July 7, 1956. Liverpool Echo
The name of Mr. Cliff Britton, former Everton manager has been linked along with Frank Hill and Wally Barnes as being on the short list for the job of Arsenal team manager under Mr. Tom Whittaker. “It is news to me” said Mr. Britton, when I spoke to him about it. “I have not been approached and have not applied but naturally if any proposition is put to me, I would be prepared to consider it.”
Harry Potts who was put on Everton’s free transfer list at the end of the season has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers as team coach.
Owing to the increasing demand for season tickets at Everton, the Goodison Park club has decided to supplement the number available at £5 5s each. As these will be limited early application is advisable.
Everton F.C directors have unanimously elected Mr. R E Searle as chairman for the coming year, and Mr. T.N. Nuttall as vice chairman. Mr. Searle first joined the Goodison Park directorate in 1945, but was absent for two years after opposing the board on a matter of principle until returning in 1953. Mr. Nuttall has been a director since 1951 and his elevation to the vice-chairmanship must be something in the nature of a record at speedy promotion. A Welsh speaking native of Flintshire-though a Liverpool resident for over 50 years –he is chairman of the subcommittee charged with supervision of playing affairs.
HOLIDAYS ARE ENDING FOR FOOTBALL PROFESSIONALS
July 16, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s full-time professionals report at Goodison Park on Wednesday morning when the chairman Mr. R.E. Searle, will return from holidays in Ireland to welcome them, along with most of his directorial colleagues. Mr. Ian Buchan, the club’s new physical training director from Loughborough College who is anxious to get down to business without delay, will also be there. He is moving into a house in Crosby, formerly occupied by Harry Potts today. This young but shrewd Scottish P.T. expert has no easy task on his hands. Much will depend on his ability to get the fullest co-operation from the men under his charge, which in turn will largely hinge on his approach to the problem and his handling of the players. I am sure that he is aware just as much as anybody else that success on the field of play is far more than a matter of more physical perfection, much though the latter helps. Team-work and timing individual skill and ability, and a fighting determination when matters are not running your way are all vital requisites. Given the right club spirit- and that is what Everton were aiming at during the conclusion of last season and will continue to make their target –with every player pulling his full weight n the common cause, it could be that we shall see a bigger improvement than some people are prepared to grant as likely. At this time, when the resigned professionals come back to the grindstone full of beans after their holidays the men for whom we should spare a sympathetic thought are the unlucky ones who were not retained and still out of a job.
Under the present system of contracts non-retained players are assured to their wages to the end of June, which is a big improvement on pre-war days when their wage packets ceased after the first Saturday in May. It is not a pleasant prospect for a married man, possibly with youngsters to support to find himself minus an engagement at this stage, for most senior clubs have already brought their playing strength up to their usual quota. The Third Division clubs are still on the look-out but even these the chances of a job are getting less the nearer we approach the start of the season. Everton did their best last season to facilitate the players they were not keeping getting fixed up by letting them know as soon as possible instead of waiting until nearer the close of the campaign. They also circulated other clubs early in April and offered opportunities for the men on the list to be watched in reserve team games. I have often thought that the Football League might well consider advancing the date by which players must be advised whether they are being retained or not.
EVERTON F.C. PLAYERS RESUME TRAINING FOR NEXT SEASON
July 18, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Those football enthusiasts who are eagerly anticipating the start of another Soccer season have not much longer to wait. The big kick-off takes place four weeks on Saturday and in many centres, including Everton, the players are already back in training. Mr. R. E. Searle, the Everton chairman, who returned for the purpose, was at Goodison Park this morning to welcome the players. He was accompanied by all his directorial colleagues, by Mr. Ian Buchan, the new coach, and Mr. Harold Pickering. In wishing the players a very successful and injury-free season, Mr. Searle said that he felt convinced that the dressing room “family” would be the happiest for many years. “We are here to look after your welfare n every respect,” he added “If you have any complaints or problems you will be able to take them to the right source and rely on it has they will come to the notice of the directors.
Mr. Ian Buchan at the request of the chairman, addressed a few remarks to the players. He was, he said, both gratified and proud to be associated with a club of Everton’s traditions. To make sure of a successful season he would need 100 per cent, co-operation from all the players. He felt sure that would be forthcoming and that they would all put together for the good of Everton. On behalf of his colleagues skipper Peter Farrell extended a warm welcome to Mr. Buchan assured him of the wholehearted co-operated he had just asked for, and wished him a long and happy career with the club. The morning’s brief speeches ended with an assurance from Mr. T.C. Nuttall, chairman of the sub-committee charged with supervision of playing matters that he and his colleagues would do all in their power to make the dressing room a happy and contended one and give the players every possible assistance they required.
