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The Non-League Football Paper

Fowler’s Lambs are looking to the future

Mike Fowler says Tamworth want to re-write the history books quickly.

The Lambs head coach is determined to return the club to Step 2 following last season’s relegation from the National League North. They kicked-off their Southern Premier Central campaign last weekend and Fowler says everybody is ready to move on.

“We’ll never forget it,” Fowler told The NLP. “That’s the thing, it’s going to be there in the back of our mind. It’s on my CV, it’s written in the club’s history. I’ve not really been part of something like that as a player so it’s new to me.

“I’m fully invested in the club in terms of developing the academy here, a scholarship programme, the U21s and the importance of a successful first team is paramount. It’s making sure that’s the primary focus and getting the first team to play as high as we possibly can and then developing the local youngsters into our first team, which we’ve done recently.

“So it is that hangover still but we’re not looking at what’s gone now. We’re looking at what’s next, what we’ve got to do next and the tough task of trying to bounce back at the next attempt.

“I’m a really positive person anyway, the staff around me are really positive and the board have been fantastically supportive in a difficult time. The majority of the fans have been fantastic as well, they understand the situation. We’re all in it together.

“The group we’ve got now, we’ve only got three or four players from last year. So they don’t care too much about what happened last year. We can’t keep living in those moments, we’ve got to look at creating new history.”

Fowler, however, doesn’t see it as fixing the wrongs and points out the Lambs will face a different challenge and pressure this season following their summer recruitment and the club’s recent past.

“We faced it the first year when we first laid our 3G when (former boss) Andy Morrell and I went in there,” Fowler, 36, said. “Clubs upped their game and we had to fight harder than we ordinarily would have. That’s going to be the same this season.

“We’re not arrogant to think it’s their cup final, certainly not, we’re at the same level and we wouldn’t underestimate anyone. But we understand teams are going to be looking at us as a bit of a scalp. With a lot of local derbies to come it’s going to be exciting because there’s a lot at stake.”

Fowler is happy with their squad. New signing Jas Singh is one of the best keepers at the level. Tyrell Waite is in from Boston, Paul Green has joined the coaching staff from Solihull Moors, with right back Kristian Green also making the move from National League Moors along with Chris Lait while Ryan Beswick arrives from Nuneaton.

There is pride at the departure of Dexter Walters to Coventry City last week, with Fowler planning to keep blooding youth team players as the scout list quickly doubles.

Fowler, in his first head coach job, is determined to learn from the negative experience of last season and wants to have a similar reaction to friend and former team-mate Darrell Clarke, who kept his job when Bristol Rovers fell out of the Football League and returned them immediately before a successive promotion into League One.

With director of football Tim Harris – former Newport County and Gloucester City boss – now at the Lambs, Fowler also believes he has the perfect people around him.

“I’ve captained three of his teams and played in a fourth so my relationship with Tim was key to moving forward this year,” Fowler said. “I think we complements me in the sense he knows my strengths and I know he his. They overlap nicely and we leave those areas to each other. It’s great to have him on board and lean on his experience. He’s got contacts, great knowledge and I can trust him with my life.”

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