Uggla seems to be learning from mistakes in his debut season with York City

Matt Uggla will try to learn from last season’s mistakes. Image: Tom Poole

YORK City co-chairman Matt Uggla will look to learn from the mistakes of his debut year in charge of the football club.

A promising season ended on the final day with York avoiding relegation to the Vanarama National League North on sheer goal difference, while City escaped the drop for the second year running on the final day of the campaign.

But with Minstermen boss Adam Hinshelwood acting quickly in the transfer window and bringing in five new faces early on, Uggla has identified the mistakes he made during the last campaign and is working to avoid similar mistakes in the coming campaign, having reflected on a ‘really long’ season that did not go as planned for the chairman.

“For me it feels like an eternity, it has been a very long year. I haven’t lost any hair, but definitely some sleep over the year,” Uggla told York Hospital Ball Podcast, which produced an exclusive, excellent interview on Saturday that can be found in full here.

“The measure of anyone is that everyone is human, we are going to make mistakes.

“Do you have enough about yourself to recognize the mistake, learn from it, and correct it? I think hopefully I will. Last year was not a success in many ways, but I love this club with all my heart.

“The losses probably hurt me more than anyone else in a way that was quite hard, and at certain points of the season it was quite tiring.

“I think we came out unscathed in terms of the division we play in. Hopefully you can already see the signs that things are starting to change by being much more sensible about what we do, rather than perhaps being a little more trigger happy and saying yes to everything.

“It’s a much more measured approach.

“We weren’t in yet last year, so you can see how much business we’ve already done.

“I think we may have missed the boat last year when a lot of free agents came from the clubs. Our club had also already received new contracts, so we were in a bit of a strange place.

“Recruitment was extremely rushed, it was almost like blindly throwing darts at a dartboard and saying we’ll take such and such a guy, some of which have worked out really well.

“Most agree that Dipo Akinyemi is a superstar at this level and also a great person, and others have not fared so well.

“It really was like roulette, but if we come in, get our stuff done early and have a plan for what we want to do when the season is over, hopefully it will pay off.”

Plans for the 2024/25 Vanarama National League season are well underway for York, with Uggla admitting that after City’s 2-0 win over Woking in mid-April he was confident he could start preparing for a new season in the fifth level. than suffer relegation.

York City started making plans for next season after beating Woking 2-0. (Image: Tom Poole)

The cogs have already started turning, with five signings and another expected this week, with City now taking a more measured approach to bringing in potential transfer targets.

Uggla told York Hospital Ball: “It was strange because it took a while for us to understand which division we were going to be in.

“Once things cleared up, and I know it was the last day we stayed up, but I think internally we felt that after the Woking game it would have taken a lot to [go down]and we would have been very, very unlucky.

“We probably continued with our approach after that, did our homework and made lists throughout the year.

“It was just doing the final things, which I don’t think we really did last year, but discovering players’ personalities.

“Last year we often had only one goal where we had to bring in that player, that made us desperate and it showed in the fact that we overpaid not only on compensation, but also on wages, but this time as our main goal does not work. or they’re crazy, the cop is crazy, then that’s fine. See you soon, on to number two, three or four. We would be happy with all four.

Uggla also explained his cryptic message on social media posted in January, which read: “Adheres to plan. I think January can be the biggest month we will have had as a club for a long time and can help us really get moving. to the next level.”

The City chairman confirmed the club was close to securing a statement name alongside Billy Chadwick, who was the only signing in January.

“I’m not going to lie, I completely forgot about January, but there was one deal close by that would have been really big.

“For some reason it didn’t happen, which was probably what I was getting at, but other than that I don’t think we looked too much to add anything to it, other than Billy.

“I think you’ve seen it so far this summer. Players have ridiculously high demands, but as a club we have to make non-negotiable agreements and say ‘look, this is what we pay for this’ and ‘this’.” is what we pay for it’.

“I appreciate that structure anyway, if we can do that then hopefully over time that reputation will recover and people will become more realistic.”

As part of York’s new recruitment structure, Uggla also looked back at the impact of David Stockdale, Head of Recruitment, and Matt Lever, Recruitment Analyst, and why he thought the two positions didn’t quite work for the football club. .

David Stockdale left his role as Head of Recruitment. (Image: Tom Poole)

The duo both left last month after less than a year in their roles.

Uggla explained: “The idea of ​​those guys was to have a system there to help the manager, and I think they both did a good job but they were just new to their role.

“Maybe that didn’t help, but it is what it is. They’ve moved on and we wish them both the best.”

With the 2023/24 season now at an end, Uggla reflects on his highlight of the season, paying tribute to Hinshelwood after City’s response to a cowardly 6-1 defeat to Altrincham.

Good form finally helped York get over the line in confirming their safety and position in next season’s National League, with that important win over Woking seeing the Minstermen virtually safe going into the final day of the campaign.

Uggla told York Hospital Ball: “I think I was watching, and it might have been a bit of a phoenix from the ashes, but everyone watching and maybe themselves had written the team off and condemned us to destruction.

“There was a lot of negativity towards Adam which I know really affected him because we speak often so I know it really affected him.

“When I see how he turns that around, I get a tingle just thinking about it. It was special and I don’t think it could have happened to a better man.

“Seeing that and seeing them all turn, while also going from that Altrincham game to the last game of the season [a 1-0 defeat to Solihull Moors, with York surviving by goal difference]it was quite surreal.

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