Friday, 27 March 2015

An Interview with ... Miki Hood

Miki Hood, what does he do at Concord?

I've been mixing with the people at Concord for about 3 months now, and I'm unsure what he does.  In fact, I'm sure people who've been around the club for a number of years aren't exactly sure either.
I spoke with Miki, so he could explain himself...

How long have you been at Concord?  Where were you before?

I actually played one reserve game for Concord Rangers during the 2005/2006, this was just after I had been released by Great Wakering.  I played up front on my own, away to Heybridge Swifts.  I can't even remember the score, but I got subbed after 70 odd minutes, and was so disillusioned with football that I stopped playing.
I was then thrown a lifeline by then joint-manager Danny Scopes just before Christmas 2007, and this was really a defining moment for me in the last seven and a half years.  He knew full well that I wasn't the best player in the world, but wanted to give me a chance again and got me involved with the reserve team, who were a very young side at the time.

You mentioned you had a game up front, but what was your preferred position?

Well, I was a bit of a utility man.  I fancied myself as a centre-forward, but I played almost everywhere, basically wherever I could get a game!  I did play as an emergency centre-half in a reserve game against Basildon United alongside current Bowers & Pitsea defender Luke Wilson, and the final score of 4-4 tells you all you need to know about my defensive capabilities.
Saying that, I played 20 minutes of an in-house game during pre-season at right back, because a trialist was running late.  In my opinion I was considerably better than the lad who eventually turned up, and had just done a year's pro at Brighton...he did look good on YouTube to be fair to him!

So have you officially stopped playing, are you still registered by the club?

My playing days are long gone.  I spent a season and a half playing reserve team football for Concord under Danny Clare (current goalkeeping coach) and was also his assistant manager for a season.  I think my lack of footballing ability and any form of fitness was always going to hold me back.  I've always talked a much better game than I can actually deliver.
Although I'm still living off a 35 yard left foot volley I scored in 2009 against Brentwood Town. It's far better than Taylor Miles' corker against Chelmsford. Honest...

What is your official role at the club, I'm perplexed as to what it is!?!

If you ask Weston-Super-Mare's assistant manager what he thought my official role is - well it probably wouldn't be printable lol!
I'm not actually sure to be fair.  Let's stick with utility man of the backroom staff.

What do you think you add to the club on a matchday?

Ermmmmm, intermittent Twitter updates, lots of noise, and I'm an easy target for any of Danny's pre-match stress :-)
In all seriousness, I help out with whatever's needed at the time - kit, warm-ups, testing the post-match food, and contributing to the unique atmosphere we create around the place on a matchday.

How about training, do you attend the training?

My training attendance could do with some work, but when I'm there I usually sneak biscuits out onto the training pitch for anyone that's in need - Stokesy and Woody lol, and bore the life out of the Physio.

You've been integral to the club's role in Social important is that to the club?

I think it's massive, and we've got more than just me involved with it.  People like, Alan, Andy and Jack contribute some great content for us to share - but in terms of broadcasting our name, and the exposure for the club - Twitter gives us a far greater reach than ever before.
The fact we were trending worldwide during this year's FA Cup 1st Round draw was incredible, and that's credit to everyone at the club.

When you joined Concord did you really think the club would be in the position it is now?

I knew something was happening, purely from the people that were involved.  I'd always had huge respect for Danny Scopes from his time at Great Wakering, and after seeing Danny Cowley and the team in action a few times after I'd joined, there was a real sense that the club really wanted to push on.

Who has been integral to that rise?

Me? :)

Too many people to mention really.

People on the outside like to try and associate what we've done with the money, which is an easy get-out clause for people across non-league football when they see a club achieving things and don't really know why.  But the Chairman, the committee, the staff, the players, everyone around the club gives everything to bring us where we are now...and hopefully further!

Your very vociferous in the dugout, has this led to you getting into any scrapes?

The reality is, we don't have 1,000 supporters behind us every week - so sometimes you have to try and create your own atmosphere from the sideline, which we do - and it's effective.
Some people find it disrespectful, but funnily enough that usually coincides with the result going in our favour.  No-one really minds how loud we are if they beat us. Draw your own conclusions!

