Charlie Davis is a well-regarded coach in local football circles. The Falmouth Town coach enjoyed a management role in charge of Wendron United’s first team before joining Andrew Westgarth’s Town side in 2016, overseeing the team’s League Cup and Cornwall Senior Cup triumphs in 2018 and 2019.

Charlie’s day begins in a fairly leisurely fashion, with a mid-morning briefing with Westgarth and assistant manager James Miller being followed by a bit of breakfast with a few members of the team.

“I quite like a decent, slow start to the morning,” he says. “We tend to just run through a couple of final things, myself, Westy [Westgarth] and James [Miller, assistant manager], via text or phone call in the morning that we’ve been discussing in the latter part of the week.”

While he admits that his choice of pre-match food and drink may lead to some ribbing from his players, Charlie reveals his love of a matchday coffee or two.

“If I was playing, I’d certainly be having something nutritional and making sure I’m prepped for a game,” he says. “I can be a bit more relaxed with that, given that I don’t have to run around. I’m a big coffee lover so I will enjoy a few coffees on a Saturday morning.”

While he doesn’t like to get to the ground too early, Charlie is always conscious of arriving at Bickland Park ten or 15 minutes before the team meeting deadline, partly to avoid a fine.

But that sense of timing is important for Charlie, who preaches the importance of having a routine and a structure – perhaps an unsurprising attribute for a coach.

“I’m very, I wouldn’t say superstitious, but just regimental,” he says. “I think routine is really important, speaking from a coaching viewpoint, so my timings are good and Westy and James both buy into that.

“I’ve got my whiteboard markers that I use for some of the tactical bits and writing the team on the board. I tend to take that out with me and have it in my coat pocket, and I find myself clicking the lid on and off, but I don’t know what that is, maybe just a bit of a habit!”

Although he doesn’t deem himself to be superstitious, he did reveal one habit of manager Andrew Westgarth’s.

“Westy will always have a drinks bottle on the go on the side and he always places it in the top right hand corner of the dugout markings on the floor,” Charlie says. “It is forever getting kicked over and I’m guilty of kicking it over a few times by accident!”

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Charlie arrives at the ground ahead of the players so he can set up for the warm-up, and once Westgarth has announced the team for the afternoon, Charlie runs through the tactics before the players take to the pitch.

“Our warm-up is quite routine,” he says. “The boys do a self-starter, which is essentially relay runs that they go through. It’s all mobility and pulse-raiser activities.

“Then we go on to some dynamic stretches and then we progress through to some technique work and ball work and then on to a small-sided scenario.”

A boost for Town is having several sports teachers in their ranks, including goalkeeper Ryan Barnes and centre-back James Ward, so they are well covered should Charlie be away on any given week.

“Without making myself sound like a bit of a spare part, it is manageable without a coach!” he says. “But it is my job to get the players motivated and I would back myself to do that.

“You can kind of feel the vibe on the day whether they need a bit of a blast or whether they’re fine and just putting a bit of tempo into the session.”

Charlie heads into the changing room five minutes before end of the warm-up to set up his planned set pieces on the tactics board for the players to note when they come back.

After a brief question and answer session between the players and coaches, the music goes on before Miller offers a few motivational words before the buzzer goes and the players head out for kick-off.

“It’s pretty precise, there’s not really a minute to spare,” Charlie says. “You’re not sat around waiting and equally you’re not making anyone wait for you because you have to be out for a certain time, so it’s quite a precise operation.”

As the players head out to the pitch, Charlie’s final pre-game task is to quickly take photos of his set pieces in order to remind the substitutes on the touchline when they prepare to come on later.

With the game underway, Charlie is first looking to assess both sides and offer any important feedback to his players from the touchline.

“At the start you’re just trying to assess what’s happening and any patterns that are starting to form, and probably continually do that and try and correct any bits that need correcting throughout the first half while making notes,” he says.

“I try not to intervene too often because I think it can get a bit confusing for the players with too many instructions coming on from the sideline.”

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He takes those notes into the half-time team talk – the 15-minute period that Charlie admits is probably the most crucial part of his job.

