In addition to being EPA National Secretary (which involves tons of work) and past BHPC President, Tony Mann is now ploughing a fertile and fascinating furrow in the world of pétanque – manager of teams representing England at international championships. Here, Tony just gives us the outlines of his managerial career to date. Behind this lies a wealth of organizational, tactical and psychological support – plus the experience of being close to world champions – details of which we hope can be exclusively serialised on this website in the future.
Tony writes: “As some of you may know I was very privileged to be asked by the Women’s Espoirs team (ages 18-22) to manage them at the European Espoirs Qualifiers in Spain in March 2013. This provided me with my first forays into team management, and I was extremely proud to see our Women’s Espoirs team qualify through to the European Finals. This was the first time an English Espoir team had ever progressed to the finals! I also had the privilege of managing them at the finals in Germany later that year.
In the same year I was asked by our Association’s Women’s team to manage them at the Women’s World Championships in France which was another wonderful opportunity and experience.
Recently I was asked by Dean Seville (Kent Region), EPA Singles Qualifiers Champion 2014, to be his manager at what will be the first ever World Singles Championships. These are taking place in Nice, France in January 2015 and I was delighted to recently be accepted as Dean’s manager for these championships.
Additionally, the EPA’s management committee have this week selected me to once again manage our Women’s Espoirs for the next European Qualifiers. These will take place in Santander, Spain in March 2015. The team consists of sisters Sammy and Kaylee Thatcher from neighbouring Southern Region along with Christina Norris and Vikki Amphlett from the Chiltern Region.
At the moment I am busy making all the arrangements for flights, accommodation, kit, etc, not only for the teams I am managing but also for Angie Gaughan (Northern Region) who will represent our Association at the World Singles Championships (Women) and for our Men’s Espoirs team. It is truly an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to manage Dean and our Women’s Espoirs. I also gain a lot of personal satisfaction from the fact that I have been asked on three occasions to manage teams by the players themselves and on the other occasion by our Association’s management committee.”
Well done, Tony! Truly ‘le’ man.