The Steve Gallen interview
There’s been many people associated with Charlton Athletic over the years that I’ve admired and had many reasons to be thankful for, whether they are players, managers, coaches, owners or fans. Steve Gallen is the latest.
The 45-minute interview with Steve on Valley Pass is insightful and absorbing as he talks about a whole range of subjects from his childhood through to being appointed a Director of the club recently.
Although appointed by Karl Robinson, Gallen said he only really got going in his function after he left, but since then his role in the resurgence of the club has been massive. From scout, to deal maker, to confidante Gallen has been an inspiration and dedicated so much time to a club he admits he knew little about until he walked into the door.
Gallen indeed has a special knack of unearthing a player, and his connections within the game are crucial to that, but this is no 9 to 5 job, and within two years Gallen has become to face of the off-field side of the club. Whatever he says about the owner, Duchatelet represents a grim black cloud over the club to outsiders. Hence, one of Gallen’s many roles has been to rebuild the club’s reputation externally and promote the club’s longstanding nurturing role with young players.
Incredibly he still has to run suggestions by a spotty youth in Belgium, but Gallen addresses that oddity in a professional and calming way as he appears to everything else.
Of course Lee Bowyer has been integral to the credibility he and his coaches have earned and it makes my heart sing to hear Gallen talk about their relationship, and underlines how their success has only come due to a heady blend of bloody hard work, communication and trust.
He is quick to say that his job won’t change a single bit (thank the lord) even though he is now a club Director, but whilst attempting to find Richard Murray may be a task, the title allows Gallen more authority when dealing with senior execs at other clubs plus the catalogue of characters that attach themselves to players these days.
As often happens, it happened to me, Charlton can have a glue like attachment to you, and Gallen has found that out for himself. Steve Gallen is proudly Irish, but it is us who are the lucky ones.