By Matt Badcock
The Bath City Way is coming to fruition according to boss Jerry Gill as the Romans look to invade the National League South promotion race.
Gill was meticulous in his summer recruitment as well as patient as he looked to piece together a squad capable of getting the club back to the National League.
Ahead of the weekend they were unbeaten in nine games –including wins against title rivals Chelmsford City and Torquay United – to highlight their credentials.
Gill knows medals aren’t handed out in January but he’s delighted with how the whole club has shifted its mindset.
“It takes time,” Gill told The NLP. “You’re having to change a lot in a short space of time and patience is key when you’re changing a philosophy.
“And when I talk about philosophy, I don’t mean playing styles. I mean the feel around the place, the club itself.
“What we’ve got at the football club now we call the Bath City Way. I know that made sound a little bit corny, but it is. It’s built around professionalism, enjoyment. It’s player-led, they’ve got a voice, there’s standards and team spirit, and it’s working hard.
“What you tend to get at the end of that is winners. If all that Bath City Way comes in together at the right time then you get winners.
“It doesn’t happen overnight. I saw Pep Guardiola speaking in the week about managers and people getting the sacked and being patient, he said the same – it’s a long process. This is the fruition of it now but we certainly know we haven’t won anything.”
Gill, who scooped the January Manager of the Month prize, believes he has the perfect blend in his squad.“I went off to many a coffee shop around the west country – and further afield,” Gill said. “We had lots of chats, I went off and allowed myself time to do that and that’s the first thing I did. I brought up the Bath City Way and said this is what we expect of our players.
“Of course I knew a lot of them anyway, Ryan Brunt, Sean Rigg, Frankie Artus was already at the club, Ross Stearn, Andy Watkins, Anthony Straker our captain, Ryan Clarke, Kevin Amankwaah – you’re talking about players there who have been around a long time and played League football as well as this level.
“We’ve added to it with people who are really hungry from the other side. People like Robbie Cundy who came in from Gloucester and is one who can play higher. Joe Raynes came on trial from Frome Town. He’s been fantastic and a consistent player.
“Himself and Robbie have been selected for an FA XI on Tuesday night so credit to them and also their team-mates because they’re helping these lads getting recognised.
“Then we’ve added it to it with key loans; people like Tom Smith from Cheltenham, Freddie Hinds and Joe Morton from Bristol City, very good players, so we feel like we’ve got a good blend.
“We’re trying to make sure we put on a product people enjoy and come to watch. The Torquay game was a great advert for Non-League football, let alone Bath City, and both teams played their part.
“It was great to see 3,500 at Twerton Park. We want more of that.”