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Shez: Highs and Lows of 10 years at Latics


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interesting read in tonight's Chron:

 

Shez: highs and lows of 10 years at Latics

Reporter: Michael Yarwood

Date online: 14/10/2008

 

From player to manager, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for fans’ hero

 

JOHN SHERIDAN is about to hit a special milestone in his career at Boundary Park.

 

This coming Sunday – October 19, 2008 – will mark exactly 10 years since he first linked up with Athletic.

 

Football is full of surprises, but no-one could have expected the ageing midfield man to be still playing six years later and to hold every senior coaching role at the club.

 

Sheridan (44) is now in his third season as full-time manager, and here we look back at an eventful decade in his professional life.

 

SEASON 1998/1999

Sheridan joined Athletic for training after being invited by former team-mate Andy Ritchie.

 

He had been playing for non-league Doncaster, but previous spells with Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham and Bolton, plus an international career with Ireland, had established him as one of the leading playmakers in the country.

 

Sheridan was soon pitched into a struggling team, making his Athletic debut in a draw against Wycombe on October 24.

 

He then signed an 18-month contract and became a fixture in midfield alongside Lee Duxbury, with whom he still works.

 

Athletic narrowly avoided relegation and Sheridan was named player of the year.

 

SEASON 1999/2000

 

Sheridan moved from midfield to sweeper – but the experiment was ditched after one game as he remained Athletic’s most creative player.

 

He made 41 appearances, scored with an amazing free-kick against Bristol Rovers (officially measured at 44.9 yards) and had his contract extended for 12 months.

 

He was also player of the year again but revealed plans to start taking his coaching badges.

 

“I’m going to see if coaching is for me,” he said. “And if it isn’t, I’ll buy an ice cream van.”

 

SEASON 2000/2001

 

A disappointing campaign as Sheridan played one match before undergoing surgery on his troublesome knee.

 

He was out until December, but his return coincided with an unbeaten run which helped Athletic to their eventual mid-table finish.

 

Shockingly, someone else won player of the year – Tony Carss – but Sheridan had done enough for another 12-month deal.

 

SEASON 2001/2002

 

This season brought Sheridan’s first official involvement on the training pitch as Ritchie promoted him to player-coach.

 

Sheridan, 37 at the time, continued to start almost every game under both Ritchie and Mick Wadsworth despite an influx of new signings.

 

Athletic finished in ninth place, but further knee injuries brought an early end to his campaign.

 

SEASON 2002/2003

 

Another change at the top, with Iain Dowie replacing Wadsworth, saw Athletic totally revamp their management structure.

 

Sheridan was now player/assistant youth coach, working under Bill Urmson, and he kicked off the season in his usual position in central midfield.

 

However, Dowie was trying to mould a younger team fuelled by his new, ultra-tough regime of double training and all manner of demanding sessions, such as boxing and 7am swims.

 

Reluctantly, Sheridan accepted his playing days were numbered. And in April he confirmed his retirement, admitting: “It has come sooner than I wanted, but I can’t grumble too much. I’ve had some great experiences.”

 

Greatest of all, he said, was his involvement in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.

 

He nominated Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Chris Waddle, Paul McGrath, Roy Keane and Paul Gascoigne as the best he ever played with or against.

 

This was also the season when it appears Sheridan came closest to leaving Boundary Park.

 

Athletic’s financial crisis was growing by the day and he was identified as one of nine squad members who might be offered a pay-off.

 

SEASON 2003/2004

 

Athletic had a chronic shortage of players after the great sale of summer 2003, so Sheridan hobbled to their rescue.

 

In August he signed non-contract forms to re-register as a player, even though it was almost 12 months since his last appearance.

 

The comeback was to prove emotional as he lined up against Sheffield Wednesday – where the fans adore him to this day – and converted a penalty at the home end.

 

He was greeted by a standing ovation from all sides and said: “It was a dream come true because I’d never been back as a player. The reception was one of the highlights of my career.”

 

Each game left Sheridan walking like John Wayne at the end of a long ride across the prairie, yet he played almost every week up to December.

 

Then Dowie quit and Sheridan took his first steps in management, being named as player/caretaker boss with David Eyres as number two.

 

He wanted the job full-time but, despite being in charge for almost three months, didn’t make a four-man shortlist.

 

Athletic’s owners plumped for Brian Talbot’s experience and Sheridan moved aside with a record of three wins, six draws and four defeats.

 

The consolation prize was to be Talbot’s right-hand man, a post which triggered Sheridan’s second and final retirement.

