A look back on Scott Bartlett’s first year in charge of his second spell with Weston
PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 June 2020
On May 24 2019, Weston announced Scott Bartlett would be returning to the club from Forest Green Rovers to replace Marc McGregor.
The Seagulls had just been relegated for the first time in the club’s history and the hot seat at The Optima Stadium, which had been vacant since March, paved the way for Bartlett to come from Gloucester to Somerset after two years away.
“I had a good time there,” said Bartlett on his time with Rovers.
“The last couple of years were busy and stressful but also hugely successful.
“It put a strain on my family life that’s for sure and I wasn’t spending enough time with my children, so if I’ve learned anything it’s to treat people well and with respect, have a healthier balance away from work, look after myself a bit better and enjoy life a little bit more.
“I want my players and staff to enjoy coming into the club to train and play.”
Bartlett’s departure from the now League Two club saw him end his nine-year association with the team, after signing from Salisbury City in 2010.
His time with The Green Devils saw him take the academy into the EFL structure, and lead the first team to the 2016 National League play-off final at Wembley as caretaker manager after he replaced the departing Ady Pennock.
But one year later, managed by Mark Cooper, the side secured promotion to the Football League therefore making it hard for Bartlett to manage both teams.
He added: “I never wanted to leave in the first place, we had put together a strong squad ready for the 2017-18 season but I had a contract at FGR which changed the rules when they reached the EFL.
“Basically it meant I couldn’t be Academy manager and also be manager of WSM. I missed it a lot, the people, the supporters, the responsibility and jumped at the chance to come back.
“We can’t wait to get going again, we have a squad now that is settled and with one or two more additions we will certainly be stronger on paper than we were at the start of this season.
“We have also invested in major pitch works so we shouldn’t have the same problems when the winter weather comes in.”
In his first season back, Bartlett endured a mixed start to his second spell, which included winning the Somerset Premer Cup, but fail to win away from home in three months.
But after a 2-1 victory at Yate on December 17, The Seagulls picked up 25 points from 36 available and Bartlett feels his side had a good chance to reach the Play-Offs.
“It takes a bit of time to gel,” admitted Bartlett.
“Sometimes you learn more from a defeat. After a solid enough start we certainly learned a lot about our squad around November time so we made changes, brought in some stronger, more experienced and dependable characters.
“Also our loan players by this point had started to fly and have a big impact on the team’s performances so around Christmas time it all started to take shape.
“We were in a long period of sustained good form going into the final 13 games and I’m confident we would have made the play-offs if we had kept everyone fit.”
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be with the Coronavirus pandemic ending the season early in March.
But for Bartlett, despite the disappointment of last campaign, he says the club is massive part of his life and is looking forward to the future.
He said: “I can’t wait, it’s a club with a lot to offer everyone – players, management and supporters have a lot to look forward to.
“We have some good players at the club, I think it could be an exciting time. “Obviously we will be trying our hardest to get promoted, that would be great for the chairman and supporters.”
Looking back over his first 12 months back during his second spell with Weston, Bartlett says he is really enjoying being at a club where he feels they have a lot to give.
“I’ve enjoyed it immensely, it’s a brilliant club, with good people and a long-term project that is exciting,” he added.
“It means a lot, we have a really honest, healthy relationship.
“It is all about the people you work with, we also have good facilities and scope to make improvements in lots of areas so it’s an exciting project.
“There is good communication and everyone wants the same thing, for the club to be successful in a sustainable way and to keep improving in every area.”
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