James Beattie served another stage of his managerial apprenticeship last week when he had to let go his first batch of trialist players.
The new Stanley boss invited 11 players to train with the Reds this summer and play in their pre-season friendlies.
With the help of his management team, Beattie then had to make decisions on whether he wants to keep any for this season and the managerial rookie insisted on breaking the news in person.
Those to be cut after playing in the Reds’ first two friendlies were Ryan Schofield (centre-half), Carl Watson (centre-half), Jacob Gibson (midfielder), Ed Savitt (midfielder) and Brett Williams (striker).
Seb Carole (utility), Nicky Travis (midfielder) and Chris Jones (winger) also featured against Altrincham but those three were told their services wouldn’t be required before the Everton game.
Trialists Kai Naismith and Danny Webber remain with the club with both figuring against Tranmere Rovers at the weekend.
Webber also came off the bench in Tuesday’s draw against Oldham Athletic – a game in which a third trialist, Josh Windass, started.
The latter impressed Beattie enough to be offered a contract with the midfielder putting pen to paper on a 12-month deal on Wednesday
The 19-year-old had featured throughout the Reds’ pre-season campaign and found the net in the win at AFC Darwen.
“I can think about the season now and how hard I need to work to get in the team,” said the former Huddersfield Town man.
“I will hopefully get the chance to make my debut against Newport or Portsmouth or whoever and then I’ll be trying to get a regular spot.
“I need an opportunity first and then hopefully I can show the manager that I’m worth a starting place regularly. I want to just get myself in there and start playing games.”
But while the fortunate few can turn their attentions to cementing a starter’s spot, his new boss Beattie admitted that showing several others the door was an arduous task.
“I had a very difficult day last Tuesday,” he said.
“It was a learning curve for me, telling players that they’re not quite what we’re looking for at this moment in time.
“It’s something that I had to do and I wanted to do it face-to-face out of respect for the lads that had come in.
“They were very respectful to me and said thank you for the opportunity but it was difficult.
“We had a smaller number after that and the squad was nearly at the size I would want it for the rest of the season, with one or two more additions to come in.
“So I had a good look at a few of the other lads against Everton, who are terrific opposition.”
It was tough for Beattie to whittle down his options, especially when some of those players are friends.
But the fact Stanley had taken on fewer trialists than in recent years meant their management team could look at each player for a longer period of time before sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
Beattie now hopes to maintain the feelgood factor which was generated by his appointment and the prospect of a Premier League side visiting the Store First Stadium.
“It was a really good event and spectacle, especially with the history behind it,” added the Reds’ boss. “It’s nice to see the stadium full; it’d be great if we could replicate that in a few games in the league but that’s a job for me as the manager and for everybody involved with the club, to get people interested in the club again.
“That’ll come with results so it’s up to us to compile a good team that’s going to be able to compete – at the right end of the team – and I believe we’ve got the nucleus of a squad that’s capable of doing that.”