Having twice taken charge of the Warriors following the departure of a manager Brown Ferguson will officially become the team manager at the start of next season. The decision of the board to appoint him was hardly a surprise but was still something to cheer the fans.
For Bomber it was not a hard decision to make, even if there were a few questions to ask before he finally agreed. “The gut feeling was always 100 per cent yes but, obviously, there are so many things to consider,” he said. “I had discussions with the board, there is the longer term planning, where the club is at the moment, what the philosophy of the club is, what are the objectives of the board. So there was a number of questions I had to ask of the board and a number of things I needed to take stock of but my gut reaction was always yes and quite a firm yes.
“I have been at the club for a while and know what it is all about and I want to do my best for the club and after the conversations with the board I had that reassurance about certain things and an understanding of where we are in terms of the position the club is in and the expectations of the club. After speaking to the chairman and the board of directors it has given me a lot of confidence that I have got their backing and that allows me to start to plan ahead for next year.
“Hopefully, if I can get put in place what I want in place we can have a solid year. So I am delighted for it and for it to have been made official and now we can move forward.”
While the major task ahead is to ensure Stenny's survival in the division, Bomber also has to think ahead and start planning for the next campaign, something slightly complicated by the slight uncertainty as to which division the Warriors will be in.
Bomber is certainly positive about his approach and equally positive about the Warriors future, saying: “We are planning for scenario A and planning for scenario B, some things will remain the same and some, obviously, will not but I am firmly planning for A, to remain in this division, we have to and it would be silly not to, so most of my eggs are going into plan A, that is for sure because I am confident that this group of players can get the results required but if they cannot we also need a plan in place to tackle another division.”
Whatever happens, Bomber will need to put a squad together for next season, whether made up of current players or those he will bring in. That will be a tough job and it can be quite a headache, especially if players are holding out for better offers or just generally unsure.
“It is [a headache] but the fact there is clarity now,” said Bomber “It has only been a matter of days [since being appointed] but it does give me an opportunity to start speaking to players who are already at the club and to identify players outwith the club that may enhance the squad, based on the budgets we have.
“It allows me to do that and everybody knows I will be in charge at the start of next season, it gives clarity on that and where the club stands. It is a good position as it allows me to make plans to move forward, players will always hold off, some players you approach wont sign but I can start to have conversations and get a feel for what is possible.”
When Bomber officially takes over he will have been the third person to take charge of the team in three seasons, although it could be argued there have been five people in charge, Martyn Corrigan and Scott Booth, who both parted company with the club, and Bomber three times, twice as caretaker and now, thankfully, as the official gaffer.
To say the club need a modicum of stability would be the understatement of the season and Bomber knows how important that and continuity can be. “It is a massive thing,” he said “There have obviously been a couple of changes at the club in the last few years, for one reason or another, not just all through form but for other reasons.
“I think at a club like Stenhousemuir it is important there is continuity and that there is a philosophy of what it is we are trying to do as a club and I do not just mean on the pitch but the wider sense of things and I am really keen to try to contribute towards that as much as possible, in terms of engaging the fans and the community side of things.
“Of course, first and foremost it is about results on a Saturday but the job needs to be bigger than that and I have always felt that, even as a player, the job is bigger than just a Saturday. That is certainly part of my thoughts, taking things forward and contributing towards the bigger picture.”
written by John Kelly, Club Reporter