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'You've only got three stands!' An Oldham Athletic Story

My tale of lower league management...
Started on 2 May 2016 by BackPostHeader
Latest Reply on 3 June 2016 by BeanyUnited
Tuesday 31st July 2012

''You've only got three stands! You've only got three stands! You've only got three stands!''

The Manchester City fans were in fine voice on a cloudy Tuesday evening in July. It was a jovial mood, the first meeting between the clubs in over seven years, when the Latics won 1-0 toward the end of Kevin Keegan's reign at Eastlands.

How do I know this? Because I was there. Standing in the away end as we constantly reminded the home support of their lack of a fourth seating area. It was my last meeting with Oldham until recently.

Despite the great atmosphere, we lost 2-1. In the build up to what was a disappointing campaign, resulting in Roberto Mancini being sacked before the end of the season.

Now though, I have returned to Boundry Park. Not for a local derby though, but to embark upon my coaching career in the Football League. Can I lead the Latics to glory?
Manchester City banter is top notch, good luck with this!
2016-05-02 23:28#230587 Griffo : Manchester City banter is top notch, good luck with this!

Yeah it was a great atmosphere that day, cheers mate. I'm really looking forward to trying lower league management!
Good luck man, nice little opener to set the scene too! :)
2016-05-04 06:16#230666 C.J.Lippo : Good luck man, nice little opener to set the scene too! :)

Cheers CJ, will be good to try a different type of save!
Good luck mate, this should be interesting!
2016-05-07 07:22#231043 mgriffin2012 : Good luck mate, this should be interesting!

Cheers fella, thinking the same!

How I got here

I'd applied for the position several months ago, Oldham had just got David Dunn in as player manager. But were unsure about his ability in the long run. I was up against the former Blackburn man and John Sheridan for the job. Did I think I'd get it? Not really, but it's a funny old game as they say.

Both Sheridan and Dunn had playing experience, and were established top flight pros. And in Sheridan's case, a Republic of Ireland international. Me? I had a five year stint at Droylsden and a further two years at Hyde United before ending my playing days at 26. I never played at a higher level than the Vanarama North League.

That is something that has especially annoyed me, that because I had no professional I was not worthy of being a manager. That those with one had an entitlement to it, two perfect examples of managers with little to no playing careers to speak of are Jose Mourinho and Marcelo Lippi. It's funny how as soon as the topics of playing careers are introduced then everyone conveniently forgets Mourinho's 21 trophies. Lippi's World Cup, multiple Serie A's and Champions League title.

But I was able to pass the relative qualifications necessary to coach professionally in the football league reasonably well. And of course my thoughts immediately turned to which club; There are five professional teams in Manchester. Four of which all had stable managers at that time. The without a stable manager? You guessed it, Oldham.

And now we are here, Boundary Park. The home of Oldham Athletic. A club on the rise?
BackPostHeader's avatar Group BackPostHeader
6 yearsEdited

Oldham clearout begins with new boss placing faith in loan and free signings

Oldham Athletic's much anticipated summer wheeling and dealing with four exiting Boundary Park, as two have come in.

Brian Wilson, Jack Tuohy, Danny Byrnes and Mike Jones have all left to pursue their footballing careers elsewhere. Whilst Zeli Ismail and Aaron Kuhl have arrived from Wolves and Reading, respectively.


32 year old Wilson was the first casualty of the new regime, leaving for £10,000 to Portsmouth in League 2. Having only arrived last season, Omar Jones seems to have taken to the younger Connor Brown and Richard Eckersley.

Mike Jones was another experienced player that was sold, and another to have only joined last season. Sold to accommodate last season's top scorer, Jonathan Forte. He certainly has something to offer his new club, Blackpool.

Danny Byrnes has also left, but only on loan to Macclesfield Town in the Vanarama Conference to get some first team experience in the wake of Zeli Ismail's arrival.

Coming in are two loan signings from the Championship, the first is winger Zeli Ismail. Who's started to gain a reputation as one of the more exciting talents in the Football League right now. He's set to start on the right side of midfield.

Another youngster from England's second tier is Aaron Kuhl, who's curly hair and technical ability are hard to miss. Having started to make his mark on the Reading first time last season, he's looking to show the full array of his abilities in League One, with a starting spot in the centre of the Oldham midfield.

FEE: Loan

CLUB (on loan from): Reading

The young core that Omar Jones has promised is coming together, with Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons and former Manchester City man Abdul Razak both linked as well as some promising youngsters breaking through the ranks. Oldham Athletic could be set for a big season.
Changes are a foot at Oldham, "we are going up" chant the fans ;)
Squad revamp occurring, hope these players all do a job for you!
You gotta shave that abomination that is on his head!!
Aaron Kuhl is a great player, good signing.
2016-05-14 18:18#231553 mgriffin2012 : Changes are a foot at Oldham, "we are going up" chant the fans ;)

#LaskaInForever ;)

2016-05-15 16:44#231610 Griffo : Squad revamp occurring, hope these players all do a job for you!

Cheers mate, looking for a young core!

2016-05-15 17:44#231632 Balik : You gotta shave that abomination that is on his head!!

Nah, it's a beaut mate. ;)

2016-05-15 18:37#231656 ScottT : Aaron Kuhl is a great player, good signing.

Cheers fella, agree with you!
BackPostHeader's avatar Group BackPostHeader
6 yearsEdited

Razak and Dunn sign as Oldham complete summer signings

Oldham Athletic have completed their summer dealings with former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder, Abdul Razak and last season's player/manager, David Dunn both signing on the dotted line.


After beginning to break into the Citizens first team under Roberto Mancini, Razak began to bounce around clubs. With short spells at Anzhi Makhachkala, West Ham United, Ofi Crete in Greece and Doncaster Rovers until he became a free agent this summer.

Still only 22 years old, Razak is seen as a future linchpin within the Oldham midfield, and alongside captain, Liam Kelly. Will make for a formidable midfield partnership this season and in the future.

With all the youthful acquisitions being brought in, Jones opted for an experienced head in his fourth and final signing, with David Dunn adding top flight experience to a squad looking to go places. Sceptics are rife as to whether Jones can work with Dunn following the former beating the latter to the full time manager's post at Boundary Park. But the Oldham boss was quick to quash rumours of bad blood.

"Me and David are both professionals, it was his choice to accept our offer. And he's happy to be part of the setup. He's got a wealth of experience in the English game that people like Aaron (Kuhl), can learn a lot from."

~Omar Jones on his relationship with David Dunn

The Latics appear to have bought well and look to challenge for a top six finish, and promotion to the Championship.

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