Nightingale has one club vision for Swallownest

New Swallownest manager Alex Nightingale

Alex Nightingale hopes his one club vision will deliver success to Swallownest in the coming years.

Former Worksop Town and Clipstone striker Nightingale, the permanent successor to Jordan Stocks, lives “30 seconds” from Swallownest’s ground and was brought up in the area so he is more than determined to create a prosperous future. 

Nightingale took charge of one game in an interim capacity – the Toolstation NCEL Division One 5-2 drubbing of Rossington Main – in December before the third lockdown and he admits the lengthy break helps him develop his philosophy and vision for ‘Nest.

“We were heading towards a lockdown (back in December) and the club asked me for my views on going forward,” Nightingale told Non League Yorkshire.

“I said I’d liked to potentially take it on further, but they told me they would have to go through a recruitment process which they’ve obviously completed. 

“The communication has been really good and we have been meeting regularly and I put together a proposal which was an ethos and a coaching syllabus to link the teams at the club together.

“One positive of the lockdown is that I was able to write it. I work in a school as a teacher and if I was back in full-time I would have probably struggled to get the ethos and syllabus written.

“I would have been able to do bits, but not as much as I have.”

Outlining his vision, Nightingale said: “In a nutshell the ethos is that everyone at the club has the same focus and same drive.

“I’m into CrossFit and there’s a guy called Mat Fraser who is the best in the world and he talks about ‘doing today what others won’t and tomorrow we can do what they can’t’.

“So I’ve said to all our volunteers that we all need to be on the same page and same driving force. That’s goes for the players as well.

“If everyone off-the-pitch is doing more than the minimum, we’ll be asking the same of the players.

“That ethos is going to go through all the teams. I’ve said to everyone that we need to be doing more. 

“I’ve actually got lads down the ground right now cleaning the balls. That’s off their own back as well. It isn’t me telling them to do it. That shows me that they have the right mentality and that’s what I want here – everyone working together for the same end goal of success.

“The syllabus I have written is how the first team will play. How we play is how I vision our under 21s will play and how our under 18s will play and us all being on the same board. 

“The under 18s will then go into the under 21s and they will know how we play because everything is the same. 

“Then there’s the tiny details like training on a Tuesday, training on a Thursday, a meeting on a Thursday. We’ve got a little area where we’re going to have a projector up.

“It is a one club vision where everyone is on the same page and everyone buying into the same ideology.

“It is what we need if we want success. You see it a lot where clubs get into the NCEL Prem or Div One and they stay in mid-table. My vision is we push on and do more and that’s off-the-field as well.”

Nightingale is in new home
Swallownest manager Alex Nightingale

Local lad Nightingale was a player for a couple of years under Stocks, whose three-year reign ended in comical fashion in December with his forced resignation following a ‘life ban’ from his home ground due to a dispute with the Miners’ Welfare who own the venue.

Until 2017 ‘Nest had never played in the NCEL and the club had to do extensive work on the ground to win their place in Division One.

Nightingale has seen the changes first hand and reckons the club has potential to develop further.

“Only five years ago there was nothing inside the ground – in essence it was just a field,” he said.

“I’m stood on the pitch now looking round and it is incredible just how far it has come in five years.

“In two years’ time things could be really positive here. The people here work so hard and they deserve some success.

“I went to Aston Comp when I was younger and (sports therapist) Chris Esberger who is part of our management team was actually one of the teachers at school and we’ve became good friends.

“(First team coach) Dan Archbould is from here and so are (goalkeeper coach) Darryl Johnson and (player/coach) Mitch (Kent) and (match analyst) Adam Procter is two minutes away in Kiveton.

“All of us are close to the club and we have a lot of plans in the place about getting the community more involved.

“That’s getting businesses involved and also linking in with the primary schools because we have loads.

“We have really good ideas and plans when we can do it and we’ll be getting in touch with the primary schools and going and meeting with them.

“There’s 15,000 people in this area, that’s a big catchment area and we only get 150 on a good day match-day. We want to be pushing and increasing that.

“In the next two years I’d definitely love to see us build more local links and I’d love to see more people down here.

“On-the-field I’d love to see us pushing on and building on from where we’ve been. We’ve had some good finishes under Jordan and Lloyd – 11th, 10th and 9th are really respectable finishes. They did a really good job with the team.

“Hopefully we can take things forward.” 

If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.

NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams. When we properly return to ‘action’, our work will play an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.

We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.

We have enjoyed great success over the past three years. Several of our players have represented Mencap GB in Geneva, including Billy Hobson from Selby and Greg Smith, whose story is quite inspiring.

You can learn more about the organisation HERE and on our Facebook page.

Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.

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