PAUL Fildes admits he’s still adapting to the culture shock of football management.
The seasoned striker is still making the transition of player to coach after replacing Ben Hall and Stewart Airdrie as Barnoldswick Town boss alongside Kevin Richardson.
But after a prolific career among the semi-professional ranks, which included a step up to the Northern Premier League with Kendal Town, Lancaster City and AFC Fylde, it’s proving a harder transformation than expected.
After 10 games at the helm, he said: “It’s been quite hectic and a bit of a culture shock after being a player for all those years. It’s been a strange contrast. I can eat more rubbish foods now, my lifestyle is slightly more relaxed, and it was all about having early nights and match preparation before. It’s all new to me.
“It’s been really good though and you see things from a different side. It’s hard to describe but when you’re playing you’re part of that group. We are in a good position, we probably won’t win the league, but we are up there. We just need to build towards next year now and push on.
“We’ve carried on the venture that was in place when Ben and Stewart left. We’d won five and drawn two until recently where we lost to Maine Road and Runcorn Town.”
Fildes is already having to contend with the headache of a growing injury list that has significantly affected consistency at the Silentnight Stadium this term.
Shaun Clough and Spencer Jordan have spent the entire campaign on the treatment table, Liam Garbutt is currently sidelined, Martin Broderick has sustained a knee injury, Danny Boyle has suffered knee ligament damage while youngster Matt Kavanagh, new signing James Nettleton and Billy Priestley are also out of action.
And that decimation of the playing squad has forced Fildes to don his boots, appearing in the third round of the Challenge Cup against Formby where he scored in the 66th minute of a 3-2 defeat.
“We’ve had a few injuries to contend with but that’s been the story of our season,” said Fildes. “Hopefully this break will do us some good.
“I played and scored against Formby in the cup as well. It’s a bit frustrating at times not playing but you get used to it.”
Fildes, who is already planning towards the new season, added: “It’ll be good to see the squad in pre-season when we’ve got these players back and we return to full strength.
“I’ve already spoken to a number of other players from other clubs as well who have expressed an interest in signing for us next season.”
Town host Winsford United tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m.