PAUL COX has confirmed that Guiseley have brought forward their decision to go full-time in order to give themselves the best chance of achieving their goals this season.
Plans for the club to start operating on a full-time basis had been under consideration for several months, with it being a case of when and not if Guiseley would end their status as a part-time club.
Following discussions, that decision has now been made, with several players having already assumed full-time status, with the club starting full-time training on Monday.
Cox, whose side are in the bottom four of the National League and have won just once in the league this term, told the YEP: “We started (full-time) on Monday. Obviously, we have not got the full quota who have gone full-time at the minute. We have done it so we give everyone the best possible chance to want to go forward with the club, which is key.
“In employment law, I could probably have given them four weeks’ notice and told everyone we were going to be changing working hours.
“But I believe in being fair with everybody and giving everyone the best possible chance to help themselves and us to get to where we want to.
“Our training schedules are Monday morning, Tuesday night, Thursday night and Friday morning, with Wednesday’s off. That will allow the boys who have got jobs – who I don’t want to handicap in any way as we have got some good players who are part-time at the minute – to give them the understanding that they know we are going to be full-time.
“I want everyone to have the best possible chance to make a positive decision about going forward. In any sort of environment, change can initially have a shock. But to be fair, the players I have spoken to – and even the players who have stayed part-time – have all agreed that going full-time is the best way forward for the football club. It is key when your players are stating that.”
Explaining the rationale behind making an earlier than expected decision to go full-time, the Guiseley manager added: “The board have said we can move forward and going full-time is a help.
“It is a bit of a transitional period. We could have done it at the end of the season or Christmas time.
“But I spoke to the chairman and the board and didn’t want to leave it to a position and look back and think that we didn’t achieve our goals because we should have made a big decision at an earlier stage and it has been a big decision.
“Things are not going to happen overnight and we will not go and win 15 games all of a sudden on the bounce, having gone full-time. But I do think that this season will be the key to the next 24 to 36 months in terms of creating a new energy about the club.”
A number of players who are currently in employment, have retained part-time status and will be allowed a period of grace in a transitional period before coming to a long-term decision as to whether they want to become full-time professionals or play part-time elsewhere.
And Cox insists that he will adopt no favouritism when it comes to selecting players who are full-time or part-time in the weeks and months ahead.
Cox, seeking to build on last weekend’s FA Cup thrashing of Shildon and secure a first National League success of his reign at home to Solihull Moors on Saturday, said: “We have been playing well and I said to the lads who are in two days a week who are in the team that they will keep the shirt.
“I don’t believe in favouritism, it is about players having a high level of performance and a consistency.
“If they do that, we will have to sit down at the end of the season and Christmas time where we can get a formula to get these players into a full-time basis.
“It is giving everyone the best possible opportunity to have a positive outcome. It is about sitting down with players and formulating a plan to ensure that they can help us and we can help them going forward.”
n Stevenage centre-forward Rowan Liburd, 25, has signed on loan at Guiseley until mid-January.