Former Brighton, Weymouth and Hawks midfielder learning the 'hard way' after taking first management role with Baffins Milton Rovers

Taking a first step into management has proved a much trickier task than Shaun Wilkinson was expecting.

Sunday, 24th January 2021, 12:35 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th January 2021, 6:31 pm
Baffins boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

It's even resulted in the outspoken Baffins Milton Rovers boss, who was appointed to the role last May, deleting his social media account and taking himself off Twitter.

But the former Brighton, Hawks and Weymouth midfielder believes his 'eye-opening' early experience in management will stand him in good stead for the future.

Wilkinson's side sit 12th in the Wessex League Premier Division table after 13 games with some indifferent results arriving prior to the pausing of the season in mid-December due to the pandemic.

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Yet it's been off the pitch where the biggest learning curves have arrived for the Rovers boss.

The 39-year-old was slapped with a 56-day stadium ban by the FA prior to the 'non-elite' football shutdown after an offensive tweet was sent from his social media account.

Wilkinson has also received two red cards in just 18 competitive matches as a manager.

But the Baffins boss insists those are incidents he has learnt a lot from and is in no doubt his discipline will be much improved as a result.

‘It’s a learning curve for me. I’m emotional, I’m a winner, I’ve been a winner my whole career,' he said.

‘It’s been a learning curve for me and my discipline hasn’t been the best, which it never was great as a player anyway.

‘But going forward it’ll be a whole lot better because I’ve learnt the hard way to be honest.

‘I’ve deleted my whole account (on Twitter), I can’t afford to get into trouble anymore.

‘It’s just not worth it (having social media).

‘I don’t want to get myself into trouble, I definitely don’t want to get the club into trouble.

‘I’m here for the football, nothing else, I want to improve the team and I want to improve the club from the position where they’ve been.'

Wilkinson spent his whole career playing at a much higher level than the Wessex League.

He openly admitted he's probably 'under-estimated' the Premier Division this term.

But with uncertainty still surrounding what Wilkinson viewed as a 'free hit' this season, he is looking to push Baffins towards the top end of the table in the future.

‘It was a free hit for us this season,' he added.

‘I didn’t know the level, I probably under-estimated the level and the players from where I’ve been and what I’ve done in football.

‘It was definitely a bit of an eye-opener for me.

‘We’ll have a sit down once we know what is going on with the chairman and the board and we’ll see how they want to go at it next season.

‘If they want to have a go at it and try to get up higher we need to do a lot better than we did this season, that’s for sure.'