also be responsible for recommending players and coaching staff.