Steve Laker agrees to be Weston’s goalkeeping coach after leaving Bridgwater
PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:40 11 March 2020
Steve Laker has said he is “extremely positive” to join up with Weston as their new goalkeeping coach and “can’t wait to get started.”
Laker joined The Seagulls from Bridgwater Town on Friday afternoon after taking the place of Jamie-Lloyd Davies, who left the club to take over Swindon Town Women in August last year.
After being with The Robins for five and half years, over the course of two spells with the club, Laker arrives on a deal to the end of the season with the option of extending his stay at the end of the campaign.
In his first interview with the Weston Mercury, Laker shares his ambition about joining the club, how much he is excited about the next challenge and taking the side forward, with his hopes of helping developing the goalkeepers for both the first team and the academy.
Welcome to Weston, how did the move to the club come about?
Laker: 'The move came initially by seeing the vacancy on social media and decided to approach Scott Bartlett to have a chat about the role.
'I know the assistant manager Scott Laird through his brothers in any case, so after approaching Scott, I had a phone call from Lairdy.
'We discussed the role, future plans and it was clear to see where they wanted to be and how good the opportunity was to come over.
'It was a hard decision to leave Bridgwater as they are a great club, great fans and superb players.
'But, the opportunity to coach at this level and to work with both Scott and Lairdy made my decision that much easier.'
What are your first impressions on the club?
'I already knew of the club and how impressive it was before coming on board, but since starting there, I can genuinely see their want for progression and how professional they want to run things, on and off the pitch.
Initial impressions are extremely positive and can't wait to properly get started with working with the likes of Luke Purnell.'
Tell me more about you and your footballing career, who did you play for and how will your experience help push Weston forward?
'Well to be honest, my peak years playing football were taken up with work and family commitments, in my youth I played in the Plymouth Argyle Academy based in Bridgwater and later on playing for teams in the Somerset County League and Western League such as Bridgwater Town.
'I quickly realised my playing days were limited due to the time spent away from the game, so decided to focus on my coaching, Where I enjoyed highs and lows, working with teams like Bishop Sutton, Wells City and Street in the Western League and Bridgwater Town in the Western and Southern League.
'My experiences of the highs and lows of football will help me push Luke and the goalkeepers through rough patches and also get them to excel when on the highs.
'I heavily believe in the importance of the psychological element within football and having the right mind set along side the technical and tactical elements.
'I believe in good practices in training and games and good habits. All this I believe will help get Luke and other keepers to push to their full potential and get where they wants to be.'
Sounds like you have a wealth of experience from all those clubs, which will help Weston move forward. What are you aims with the Seagulls?
'My aims really are quite simple initially. They are to push Luke to hit his personal targets and the team targets, prepare Luke fully for the remaining games, mid to long term I would like to get involved more with the academy goalkeepers and develop their skills and abilities so that they have the best chance for the future at the club.
'Further to that I am here to support both Scott and Lairdy in the day to day running of the first team whenever it is needed.
'We want to be back in the hunt for promotion and back in the Conference and that's what I believe we are all now focusing on going forward.'
You've signed on a deal until the end of the season, where you said you will reassess your options, can you see yourself being at the club longer than the end of the season?
'Yes, we discussed for me to come in for the remainder of the season and have a further conversation at the end.
'I definitely see myself at Weston next year as I feel there is an opportunity to build on what they already have here in the first team and also look to progress the academy if that opportunity comes about.
'I look forward to building a goalkeeping programme for the future, for the club beyond the end of this season.'
On Tuesday, Weston entertain Merthyr Town, which will be your first home game in the dugout for The Seagulls, how much are you looking forward to getting involved with the first team in front of the fans and to experience your first match at The Optima Stadium?
'To be honest, I am really looking forward to my first home game. I know Weston have some great supporters and I look forward to meeting some of them there on Tuesday.
'They are the bloodline of any club and I can't wait to introduce myself.'