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Paul Lake - I'm Not Really Here

Paul Lake embarks on his coaching career to right the wrongs of his time as a player.
Started on 11 January 2017 by BackPostHeader
Latest Reply on 18 January 2017 by BackPostHeader
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7 yearsEdited
September 5th 1990, Maine Road

Manchester City Vs Aston Villa

''The first hour of the match saw us comfortably holding Villa's attack, with the two Tony's - Cascarino and Daley - failing to make much of an impact. It was after half-time, though, that we started to get more of a grip on the game. In the 65th minute I advanced towards goal in a mazy run, skinning Cascarino and Paul McGrath, nutmegging Derek Mountfield, before having the ball nicked off my toes by a diving Nigel Spink.
Then it happened.

Intercepting a pass to Cascarino, I jumped in and clipped the ball to my team-mate Mark Brennan. As I did so my right boot got stuck in the turf, my body twisted awkwardly and, with an almighty crunch, I landed in a heap on the ground. As I hit the deck I felt a weird clunk in my knee, followed by a sharp, searing pain.

I lay on the pitch in the foetal position, frozen with shock, totally unaware that my life had changed forever.''

(From I'm Not Really Here, the autobiography of Paul Lake)

This the was the beginning of the end for Paul Lake, having been made captain of his beloved Manchester City at the beginning of the 90/91 season by manager Howard Kendall, 'the best manager I ever played for', after narrowly missing out on England's 1990 World Cup squad, he was making a name for himself as one of his country's brightest young talents.

However after rupturing his Anterior Cruciate Ligament against Aston Villa, he would endure a battle with his injuries that would last over 5 years. Despite numerous operations to reconstruct his knee to return as a regular to City's first team and help arrest the club's steep decline in the 1990's. Lake would go on to have multiple failed comebacks, more setbacks and injuries to his knee and a battle with depression. 'Lakey' retired in January of 1996, aged 27.

A testimonial was arranged by City for Lake, in October 1997 against neighbours United. That finished 2-2, with both sides opting to start full strength sides. Lake, however, was unable to take part due to extensive damage to his right knee, having to wear a knee brace in order to hold everything in place.

Post retirement Lake opted to become a physio, and began working at City in 1997. Even helping Richard Edghill recover from the same injury that ended his own career. In 1998 he moved on to Burnley, subsequently having spells at Altrincham, Oldham Athletic, Macclesfield Town and Bolton Wanderers. He went on to leave Bolton in 2008 and start his own physiotherapy practice in Greater Manchester until 2010 when he became an ambassador for City in the Community. In June 2013 he stepped down from his role.

Paul Lake - Manager

After 8 years out of football, Paul Lake has taken the vacant managerial position at Grimsby Town. Following Paul Hurst's departure and subsequent appointment at Shrewsbury Town. After guiding Grimsby to promotion via a 3-1 play-off victory over Forest Green at Wembley. Narrowly beating out Marcus Bignot to the hot seat at Blundell Park. As the Mighty Mariners go back into the football league for the first time in 6 years.

Lake joins Grimbsy

Former Manchester City and England B midfielder, Paul Lake has agreed terms to become Grimbsy Town's new manager ahead of the forthcoming 2016/17 Sky Bet League Two season.

The Mariners are back in the Football League after a 6 year absence, following May's play-off success over Forest Green at Wembley. Earning promotion along with Cheltenham Town.

Manager Paul Hurst's five year tenure at the club was ended when he opted to take the managerial position at League One outfit, Shrewsbury Town. Leaving Grimsby in a search for a new man to build on last season's success of Operation Promotion, among the names in the hat were; Solihull Moors manager, Marcus Bignot, former MK Dons boss, Karl Robinson, and the man who was appointed, Paul Lake.

Grimsby's tweet announcing Lake's arrival

Although seen as a rank outsider, Lake has been granted his first coaching opportunity in football having worked as a physio for eleven years between 1997 and 2008. Lake's last job in football was an ambassador for Manchester City, which he left in 2013.

Grimsby released a club statement on the official club website on the appointment;

''We are delighted to announce that Paul Lake will take the position of Grimsby Town manager ahead of this season. We interviewed several candidates for the role but we feel Paul was the best choice for the job and he is the man to take us forward and bring more success to the club. We ask our loyal supporters to get behind the lads and Paul over the course of this season, and we hope, seasons to follow over the future. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Hurst and his backroom staff for all of his hard work over the past five years, and wish him luck in his new venture at Shrewsbury Town''

The appointment of Lake is a bold one from Grimsby, but the 47 year old spoke positively about the challenge, and potential, at Blundell Park.

''You have to look at the connection with the fans, they've helped the club get up to this division more than most. And given how things are in modern day football, I think it's so important for clubs to have a close relationship with their supporters. And to be transparent. So that, along with the ambition to succeed in the right way, is what made want Grimsby. And fortunately, they wanted me.''

Lake poses with a Grimsby scarf at Blundell Park.

Grimsby will be keen to see their new boss get off to a good start and survive in League Two before targeting promotions up the divisions. In the pre season betting Grimbsy are widely billed to finish 19th, which would see them finish four spaces above the two relegation places. A position that would likely be considered a solid start provided Lake is still in his post come May.

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