ROY­ALS SEEN NEW POW­ERS

The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY - By Matt Bad­cock

COLORADO Rapids mid­fielder Dil­lon Pow­ers has joined Read­ing on a twoweek trial af­ter im­press­ing in Ma­jor League Soc­cer, writes Danny Rust.

Pow­ers’ par­ent club an­nounced the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year’s move on Mon­day.The 24-year-old Amer­i­can has amassed 13 goals and 21 as­sists in 92 MLS ap­pear­ances.

Read­ing are also look­ing into the pos­si­bil­ity of bring­ing Sun­der­land mid­fielder Liam Brid­cutt, 26, to the club on loan.

The Roy­als face com­pe­ti­tion in their pur­suit of the Scot­land in­ter­na­tional, as Leeds United and Cardiff City are also in­ter­ested in the ex-Brighton man.

THE sun­shine and par­adise of Florida might not seem like the ob­vi­ous place to put in foun­da­tions for a win­ter on the train­ing ground of a League Two club, but for new Cam­bridge United man­ager Shaun Derry it’s proved the per­fect prep.

Sit­ting on a small two-seater in a meet­ing room at United’s Abbey Sta­dium home, the 37-year-old ex­plains how he made the most of his en­forced sab­bat­i­cal from the dug-out.

Sacked, harshly in the eyes of many, from his first man­ager’s job at Notts County eight months ago, he was able to use the time to enjoy his fam­ily be­fore swot­ting up on the other side of the pond at MLS side Or­lando City.

Watch­ing the likes of Brazil star Kaka up close in train­ing has fu­elled the fire to bounce back from leav­ing his home­town club.

“A lot of time to re­flect,” he says, on his time out.“You have to draw a line un­der it and let it go. As soon as you are able to let it go, you’re able to move for­ward. For the first couple of months, I wasn’t bit­ter, there was no bit­ter­ness, I just felt they made a mis­take. Sim­ple as that.

Op­tions

“I stand by, and back my­self, to this day that they made a mis­take and now I’ve got an­other op­por­tu­nity to be a man­ager again.

“It gave me op­tions.The chance to be a bet­ter dad, be a bet­ter hus­band and spend time with my fam­ily who I care about more than any­one ever in the world. It’s my fam­ily first, al­ways has been and al­ways will be.

“I had some great hol­i­days, spent some valu­able time with them and then at the right time I vis­ited peo­ple and went to a dif­fer­ent coun­try to look at foot­ball.

“I went over to the States and watched a few teams over there. They open their doors.We have a ten­dency to shut ours whereas the Amer­i­cans, with all the sport they have over there, in­cor­po­rate dif­fer­ent sports which I feel is really im­por­tant and some­thing we can hope­fully take ad­van­tage of here at Cam­bridge.

“I went to Or­lando City and watched some of their train­ing.The fa­cil­i­ties they’ve got, the open­ness of the train­ing en­vi­ron­ment and how much they are a fam­ily as a group of men.

“They spend a lot of time with each other and trust each other, as op­posed to a player com­ing in, train­ing at ten o’clock in the morn­ing and leav­ing at 12.

“The club make sure there is an en­vi­ron­ment there that is com­mu­nity based. I think we’ve got some­thing sim­i­lar here, I really do. There will be con­ver­sa­tions, away from the foot­ball field, where hope­fully I can help the club.”

It wasn’t just foot­ball minds he was able to tap into in Amer­ica.

“I also went into the IMG Acad­emy – a sports acad­emy in Braden­ton,” he says. “I looked at the dif­fer­ent sports they have there, the golf and the ten­nis.

“I had a day there at the acad­emy which is phe­nom­e­nal in terms of fa­cil­i­ties and the peo­ple coach­ing there. It’s so dif­fer­ent to what we do over here. The Amer­i­cans really strive for ex­cel­lence.”

Striv­ing for the best is what he will ask of his in­her­ited play­ers. When he took over at Notts County in Novem­ber 2013, the thenLeague One club where he started his play­ing days was go­ing only one way – League Two.

But, fall­ing back on his old school val­ues of hard work and sac­ri­fice, he turned it around and the club sur­vived the drop.

Last sea­son started well too un­til they hit a rot­ten run of three wins in 24 and Derry was axed.

He keeps his coun­sel on what hap­pened, but it’s clear he’s ar­riv­ing at a club in a much bet­ter place than the one he turned up at on day one of work at Meadow Lane.

Af­ter nine years in Non-League foot­ball, Cam­bridge fi­nally won pro­mo­tion, and the FA Tro­phy, un­der head coach Richard Money in 2014. Money, of­ten a di­vider of opin­ion, then fa­mously guided his team to a re­play against Manch­ester United in last sea­son’s FA Cup.

How­ever, the club hi­er­ar­chy de­cided to make a change as they look to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing.

Sac­ri­fices

De­spite sit­ting 18th in the ta­ble at the time of his ap­point­ment, United are just six points out­side the play­offs. And Derry says he isn’t plan­ning big changes.

“In terms of can this be mas­sively polar op­po­site to Notts County, I think it is,” he says.“This is a set­tled group of peo­ple work­ing at the foot­ball club who are keen, hun­gry and want to achieve. I’ve been brought in by chief ex­ec­u­tive Jez Ge­orge and the chair­man, Dave Doggett, we’ve all got com­mon ground and I think that’s so im­por­tant.

“I’m just one of many lead­ers at the foot­ball club. So I have to make sure we all get on prop­erly be­cause I can’t do it on my own. They can’t do it on their own.We all have to do it to­gether.

“I wasn’t a player who stood out on the right wing, dropped a shoul­der and bent one in the top cor­ner. I wasn’t a striker who hit 35 goals. I was a team player. And that’s what I’ll bring to the foot­ball club. Be­ing part of a team.”

In Michael

IN THE MIX: Cam­bridge are still in­volved at both ends in an ex­tremely tight League Two MIX­ING WITH

THE STARS: Derry watched the likes of

Kaka at Or­lando City

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