I am actually dumb-founded that I have managed to secure my second job in football management with Oldham Athletic offering me the chance to take on the reins and hopefully steer the club away from relegation. My attributes are awful, I resigned from my last job after suffering a knock in confidence; why on Earth would they want to offer me a job? Whatever reason they had I am glad of it as I have been able to step back into management straight away and with club miles ahead of Boston United who I have recently left. On a side note to this update, I am sorry to say that Boston United have dramatically slipped down their league and are heading for the relegation zone. I do feel bad but I am also so focused on making this chance at Oldham work out.
Having been brought in for the departing Lee Johnson who decided to join Bristol City who is in a much better position than Oldham in the same league, I had the job of bringing in new backroom staff. Despite the board asking me to stick with the same backroom team in my interview, there was nobody to stick with as they had all left when Johnson did. This would have presented a challenge if I was at Boston but it definitely hasn’t here at Oldham Athletic. The club have a much higher reputation which means there are more staff willing to join the club and with the club allowing me to hire a lot of staff, this is exactly what I have done. I have been able to surround myself with a lot of staff who will bring a lot to the club. They have pretty good attributes and bring a lot of experience to the club; you may recognise names such as Dean Holden (former Bolton Wanderers and Oldham Athletic player), Craig Beattie (former Celtic player), Kevin Davies (former Bolton Wanderers legend) and Kevin Nolan (former Newcastle United and West Ham United player). I haven’t just solely focused on getting staff in to help the first team but have also given the Under 21s and 18s management staff with Kevin Davies being responsible for the Oldham Under 18s and Joe McBride taking control of the Under 21s. Over time I will look to add more staff but for now I am over the moon with the setup I have put in place.
In terms of playing personnel I couldn’t be happier with the players I have at my disposal, which means I won’t be signing anyone in the January transfer window apart from possibly a striker. With the club having two senior affiliates in Newcastle United and Manchester City, we have first option on a lot of young players who can join us on loan. At the moment we have Freedie Woodman (goalkeeper) on loan from Newcastle United; a good young keeper who will be backup to first choice Alexandru Pena. From Manchester City we have Pablo Maffeo (right back), Nathaniel Oseni (centre back), Angelino (left midfielder) and David Brooks (attacking midfield). So far this month, Oseni, Angelino and Brooks have made an appearance in every single game. They are great young players with the unfortunate side of the deals being that Manchester City will want them back and probably won’t want us to buy them on a permanent deal. In the case of Angelino this is a big shame as he is quality. He is versatile with him being able to play higher up the pitch if needed and is ready to impress and improve.
Other noteable players are Jay Tabb (formerly of Reading), Dominic Poleon (formerly of Leeds United) and Marc-Antoine Fortuné (formerly of West Brom and various other clubs) who has earned my first player of the month award. When I joined the club, he hadn’t scored a single goal but by the end of this month he had got off the mark and has ended the month on four goals. A great return for my first three games. He will bring experience to the club, as well as declining attributes but he definitely has one more season in him. Overall I am really looking forward to the rest of this season and I am very confident in avoiding relegation and maybe could pusher higher up the league.
Player of the Month – Marc-Antoine Fortuné