Grant Basey: From the changing room to bridging the gap

Former Charlton player, kit man and now newly appointed First Team Development coach Grant Basey believes that his new look role has been needed at the club as he explains the ins and outs of life at Charlton.

“It’s been good so far, I’m really enjoying it. The boys who came across are working really hard and doing so well but so are the senior players who I work with too. It’s been a good step up for me.”

With the role being introduced this season, it is new territory but Basey believes the role is vital for a young players development.

“The role was bought in to try and bridge the gap between the first team and the Under 23’s. There’s numerous times when the U23’s will come and train with the first team but then find themselves back down in the U23’s,” he said.

“I have to manage their disappointment in that and get the messages across to them to help them get into the first-team squad on a more regular basis and stay there. A good example of this last year was George Lapslie, who went into the first team squad pre-season last season and stayed there. So it can be done if you show the right attitude.”

Having completed his coaching badges in 2018 alongside first-team Assistant Manager Johnnie Jackson, Basey has been looking for his break into coaching and is proud that it has come with his boyhood club.

“I spoke to the manager about being involved in terms of coaching and a conversation was had regarding the gap to be filled as a first-team development coach. There was nobody in between the first team and academy so the option was there for a new role.

“Bow (Lee Bowyer) asked me to do it and it was a no brainer, knowing I wanted to coach. I’ve been around the team anyway, in a different capacity (as kit man for the first team). Bow felt I’d be the perfect person for that as I know how he works and what he expects from his players.”

Having come through the Charlton Academy himself in 2007, Basey believes that his experience can help the young Addick’s when progressing to the first-team squad.

“My connection to this club is from when I was 7 years of age, coming to community courses at the training ground. I signed for the club at 9 years old and I’ve spent the majority of my life at this club. I know how it works, I know the people here.

“I can relate to the younger players as I’ve been through what they’re going through. I came through at the club they’re at. It’s good in terms of the relationship I have with Steve Avory. I’m in a unique position as I’ve come back, I’ve been here a few years but now in a different capacity as a coach in the club I started at.”

This week, the First Team Development coach has been working with the youngsters who were in the squad for our 2-2 draw at The Hawthornes at the weekend and are hopeful of keeping their place in the squad.

Grant said: “I’ve been working with Charles Clayden, Ben Dempsey, Josh Davison and Alfie Doughty. Three of which were on the bench for the first team on Saturday. That was great for them. Things in football change all the time. You can have a few injuries and these boys find themselves involved. It’s great for them.

“I’ve had chats with all of them today, regarding how they have found it in terms of the step up. I’ve asked if they’re enjoying it, what they want to work on. It’s things like that that my role is around, I make sure they’re okay and manage them when they do come across.”

Basey believes his new role at the club is part of a long term project, providing further assistance for academy graduates and senior players that will benefit the players and club in the future.

“I have a lot to give to these younger players, as well as the senior players as I’ve played at this level. There’s things I want to integrate as time goes on. It’s still in its infancy so there’s things to come over a longer period. Short term is about starting to build relationships with players. The other things to add will take a longer time.

“It’s a role that was needed I believe and I’m fortunate to be the person that is in it.”