“This is going to be a momentous season for Everton in many ways” he concluded “but with the all-round co-operation which I am certain we shall achieve I feel we shall be going places this winter.” The atmosphere surrounding Goodison Park this morning was certainly cheerful and optimistic and as soon as the short speeches were over the players got down to business, starting off with a pipe-opener in the new gymnasium, which is one of the finest of its kind in the country. At the moment the full-time players on the books total 26 but two more will be added shortly when Derek Mayers and Charles Fitsimmons are demobilized from the Forces. Both will be available for the start of the new season. One notable absentee today was Willie Haughey the 23-year-old inside left whom Everton obtained from Larkhill Thistle early last month. As Haughey had already fixed a holiday in the Isle of Man for mid-July before signing the club at once deferred his reporting date. This lad is the former Scottish junior international of whom I have previously written and who if all I hear proves correct promises to be one of the best signings. Everton have made for a long while Haughey will join up with his colleagues on July 30.
Some New Faces
New faces among the cheery crowd in the dressing room this morning were those of Ted Loader, an inside forward or wing half from Barry Town, signed on the recommendation of Maurice Lindley, the former Goodison player, Jackie Williams a 20-years-old outside left, formerly an amateur with Portsmouth who came out of the Forces six weeks ago, and Alan Sanders a six-foot right back from the Manchester district. Two former part-time players now on the full professional staff and having their first experience of this sort of thing were Ken Heyes and John Tomlinson. Heyes only came out of the forces last week. having mentioned the new comers, and of course, taken the return of grand old stalwarts like Peter Farrell, Tommy Eglington and the rest for granted, a word would not come amiss regarding those whose faces I did not see this morning.
Every year there are departures at almost every club. There have been rather more than usual at Everton since last season and I wish all the players who are now sailing under fresh colours the best of luck in the coming campaign. these include Harry Potts now coach with Wolves, Jock Lindsay and John Parker, who are with Bury and Eddie Wainwright, Jackie Grant and Gwynfor Lewis, who have thrown in their lot with a former club mate in Harry Catterick, manager of Rochdale.
Les Melville has signed for Bournemouth and Bernard Molyneux is now a Tranmere Rovers player, but so far Harry Leyland, George Rankin, and Ron Saunders have not found new clubs. Everton will be staging a series of private trials at Bellefield on three evenings next week, when promising young amateurs whom their scouts have watched or who have been recommended to the club from other reliable sources will be given a chance to show what they can do. The best will have further in the early part of August. The only public practice match will be on the Saturday proceeding the start of the season, when the playing customers will be able to weigh up the form of the players on whom the club will be mainly depending. Although a lot of amateurs are being tested, Everton have not closed the list. They are ready to consider all applications but budding aspirants for fame who write the club are asked to give age, height, weight, position, former club or clubs and brief details of experience. Believe it or not quite a few players miss out some of the most essential details in their application. Secretary Bill Dickinson tells me that the additional season tickets which Everton set aside for the coming season are being steadily disposed of.
June 19, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Ranger’s Notes George Rankin the former Everton full back who was put on the transfer list at the end of last season, is expected to sign for Southport this evening. The two clubs have agreed on the fee, which is a very moderate one, and all that now remains is for the player who has the chance of a job along with his football engagement to complete the forms. Manager Gordon Hunt is seeing him for this purpose tonight.
BILL COOK BACK HOME
July 20, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
I met Billy Cook, Everton’s former international full-back a few days ago, looking very fit on his return from twelve months coaching in Irag. He is now free to take on another engagement, either as coach or team-manager and has already one or two likely prospects in view. Billy has seen a lot of the world since he finished his active playing career shortly after the war. He coached for four consecutive seasons in Norway, had a year in Peru, a summer in Sweden with George Raynor, then the Swedish National coach and of course, his latest visit to Iraq. All the countries he has visited have been most satisfied with his work, and in each case have pressed him to return for a further spell. His Iraqian engagement was under the direct control of the Iraq Government. He had charge of the National military team, which was undefeated during his team of office. Although he has received another offer from Iraq, he is not going to accept. “It was a great experience” said Billy” and I would not have missed it for anything, but the heat there is terrific, and I could not face it again. The facilities for Soccer also leave much to be desired, and though I found everybody most helpful and co-operative and I made many good friends I prefer a more temperate climate and better facilities. On his way from Iraq, Cook stayed for some time in Italy and had talks with officials of the Italian F.A who said that he would have no difficulty in getting a job in view of his qualifications in that country. He had also been asked by our own F.A. whether he would consider taking a job in Singapore. “I have had enough globe-trotting to last me for a while” he told me. “I may consider going abroad again some time, but would like a few years in England first.” Billy also told ,e that the Iraq international centre forward, 20-years-old Emmanuel Baba would like to come to England, both to study and to play football. Baba, who speaks excellent English, learned his early football through playing with R.A.F lads a an airport near his home and according to the former Evertonian, could more than hold his own in First Division football here once he became acclimatized.