 

He made his last appearance in professional football on February 21, 2004, and clocked up more than 700 matches in total.

 

SEASON 2004/2005

 

Athletic’s poor start to the season saw Talbot carry out a cabinet reshuffle as Sheridan moved from assistant manager to youth-team coach, with Tony Philliskirk going the opposite way.

 

He tutored a number of youngsters who went on to play league football – including members of his current squad – as the youth team won a league and cup double.

 

Talbot left in February and there was popular support for Sheridan, but he again missed out on the top job.

 

Ronnie Moore, however, gave him a 12-month deal as reserve-team manager with responsibilities to help at senior level. And Sheridan also had a benefit match at Boundary Park.

 

SEASON 2005/2006

 

Sheridan’s reserves enjoyed a good season as he helped a promising batch of young players take their next step up the ladder.

 

He also served his first touchline ban for abusing officials, but the campaign had a twist in its tail as Moore was given the boot.

 

This time there was no hesitation: Athletic appointed John Sheridan as their eighth permanent manager since the end of Joe Royle’s era in 1994.

 

Sheridan named under-16s coach Tommy Wright as his assistant and brought back Lee Duxbury to head the reserves – add youth chief Philliskirk, and it was a coaching staff made up entirely of ex-Latics players.

 

SEASON 2006/2007

 

Sheridan inherited a decent squad, which he tweaked with a few ins and outs before launching the new season.

 

His first signing was Gary McDonald and his first game was against Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere, who secured a 1-0 win.

 

Athletic were slow out of the blocks, but they picked up quickly and Sheridan was named manager of the month for November.

 

His team, playing an attractive style of football, were top of League One in February but fell away to sixth.

 

They were beaten in the play-offs against Blackpool but it was, nonetheless, a successful first season which earned Sheridan a three-year contract

 

SEASON 2007/2008

Another campaign of ups and downs after Athletic lost key players – especially Chris Porter and Richie Wellens – and suffered further losses during a crippling run of injuries.

 

This was now Sheridan’s squad and, given the way it was decimated for much of the season, most people were satisfied with eighth place.

 

There were two outstanding achievements as Athletic set a club record of seven consecutive away victories, including an FA Cup giant-killing at Everton.

 

SEASON 2008/2009

 

“I’m not daft. This is my third season as manager and I’ve got to win promotion this time, otherwise I’m in trouble.”

 

So said the manager before Athletic kicked a ball this term, but Sheridan’s men are the top scorers in League One and stand one point behind leaders Scunthorpe . . . . it’s so far, so promising.

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interesting read in tonight's Chron:

 

 

 

 

Each game left Sheridan walking like John Wayne at the end of a long ride across the prairie, yet he played almost every week up to December.

 

He also served his first touchline ban for abusing officials, but the campaign had a twist in its tail as Moore was given the boot.

 

 

 

 

:grin:

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Guest oa_exile
and people still slag him off... what a great guy he is as well

 

:shock::shock::shock:

 

has anybody else reached that with oldham apart from big joe??? :unsure:

 

Shez has a long way to go yet before he catches Frizzell ^_^

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Sheridan is ace.

 

Damn right.

 

Despite the odd grumbles from people, what he has given to us over the past ten years, playing, coaching, coming back from retirement, coaching youngsters, caretaker roles and now top dog has been excellent.

 

Here's to another ten?

 

*Quick check on Soccerbase and yes, we signed John McGinlay 4 days after Shez. Never could 2 players coming to the end of their careers (well it was supposed to be the end of Shez's!) have differed so much.

Edited by RoytonBlueLad
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I think you're getting mixed up with that comedy of errors at Westminster. :unsure:

 

A serious suggestion, in fact. Promotion is still in the balance this season, and frankly I've seen nothing to suggest that we are catching the Man Utds and the Liverpools of this world. Is it not ime to put an end to a decade of underachievement?

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A serious suggestion, in fact. Promotion is still in the balance this season, and frankly I've seen nothing to suggest that we are catching the Man Utds and the Liverpools of this world. Is it not ime to put an end to a decade of underachievement?

 

Certainly.

 

If only we'd stuck with McGinlay things could have been so much different :wink:

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A serious suggestion, in fact. Promotion is still in the balance this season, and frankly I've seen nothing to suggest that we are catching the Man Utds and the Liverpools of this world. Is it not ime to put an end to a decade of underachievement?

 

 

:whoosh::whoosh:

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