Big interview with Scarborough Athletic assistant Mark Hume on adapting to his role, losing the plot and his happiness at the club

Mark Hume
Mark Hume

Mark Hume has found himself enjoying the challenge of adapting to his role as assistant-manager at Scarborough Athletic.

Having taken up positions as both a player and a manager in the past, Hume, who boasts spells at Barrow, Harrogate and Doncaster Rovers on his CV, now floats neatly between the two parties.

Mark Hume, then of Stalybridge, gets stuck into Dave Merris, who was turning out for Harrogate Town

Mark Hume, then of Stalybridge, gets stuck into Dave Merris, who was turning out for Harrogate Town

"I love it," he said. "I have feet in both camps, which was something I didn't have as a manager.

"Steve (Kittrick) just wants me to be honest with him. Nobody wants somebody who just agrees with him the whole time because if you do that you don't offer anything.

"I might agree and I might not, it is the same with Steve Roberts and (Morgs) Tom Morgan. We all have our input and hand over the information, but Steve is great to work with because he is somebody who takes on board what you have to say.

"We pick the bones out of things and if Steve goes against what I say then I don't strop because I've got a job to do.

"As an assistant on match days you have a few different jobs.

"Me and Steve sit down and pick the team, nine times out of 10 we have the same ideas about what we are going to do.

"After that I go out and get into the lads to get them geed up for the game.

"Everything is in place ahead of the match because we have done all the hard work on set-pieces in training.

"It isn't easy because you don't have a lot of time. We are not a Premier League team that has a three-page dossier on throw-ins.

"The lads know the score, but there is only so much you can do if somebody times their run to perfection or if the perfect ball is delivered into the box."

Hume may get involved with the banter in the changing room, but he won't hold back if he is not happy with a performance.

"I can go in and have a bit of a laugh with the lads, but I can be awful as well, kicking off and cursing at them," he added.

"The only reason I do it is because I care about them, I want them all to be better players.

"After we've left the changing room it is all done with though, I don't hold grudges.

"It is important that you don't dwell on things for too long because you can end up taking them into the next game.

"The positive thing is that we do have a good dressing room with good lads in it.

"I've been in dressing rooms for 20 years and they have changed a lot. There is the banter, but there are things like phones nowadays, which is probably why I am like I am because things were a lot harsher in my day.

"I was the head of the Whatsapp group until they set up there own, which is probably so they can slate me after training sessions and all that.

"There is some bad crack in the dressing room, mainly from Wally (James Walshaw) and Wayne Brooksby. Mezza's (Dave Merris) isn't bad, but none of them can compete with me."

Due to Boro's large squad there have been plenty of tough decisions and conversations over the past few weeks, which Hume sees as one of the more difficult parts of their task.

"Telling people that they are left out is a bit soul destroying, but as long as you are honest and don't fill them with rubbish then the lads generally except it," said Hume.

"We have a lot of options at this club, so it is something that we have to do quite a lot, fortunately we have a good set of guys.

"I've seen in the past that players have gone around and moaned to anyone that will listen, but our lads don't do that.

"They know that they will get a chance because with the amount of games we play there will always be injuries.

"All you have to do is tickle somebody and you end up with a yellow card as well. I know that I'd be suspended every other week if I was still playing."

Despite having been a manager in the past, with Matlock and Sheffield, Hume is in no hurry to return to any hot seats.

He said: "I'm alright. As I keep saying to the lads, this is a club going in the right direction and we're on a good thing, surrounded by good people.

"I'm only 40, so I've got plenty of time. Steve is almost 90 and he's still doing it.

"I'm still learning as well, I'm big enough to say that.

"There have been bits, but I haven't been interested. The grass isn't always greener.

"I've seen a lot of managers go to a new club, and all the time I've known that it wasn't going to happen for them. A few months down the line they have got the sack.

"It isn't for me at the moment, I'm enjoying this too much because I love it to bits at this club."

With Boro currently at the top of the table going into Saturday's big home game against Gainsborough, Hume has highlighted that there is still plenty to do.

"This is just the start, we have to maintain our performance levels," added Hume.

"There will hopefully be plenty more for the fans to cheer and they deserve it because they have been brilliant since I joined the club.

"It is nice to get good support and with Christmas coming up there will be plenty of interesting games for them to watch.

"Our aim will be to keep on picking up the points and keep ourselves in there for what will hopefully be a big finish to the season."