Interview: Carshalton Athletic Manager Tells Us Of His Plans To Blood His Youngsters

We’ve all dreamed about becoming a football manager. Many of us have dabbled in youth coaching, while some have even made a career from their love of tactics. But for those who haven’t had the opportunity to spend their days coaching there is Football Manager – the virtual world of being a football gaffer.

The game has gripped millions of across the globe as we look for that un-earth that gem in the Colombian third division who will get us out of trouble. Or the former Premier League freebie who could add some experience to our youthful backline.

For some, however, being a football manager is more than a game. Tommy Williams, currently in charge of the Isthmian League side Carshalton Athletic, was kind enough to give us at Football Friends an insight to how he works.

First up Tommy, tell us about your career to date.

I started as a schoolboy at Millwall – I’m currently 34 now. I was there all the way up to a YTS before moving into the non-league game. I started off at Hayes first, then Carshalton, Wealdstone, Braintree, Borehoom Wood, and Kingstonian then I moved back to Carshalton as a player coach. Now I’m first team manager.

You were very successful in the lower leagues, do you think that has helped you in the role that you’re in now?

I’ve worked under a lot of different managers and tried to take their good points and with me and leave their bad points. I’m learning all the time myself and we have a lot of young players coming through. We have a successful academy at the moment and are trying to progress them into the first team. We have quite a few in there at the moment who are now established first team players.

I won a few leagues and a few promotions in my playing days so obviously that experience is really helping me in the current role.

You mentioned that this is your third spell at Carshalton, going back to a club that you know inside out, how does that benefit you?

Obviously I know everyone around the club and how much it means to them. It’s a very well-run club – like I mentioned we have a very successful academy. The club is currently in the latter stages of discussions with regards to changing the pitch into a 3G pitch for next season, which will open the door for more options and more revenue for the club and the younger players will certainly benefit from that.

You took over last October, now that you’ve been in charge for almost a year do you feel like you’ve gone some way to do what you set out to do?

The club have re-structured, we don’t want to go the same way as a lot of non-league clubs are going in terms of signing a lot of well-know players, we’re trying to progress through youngsters. We’re looking to progress those through but at the same pick up results on the pitch.

I certainly believe that some of our lot have the quality to be special players and we might see the makings of this team – not this season – probably over the next few to see the end result. We are in the early stages at the moment, we’re not quite a season into it yet but I’m already seeing signs that it’ll be a success in the future.

How do you like to set your team up?

We like to play football the right way. We have a lot of technically gifted players that have come through. We like to set up so that we are hard to break down and we break with a lot of pace and purpose, and that’s how we picked up a lot of results at the end of last season.

I got Manager of the Month at the end of last season for the results we picked up, and that was because we got it right regarding how we hit teams on the break and how our players advance individually each week.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I am happy where I am, the club has a great future ahead of it and I am glad to be a part of it. I want to help these young players to progress and I’m delighted to be part of this. For me to help these players and see them kick on is brilliant – I want to see the end of this project.

Lastly, what do you get up to outside of football?

I have had my own personal training business for about nine years now, so I run that. There are players who have fallen out of the official game and not training as much as they used to be who want to regain fitness and keep sharp.

I also have three kids who keep me very busy!

This interview was organised by The British Sports Museum the Number One Football Memorabilia Company in the UK. Please visit