It didn’t take long did it? With ink barely dry on the contracts at their respective new clubs, both Steve Bruce and Paul Jewell wasted no time in getting their mates on board and cutting out the old King’s Men from the backroom staff at both Latics and Derby. Jewell’s team contains one interesting omission and whilst Bruce has tried to keep at least a little bit of consistency he’s brought in a couple of trusty lieutenants from Birmingham.
Joining the staff at the JJB are Eric Black and Keith Bertschin. Bertschin takes on the reserve team duties and I’ll not pretend to know much more about him than that. Black is another matter as a fair bit has been said about him since Bruce’s move was first mooted.
Black is yet another of Alex Ferguson’s protégés having been managed by the Scot as part of the Aberdeen team which according to legend has gone on to produce 3,000 or so coaches and managers. After his striking career was brought to an early end, Black went on to a coaching career that’s seen him roll through quite a few clubs.
Apart from his three years with Bruce at Birmingham Black also spent notable spell in the big seat at Motherwell, where he managed Roberto Martinez, and Coventry, stepping up after Gary McAllister left the club.
As well as, reportedly, being a decent coach, Black has one other big selling point; he’s a veritable walking tower of Babel. The new Latics assistant can speak 7 (seven) languages, which means that even if two of them enable him to decipher the Scottish and Midlands accents he should be able to communicate with pretty much anyone who he comes across at the club, whether he’ll be bale to tell what any of the fans are saying is another matter.
Staying on at the JJB is Frank Barlow, meaning that all the coaches who’ll be working with the first team link to Bruce through Birmingham and, perhaps unsurprising can all be connected in some way to John Benson. Maybe if everything works out we can start to forget his associations with some the problems that that the club had in the early days at the JJB, forgiving him for his assumed part in ousting Ray Mathias might take a little longer though.
Over the hills, rumours that Jewell would be getting his trusty sidekick on board to recreate the good times he and Chris Hutchings had at both Bradford and Wigan now seem unfounded. Instead he’s saved Steve Bruce any dilemma about putting a coach on the dole and taken Mark Seagraves as his assistant. Only time will tell whether Hutchings didn’t want the job, but it’s an interesting move given that Seagraves never quite had the, effect at the JJB, that Paul Jewell promised.
Joining Seagraves in the move to the Midlands are the trio of David Hamilton, Bill Green and Alan Tomlinson. There may be some twinges of regret from having to say goodbye to old boy Hamilton, but Green joined with a “Who!” and leaves with a “Who cares?”, the scouting at Latics has come in for a fair bit of stick over the last 18 months so I doubt anyone will be painting this as a backwards move for us.
Tomlinson? Well I’m no expert on physiotherapy, but after taking Alex Cribley’s job from him, the new boy didn’t do much better did he? In fact rumours surrounding Ryan Taylor’s prolonged absence from first team action put some of the blame on the medical team, which presumably your man was part of.
The final addition to Jewell’s team is Stan Ternant, on obvious Latics links there but those of up with long and obscure memories may remember an attempt to get him on board here earlier in Jewell’s reign. Derby fans excited by this prospect would do well to ask how well Jewell managed with an old head (Terry Yorath) to help him at Sheffield Wednesday.
Back on home turf, stories suggest that Jewell has also made moves for both David Lowe and Gary Walsh but with the youth team doing reasonably well at their level and Walsh a good experienced head it’s hoped that nothing happens on that front and that’s the end of the defections. Then again there’s a board member that we’d be happy for him to talk into a move, is there a race track in Derby?
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