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Kettlewell getting to grips with solo role in training as Ross County prepare for Premiership season

By Andrew Henderson

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Stuart Kettlewell admits it has taken a bit of time to adjust to his new role at Ross County.

Earlier in the summer it was announced that there was to be a restructuring of the management positions in Dingwall, with former co-manager Steven Ferguson moving upstairs to take on the role of chief executive, with Kettlewell left in sole charge of the first team.

Whereas before both Ferguson and Kettlewell were extremely hands on in training, organising different drills for separate groups, now Kettlewell has taken a step back to get a more general overlook of his squad.

Stuart Kettlewell chats to Liam Fontaine in one of County's first training sessions back after lockdown. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Stuart Kettlewell chats to Liam Fontaine in one of County's first training sessions back after lockdown. Picture: Ken Macpherson

For someone who was used to being in the middle of the action himself, to has taken some getting used to.

"It's very difficult, I'm used to trying to kick every ball and wanting to be involved in every conversation," Kettlewell explained.

"I'm not naive, I have obviously thought long and hard about how to approach this new challenge that has been put in front of me.

"I do believe that at times I'm going to have to be able to take a step back and not fully invest myself in everything that's going on, because you genuinely do miss a lot of things.

"There are times that you will miss what's happening on the other side of the pitch when you're in the midst of a session."

Kettlewell is now assisted by Richie Britain and Don Cowie, who hung up the boots to take on a full time coaching role at the Global Energy Stadium.

Delegation to those two has been key, and it seems to have worked to County's advantage in certain scenarios since returning to pre-season training.

"I've got two great coaches working with me here, Richie and Don are very good at what they do, and they have a great connection with the players on the training pitch," Kettlewell said.

"Their knowledge is second to none, and they are two young, enthusiastic guys who want to be out on the pitch and want to be coaching.

"I know I'm relatively young myself in terms of the management game, you could say I've got loads of energy myself, but the role is slightly different and I think there does have to be times where I have a little bit more composure and take a back seat in certain situations.

"For me, it's massive to trust the guys I have round about me. I have a first team coach and an assistant manager, and there's no point in these guys being there if I'm taking every training session and delivering every single drill.

"On Tuesday, we found it worked really well in the bounce game that Richie could take a team, Don could take a team, and I could have that neutral view at the side and look at absolutely everything.

"It is different, there are obviously some real positives that come with it, but I have definitely embraced it an enjoyed the way it has been working so far."

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