“Other than that first part of the warm-up and doing the tactical game plan at the start, probably where I earn my salt is half-time,” he says.

“I’m looking at ways of combatting things that the opposition are doing well and trying to repeat things that we’re doing well or implicate things that we could do better to try and counteract what’s in front of you on that day."

Recognising what the team needs to do is merely one half of the equation, though. The other half is being able to get that through to the players in the limited time available, which, as Charlie says, can be no mean feat.

“It's having an awareness and being able to see those patterns and pictures come out on the pitch,” he says, “but also being able to communicate them quickly and efficiently to a group of men that have just come off a really competitive pitch and will all take instructions in a different way and will all understand in a different way.

“We try and hit all of those bits and try and make it as concise and as simple as possible so in that short amount of time you can hopefully have a bit of an impact on them.

“I’d say 95 per cent of half-time is on the tactics board, trying to show the boys what’s in my head and what I can see from the sideline and just marry that together with how they’re feeling and what they’re seeing on the pitch, which can often be quite a different picture!”

That difficult balancing act and the time pressure will all be worth it for Charlie if his half-time advice leads to improved fortunes on the pitch.

With the advice and instructions usually being developed through weeks of work on the training grounds, seeing the team reap the benefits can be immensely rewarding for a coach or manager.

“It’s just coming from that coaching background and the teaching background that I have,” Charlie says. “It’s just trying to reinforce those pictures, so they become clearer and they become patterns and they become repetitive, and we work on that a lot in training and within games as well.

“It is actually really rewarding, and I think until you actually start to do some coaching, whether that’s with kids or adults, I don’t think people quite understand how rewarding that is.

“You just try and make a bit of a difference, and sometimes you can feel a little bit helpless or useless on the sideline because you’re not actually out on the pitch, but we’ve found we’ve had a good response from it.”

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The exact path the events following the full-time whistle take will of course depends on the result, although Charlie will always first shake hands with Miller and Westgarth, the officials and opposition coaches, before heading onto the pitch for the customary team huddle.

“What we do that’s irrelevant of the result is the team huddle,” Charlie says. “We run through bits in a positive sense, we’ll say who we were really impressed with or say as a group what we were pleased with.

“If it’s not quite as positive a result we can still sometimes pick out some key points that we did really well but also highlight bits that didn’t go so well.

“What we like to do is address it straight away, leave it on the pitch and that is normally directed from Westy himself, and following that James and I might have our opinion on it. The boys do not respond at that point, they just listen.”

A cool down follows before the players head back to the changing rooms. If Town have won, the music is louder and the players and stuff share a few laughs. If Town have lost, the music stays on a bit quieter so players can have a chat amongst themselves, and management likewise.

If spirits are high after a victory, then Charlie and the team may indulge in what he describes as an “accidental tradition” of making the man-of-the-match dance to the tune of Gala’s 1996 hit 'Freed from Desire’.

The song made its way into the football world in 2016 when a Wigan Athletic supporter’s remixed tribute to in-form striker Will Grigg went viral - with 'Freed from Desire' becoming 'Will Grigg's on fire' - and it has been popularised at Bickland Park thanks, according to Charlie, to the dancing skills of forward Luke Brabyn.

“I don’t want to sound like a bully but we kind of push them into the middle and we make them do a dance in front of everyone just for a bit of a laugh, which is quite fun," he says.

“It’s just turned into an accidental tradition I suppose. There are a few that are quite forthcoming and then there’s a few that are not quite as willing to do some dancing, but I won’t name any names, they know who they are!”

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That rounds off Charlie’s work for the day, besides any possible media interviews, with a debrief with Miller and Westgarth following on Sunday, when that weekly football cycle begins all over again.

“Myself, Westy and James, we’ve got our own little group chat and we’ll speak again [on Sunday],” Charlie says.

“If we get the chance we’ll speak in the clubhouse a bit, but we tend not to too much and I think that’s quite nice, we just tend to leave it and we’ll speak again on the Sunday once you’ve had the chance to gather your thoughts.”