Heh Posted July 6, 2006 Report Share Posted July 6, 2006 Bit more from the Echo: New Reds coach relishing his latest challenge Jul 6 2006 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo GARY ABLETT already holds a unique niche in the Merseyside history books - as the only footballer to have won an FA Cup winner's medal on both sides of Stanley Park. Now he has added another unusual distinction. Having moved from Liverpool to Everton as a player in the 1990s, he has just made the return journey as a coach. Ablett will kick off the 2006-07 campaign as Anfield's reserve team manager, and he hopes the switch is not accompanied by the same storm whichgreeted his decision to cross the park in January 1992. "It was a difficult time," he smiled. "There were Liverpool fans saying I shouldn't ever go to Everton, and Everton fans saying they didn't want a Liverpool player. Some people find it hard to believe that you have an affinity for both clubs, but I do. I honestly do. "I had an unbelievable upbringing and education at Liverpool where I played with some of the greatest players this country has ever seen, then I went to Everton, had a fantastic four and a half years and managed to win stuff there. "I have tremendous satisfaction and pride from the fact that I'm still the only person to win FA Cup winners medals with both clubs and I find that an unbelievable honour. I then became a coach at Everton for three or four years and now it has turned full circle. "When I got the job at Everton I always told Ray Hall and Neil Dewsnip I wanted to use it as a stepping stone to see how far I could go, because I was really ambitious. I wanted to test myself and see if I could work at the highest level ...little did I know I would use Everton as a stepping stone to get back to Liverpool! "But I have met some fantastic people at both clubs and I take a lot of satisfaction at calling those people friends. I know that will continue." Scouser Ablett is a very highly regarded coach. He already possesses the distinguished UEFA 'A' licence, and was held back from taking the Pro Licence only by FA bureaucracy. "I tried to get on the pro licence in the summer but couldn't, because the powers that be at the FA said I wasn't working with senior players - which I found pathetic to be honest," he added. "I am now working with boys one or two years older than I was with last year, yet I can take it now because they are classed as seniors. "Whether the manager sees the pro licence as a vital part of my education is something we will have to discuss in the future." A coach at Everton's youth academy, it was the opportunity to work with senior players which prompted Ablett to cross the park. "I don't know if there was ever a job for me at Everton on the senior side . . . we never got as far as that," he added. "I'm ambitious and I see this as another step on the coaching ladder - and you can't fail to come to a place like this and learn from the staff here. "I haven't got a bad word to say about Everton. They gave me the chance to get where I am now - I had four fantastic years working with fantastic people - and I'm sure I'll be working with fantastic people here. "My job is to manage the reserve team, to liaise with the manager and Pako Ayesteran and to plan the season technically, tactically and physically. "I have been given the chance to work in a fantastic job, with great people and with outstanding young footballers - and my job is to develop them to hopefully be-come first team players here. "At Everton, I had under-14s like James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe who we could mould, whereas now they are already coming to me from the Academy so it will be more challenging and something I am looking forward to." And Ablett already has his eyes focused on a fixture very early in the reserve team calendar. "Would you believe the mini derby is the second match of the season?" he said. "I can't wait. Bring it on." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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