Du Malone writes: In a previous post our manager, Grigor Pasha, has outlined his approach, as a club manager, to stakeholder management. By stakeholder he means any party that influences, or is influenced by his club, Neftochimic 1962.

Principally, he’s referring to players, former players and staff, club directors/owners/investors, sponsors, football authorities, match officials, agents, affiliates, other clubs, the media, the local community, and the natural environment. Oh, and the fans: I nearly forgot them.

Grigor’s already explained his approach to agents and refs. Here he considers a very different kind of stakeholder — the natural environment.

Grigor Pasha writes:

How we affect the environment

As club manager I’m not in a position to influence much in terms of the club’s impact on the environment.

I’ve looked into the question a little and have discovered clubs that have formulated environmental policies. Perhaps the most well known is that of Forest Green Rovers.

But ground maintenance, catering, transportation — such issues are beyond my remit as team manager at Neftochimic 1962.

The most I can do is arrange our friendly fixtures sensibly.

There’s no point a team flying in from, say, Hungary when there are plenty of potential opponents nearby. Varna, for example, is 115 km away; even Plovdiv is only 250.

How the environment affects us

The main way in which the environment affects us is through the weather and the pitch conditions.

Bulgarian weather conditions can be subject to extreme variations. F

ortunately for us here in Burgas, some moderating factors are in play. The Black Sea affects the climate, which is classified as humid subtropical. In particular, the winters are milder than inland. And the winter break helps us to avoid most of the snow.

Nevertheless, conditions can, theoretically, affect a team’s approach. In hot early season matches, a high tempo can be difficult to maintain. (Though in Burgas the average August temperature — 73 Fahrenheit — is not so bad.) When it’s wet (as it is here n April and November particularly), the pitch conditions can present a challenge to play passing movements. Windy conditions can make high balls taxing to defend against, calling for concentration, but also make aerial crosses difficult to play with precision.

You’ll see from my planning sheet, 07 Nov 19 FM template, that I always take note of the conditions, including the weather forecast, and consider them in our match preparation.

Fortunately, though, adjusting to conditions is relatively easy for us. I don’t believe in encumbering my players with a large number of team instructions. We play the ball sometimes on the ground, sometimes in the air; and we play a variety of crosses. We have a flexible style.

I’m convinced that, across the season, this mixed style gives us an advantage — and perhaps will do so more as our young players’ decision-making improves with experience.

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