Conor Sellars: Mark Trueman and I have experience beyond our years after becoming joint Bradford City managers
It is three years since the son of former Leeds United winger Scott gave up playing non-league football to concentrate full time on coaching the Bantams' under-18 team, alongside Mark Trueman. On Monday the pair – now 29 and 33 respectively – were confirmed as the League Two club's new permanent managers until the end of next season after an 11-game spell in charge during which they won seven games and lost only one.
And whilst the focus will be on their ages and that of the 29-year-old chief executive Ryan Sparks who appointed them, Sellars said it was a smokescreen.
“It's something that does get brought up but I think sometimes you've got to ask what's the quality of your experience instead of the years,” said Sellars, the youngest manager in the English leagues. “We started our coaching journey a long time ago and we've been able to try out our methods and through our coaching careers keep on developing ourselves and getting better.
“We find ourselves in this position and we'll have the passion and drive to make it a success.”
The pair had been working successfully since the sacking of club legend Stuart McCall in mid-December, first as joint caretaker, then interim managers, and whilst there may have been a temptation to leave things as they were, Sparks felt it was better to have a bit of certainty at Valley Parade.
“It gives Mark and Conor security, which they deserve,” he said. “It allows us to restructure behind them. The jobs they now leave behind need to be filled so we can continue to produce the stars of tomorrow.
“It's very much an initial 16-month contract. There is more to come. It's a deal we're very comfortable with, we spoke about it at length on Sunday.
“Age is just irrelevant from our perspective – 29 or 59, it makes no difference. The three of us have got something in common, we've been given opportunities. We achieved nothing yet, this is just the start of us.
“We've got a good team at the club, Lee Turnbull and the owner right behind us. It's exciting but we've got our feet on the ground.”
Sellars and Trueman have already made significant changes, implementing a new formation as soon as they were appointed and signing nine players in January, with six leaving. The Bantams have moved from a place above the League Two relegation zone to an outside chance of reaching the play-offs.
“We're from within the club so we've got the best intentions for the club,” explained Trueman. “In January when we were starting to speak about the players who could improve the club, that's when we started to think this could be a long-term thing for us.
“The January window was positive for us and it's for us now to build on that.
“We've shown already we're ready to fight and compete every game and be hard to beat but also showing qualities in possession of the ball. That's what the fans want to see, that's how me and Conor want to play.”
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