Notts County. The oldest team in the English Football League. Not exactly a history of success, but a history of hard work and longevity. Very little top flight experience belongs to the Magpies despite over 150 years since formation. Perhaps they just need the right man to guide them forward; a leader.
I never wanted to do anything else but play football. Since I was a young boy in Blackpool, I always felt my true home was around a football pitch. I remember sneaking into Bloomfield Road after school and feeling like one of the Seasiders myself. I could see my future, standing on the pitch in tangerine with the captain’s armband on my sleeve. Not all dreams come true unfortunately. I moved away with my dad after he took up a job in Nottingham working as a coach for Notts County. Even now, in my thirties, I think being told the news was the worst moment I’ve ever endured.
I’m a Blackpool fan through and through, always have and always will be. Despite this, I will always have an affinity with the Magpies. Since I moved there as a young, wide-eyed 11 year old, I spent a lot of time in and around Meadow Lane due to my father. I met many of the players and staff, a dream perhaps for all the young County fans in my school, but it didn’t mean too much to me. I was even afforded a trial with the club when I was 15 but there was a big problem, I was never a good footballer. Thinking back now, I was always a hard-working and determined player, but you can only go so far without the talent. Notts rejected me and I was left to nearby Sunday-league team, Phoenix Athletic. I got into my mid-twenties playing semi-professional before the football dream was over for me. Somehow, my dad managed to coax me into coaching.
At school, I was always told that I was a bright lad and I like to think I have a strong understanding of the beautiful game. Despite this, management and coaching was never something that crossed my mind. Every young boy grows up dreaming of being a footballer and being a manager is never spared a thought, this was all the same for me. Until now. I spent a few years spending time with my dad, helping with the training until he decided to retire and I was given a full-time job as his replacement. It wasn’t long however, until I needed more. I wanted more control; I wanted to be the boss. So I went about getting my coaching badges in the hope of getting into management. I hadn’t long earned my Continental C license, when I was sent an interesting e-mail by the man who was desperate to get my career up and running.
My old man had scored me an interview at Meadow Lane.