"Stepping into this role is completely different." - Timbers GM Ned Grabavoy opens up on new club role
In speaking on the latest episode of Talk Timbers, new club General Manager Ned Grabavoy opened up on life in his new role, and the club's thought process in executing a record deal for Evander.
On first weeks as GM
"It's been great to see the staff and players back in the facility and out on the field. When you go through an offseason, it's good to see a team, the coaches, and the players out on the field to remind you of why you're doing it."
On joining PTFC as a player before the front office
"It's great, its an opportunity that I've looked forward to but have tried to stay patient with. I look back to my final year as a player, and it was the first year as a free agent. Portland was a place and market for me that I always just felt was unique in MLS, and it had a special feel about it.
"It's crazy to even think that it's been eight years, because that's long the longest me and my family have been in one place. I couldn't be happier that it's happening here in Portland and at this club."
On biggest challenges as GM
"Even though I have some experience on this side, stepping into this role is completely different. That would answer would even change if you ask me six, twelve, or eighteen months from now. My leadership style and how I'm going to lead, how that might be different from what it was previously.
"We have a staff and a group of players that are very familiar with each other, and have been at this club for a number of years. So it's not about going in and trying to reinvent the wheel, but you do want to try to find a way to mold things a certain way, and shape them based on your belief of where you see the club going and evolving."
"It was an interesting process for us. The modern game has changed in way that most teams don't actually play with that type of player [a number ten]. Players are now asked to do everything with the ball, and without.
"We looked for a player with that thought process, and that type of creativity, which for us Evander fits. We also looked for more of an underneath forward, which was more of the [Diego] Valeri type role here for years.
"We're looking at a player that we believe has undeniable talent, and the ability to change the game in a lot of different ways. We're hoping to give that player more freedom, more ability to be in and around the goal, which should lead to more production from him and the team.
"Certainly it's going to take time for him to settle and acclimate, not just to Portland but with his teammates as well. But early on we're really pleased with his attitude towards the league and the club."
You can listen to the full interview here.