One Year On...
IT was on September 19, 2011 that then captain Carl Fletcher first became Argyle manager.Now, as he prepares to take on Bristol Rovers on the eve of his first year anniversary, Fletch can afford to be philosophical about a job that along with a lot of happiness, has brought him sleepless nights and grey hairs.
“It’s gone really quickly,” admitted Carl.
“You work all week and then the game comes - it’s such a quick turnaround.
“You have your five or ten minutes after each match and then you’re already thinking about the next game so it’s kind of all moulds into one. If you asked me to put dates on to certain things, I wouldn’t be able to. I’d have to go game by game.
“It’s been hard work – I’ve not had many nights sleep in 365 days! But when you get good results and good performances, it makes it all worthwhile.”
The transition from player to manager was never going to be an easy one and, along the way, there have been some surprised for Fletch.
But, he insists, it has all been part of a steep learning curve.
“In terms of the games and training and the football side, it’s how I expected it. Everything else, away from that, is a lot different.
“Now I work in an office - I’ve never had that before and that’s been bit of an eye-opener for me. I love all the training side of it – that’s where I get my kicks - but all the other side is not what I’ve been used to.
“I’m sure [the office staff] will tell you that, at times, I’m not the most friendliest person! I’m grumpy at the best of times, so that’s been bit of a learning curve!”
So what other of life’s lessons have been learned?
“I think early on, you also learn that you can’t keep everyone happy all of the time,” he said.
“Everyone else seems to know best. You have to be very single-minded and focused on what you want to achieve and stick to your belief.
“You see managers all over the country talk about it and I never really took much notice until I was in the job.
“I think that makes it easier to sleep at night.
“Like everyone, you’re going to make right decisions and you’re going to make wrong ones.
“But if you have made them yourself, then it’s down to you so that’s a key thing and something I’ve learned throughout the year.