EVERTON PLAYERS ARE ENJOYING NEW STYLE TRAINING
July 30, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton F.C players have now been in training for the forthcoming football season for ten days, and with the idea of seeing how they reacted to the new regime at Goodison Park I spent some time there at the weed end, watching them at work and chatting with Mr. Ian Buchan, the club’s physical training expert. Hard training is no joke in the humid weather we had most of last week, but the very sensible ideas which Ian Buchan is bringing into operation seem to have taken the drudgery and monotony out of the job, and I found the players in excellent spirits. –of the lads told me, were pretty tough, but they are now feeling. The first few days, so several the benefit and their fitness is such that they can now tackle things that at one time would have been beyond them. Peter Farrell for instance, informed me that on the previous day, he had done 20 quarter-mile laps at Bellefield without a stop. “If anybody had told me 10 days ago I would do that I wouldn’t have believed them, “he added. “Our coach knows his stuff all right and everybody, is getting much more enjoyment out of the pre-season preparation than we thought possible. To be candid I never imagined I should relish training as much as I have this last week or so. It has been quite an eye-opener.” Tommy Eglington, Jimmy O’Neill, and several other players said much the same thing when I spoke to them during a lull in their schedule. Even Gordon Watson and Stan Bentham, who have been going through a somewhat similar experience, spoke of the benefits they had deprived. Though everybody agreed that it was a bit severe at first they have now settled down to a steady routine, which is being gradually increased in its scope to achieve still greater benefit. Mr. Buchan told me of his pleasure at the attitude of the players and heir keenness to co-operate in every possible way.” They are determined to achieve the peak of condition and equally resolved to do well on the field of play which is the vital thing,” he said.
The Basic Idea
“The purpose of the initial training of the past 10 days has been to achieve basic, fitness,” he added. “That is the solid foundation on which I hope to build their speed. Later on we shall go into other matters, such as the tactics to be employed the varying strategies during individual games, and so on.” I gathered that in many respects the training which the players are now undergoing is entirely new to them. At the same time, the Buchan system lays on claim to providing a royal road to quick success on the field of play.” I could not have agreed with him more than when he remarked that success comes only after a lot of hard work, then still more hard work, together with constant and repeated practice in all the finer arts of the game. I have preached that gospel long enough. He summed it up with the remark that soccer success is made up of 90 per cent perspiration and 10 per inspiration. His aim so far has been to make the players interested in training by providing an infinite variety of tasks for them to tackle. They never keep on at one thing long enough to get browned off with it.
Geared to Individuals
At the same time everything is related to the basic principle of playing football. The emphasis is always on that fact. The principles of soccer are embodied in many other games which are now being introduced into the daily schedule to kill any semblance of monotony. If the cheering of the players when I watched them is anything to go by that is being achieved. One point which Mr. Buchan stressed is that the training is geared to the capacity of each individual. Obviously what one can do may be quite beyond the capacity of another. Each player will be expected only to reach his own maximum potential in various directions. He will not be asked to attempt things beyond his ability merely because somebody else can do them. “We are aiming at a happy and sound team spirit,” he went on, “and I am sure we shall, achieve it. The players are co-operating wonderfully well, and realize that not only myself, but everybody connected with the club is anxious for their well-being and future success. Mr. Harold Pickering, the club’s administrating officer who is working in close co-operation with his new colleague, told me that he had never known, in his association with Everton, such an air of optimism and confidence as permeated the dressing room at the present time. “There has been no shirking” he said. “Everyone has worked with a smile and there has been a splendid atmosphere right from the moment the players reported back.” Mr. Pickering is in the middle of going through the long list of amateur players who are having evening trials at Bellefield. Sixty were put through their paces last week and there are as many more waiting for games during the next fortnight or so. Recently he has been so “thronged,” as they say in the mill towns, that he has not been able to fix up his holidays, and with the season almost on top of is it seemed he may have to forego them this summer. That, however, won’t worry him unduly, so long as Everton are ready to meet the new campaign with everything in apple-pie order and every step taken to ensure as far as possible, that the future is going to realize the hopes and expectations of those connected with the club. Ian Buchan has also sacrificed his holidays. He took over at Goodison Park three days after finishing at Loughborough College. In his own words, he is enjoying the work here so much that it is as good as a holiday.
Everton shareholders should note that their season tickets books for the new season are now ready, and can be obtained either by personal application at the club offices or by post. If the latter, a stamped addressed envelope need not be sent.