Scope backs Goater to succeed at Ilkeston
Paul Scope has no doubt that success will come for Ilkeston under new manager Shaun Goater if the players adopt his winning mentality.
Goater enjoyed a dream managerial debut with a 1-0 home victory over fellow Evo-Stik Northern Premier League strugglers Sutton Coldfield Town on Saturday before losing 2-0 at home to Hednesford Town last night.
The win over Sutton ended a 17-game winless streak for the relegation battlers, and Scope — who forged ties between the island and Ilkeston in 2013 — believes Goater's positive attitude is already starting to rub off on the players.
“Shaun's certainly a winner and was involved in several promotions as a player, so he's got a winning mentality,” Scope said. “I've spoken to Nigel Harrop [the Ilkeston chief executive] and he said that Shaun's already had a really positive effect on the club.
“The players probably didn't know what to expect initially, but I was told that after just one session they were absolutely buzzing.”
Scope said he did not speak to Goater before his appointment last Friday but was keen to endorse the former Manchester City striker, describing him as a “top coach” from their time as co-owners of the Bermuda Hogges.
The Hogges played in the United Soccer Leagues Second Division from 2007 to 2009 before switching to the Premier Development League from 2010 to 2012, during which time Goater ceased his involvement.
“It's absolutely true, we didn't need to speak as he's been talking directly with Nigel, who did seek my opinion, and I was obviously very supportive of the appointment,” said Scope, a former Bermuda assistant coach.
“I certainly have respect for the former coach, Paul Holland, and I think his departure was a mutual decision. I believe Shaun expressed an interest and I was very keen to endorse it as I think he's a top coach.
“Whenever he took sessions at the Hogges he was excellent and he did a fantastic job at North Village.”
Goater joins a slew Bermudians at the club, including recent captures Dale Eve and Danté Leverock as well as Jaylon Bather, Tehvan Tyrell, David Jones Jr, Paul Douglas and Jahquil Hill.
Scope, however, has warned the local contingent not to expect any preferential treatment from their fellow countryman who will select his team purely on merit. “Shaun won't pick the lads just because they're Bermudian and that's a good thing for everybody,” said Scope, who plans to attend an Ilkeston match next month.
“You don't want our lads going in before they're ready or not earning their spot. You also don't want the fans thinking that Ilkeston is some kind of Bermuda project.
“While that's my involvement, for sure — to encourage Bermudian players — I leave it to the coaches to pick people on merit.”
During the past few years Goater has applied for managerial jobs at League Two sides Bury and Scunthorpe United and Vanarama National League side Chester.
He also spent time working as a part-time coach at then League One side Doncaster Rovers after being brought in by previous manager Paul Dickov, who formed a deadly strike partnership with Goater at City.
Scope believes Ilkeston are the perfect side for Goater to cut his teeth in management and expects him to use his extensive network of contacts to strengthen his squad.
“Shaun's made no secret of his desire to manage and I believe he has the ability,” Scope added. “He just needed to get a foot on the ladder, a bit like the players we've sent to Ilkeston, as it's the sort of place where you can get spotted.”
“Ilkeston are a very young side and perhaps a bit lightweight. That was one of the reasons why we sent Danté and Dale Eve over there to add a bit of physical presence. I think Shaun will use his wealth of contacts in the game to sign non-Bermudian players as well.”