So how can Concord attract more supporters?


It will come, I think the community work that Phil Crowe and the board are doing will help hugely, they're really helping the club reach out and integrate into the local scene by getting more kids and families involved.
As a club we do have strong values, and do things the right way and that will only benefit us when people really get a chance to experience it first-hand, and attract them to get involved.
Things like the Conference Premier play-off final at Wembley this year will be great.

Why what's happening there?

Literally hundreds of our youth-team players and their families are making the trip to Wembley, thanks to a brilliant ticker offer from the league sponsors Vanarama, and a superb gesture from our Chairman to buy every youth player a ticket for the game, and provide travel up there.

That is fantastic

Yeah, it will be great for the younger lads to integrate with the senior squad and the staff across the day.  We're a community club, and it will really help to create stronger links within the club as well as outside of it.

This club certainly deserves more fans

I know it sounds biased, but it's a travesty that this team isn't watched by 1,000 people week in, week out.  They are a hugely talented and committed group and really do deserve the backing.  If you look at the numbers though, our percentage increase has been huge over the past few years, and hopefully we can keep that increasing more and more!

You seem to be morphing into a David Brent look-a-like, was this a thought out plan?

In my head I'm more of a Diego Simeone with a thyroid problem, or a slightly less chiselled Russell Crowe, but the Brent thing seems to have stuck, so why not roll with it?
It probably doesn't help that personality wise I'm very Brent-like as well, so that tops it off.
The good thing about it, is that when I get "Brented off" by people, it presents a great opportunity to celebrate a last-minute winner by doing his famous dance. Every cloud has it's silver lining I guess!

Haha...who are the funny guys in the squad, who is genuinely funny?

Danny Glozier is the biggest clown in the world, along with Gary Ewers who is genuinely the most vile and funny person I've ever met.

Whose the unfunniest then?

The Physio thinks he's a bit of a comedian, but in all reality all he's got to offer is some great abs and a girlfriend who nobody has ever seen!

I noticed that you bought a new sound system for the dressing room.  We already know that Kingy likes Madness, what about you?

That's a sore point at the moment, because the damned thing doesn't work! Still waiting on a replacement, and I'm tempted to name and shame the company!!
I've got a ridiculously eclectic taste in music, I wouldn't dare press shuffle on my iPod in the dressing room.  I like the usual House, R'n'B, commercial stuff - but usually spend my Sunday evenings listening to a random selection of Motown, Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Rock and Classical believe it or not.  I actually used to play the trumpet (got the grade sheets to prove it) and was pretty good, and the classical grounding I had with that has stayed with me.

The trumpet!! Wow I never knew or would have guessed that...if the club got promoted to the Conference would you play it as part of the celebrations??!!

The hidden talents! Hahahahahaha - if someone brought one along, yeah sure!

What would Miki Hood like to be doing in 2 years time?

I guess doing what I do in the Conference Premier would be amazing.
I was talking to Joe Gardner last week about it, and he hit the nail on the head when he said, he couldn't think of a better group of people to take on those journeys and that challenge with - and he's right.
I am keen to progress my coaching badges in the near future and look to get involved in the development of future players.  With Gary Ogilvie taking on our full-time academy from next season, and Phil Crowe really driving the club's community work forward, it would be nice to have a hand in, and put something back into a club that's given a lot to my life so far.

Finishing up....Who is your perfect woman, and what would you do to seduce her?

Wow...That's a bit of a curve ball!

Kelly Brook or Nigella Lawson - the bonus of Nigella would be the food as well, which is key to me!

In terms of seduction, I'd probably need some work on that.  The last date I went on, I got a bit tipsy and spent most of the night on Twitter talking rubbish to Stokesy and the Physio while my date was going to the bathroom. I'm not quite Christian Grey!

Saying that, I do well when I apply the Concord principles to it.  Press high, work hard, capitalise on triggers, and never ever give up.

Failing that, a Brent dance and hope she's a fan of the Office!!

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