Sep 072014

Duncan Ferguson certainly made his mark as a player for Everton FC – and now he’s doing likewise on the training pitch.

Promoted by Roberto Martinez this year after impressing while working with Everton’s young players, those in the know at Goodison Park say Big Dunc’s influence on the Blues’ backroom team is growing all the time and he is now a key man in Martinez’s set-up at Finch Farm.

Plenty of former Blues players have tried their hand at coaching after retiring from playing – including some of Ferguson’s former teammates.

In fact, it is possible to put together an entire one-to-11 of players who Ferguson played alongside. 

Paul Gerrard

Gerrard spent eight years at Goodison Park after arriving from Oldham in 1996 for a fee of £1.5m. He moved into coaching after returning to Oldham in 2010. He coached at the Latics part-time, while also working for Shrewsbury Town. Eventually he was taken on permanently by Oldham and left the club with Paul Dickov when the Scot was sacked.

Gerrard has since moved to Doncaster Rovers and serves as goalkeeping coach for the League One outfit. 

Gary Ablett            

Ablett retired in 2001 after a brief spell in the USA with Long Island Roughriders and moved into coaching with Everton’s Under 17 team the following year.

He coached at Everton in various roles until 2006 when he did the reverse of his playing career and crossed back over Stanley Park, as he was appointed the manager of Liverpool Reserves. He left Liverpool in 2009 before having a brief spell in charge of Stockport County.

Passed away in January 2012, aged only 46, following a 16-month battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Slaven Bilic

The Croatian defender started his coaching career at former club Hajduk Split, before moving to coach his country’s Under 21s for two years. He was then appointed manager of the full team and managed Croatia for six years, leading his country to Euro 2008, beating England home and away along the way, and Euro 2012.

He left the post to join Lokomotiv Moscow in 2012 but was sacked after just one season. He’s now manager of Turkish outfit Besiktas.

Alan Stubbs

The Kirkby-born centre-back had two spells with the Blues as a player, from 2001-05 and 2006-08. After being forced to retire from the game in 2008 due to a knee injury while with Derby County, Stubbs returned ‘home’ and joined the coaching staff at Everton. He even interviewed for the vacant manager’s role last year, only to lose out to Roberto Martinez.

Stubbs was eventually given his first shot at senior management by Hibernian, in June 2014. Hibs have got off to a slow start, winning just one of their first four matches in the Scottish Championship.

Gary Naysmith

Naysmith, who spent seven years at Goodison Park after signing for the Blues in a £1.7m deal from Hearts. He moved to Huddersfield in 2007 before returning to Scotland with Aberdeen.

Naysmith began coaching last year when he was appointed player-assistant manager of East Fife and eventually was promoted to manager after Willie Aitchison left the club.

Mark Pembridge

The Welsh international spent four years at Everton after joining from Benfica in 1999, making more than 100 appearances for the Blues.

He moved to Fulham in 2003 and retired four years later after suffering a succession of injuries. Pembridge stayed with the West London outfit after his playing career finished, coaching in their academy and eventually becoming Under 15s manager and is now the club’s Under 16 coordinator.

Gary Speed

Speed retired from football in 2010 after playing almost 1,000 games as a professional footballer. He moved into coaching immediately with Sheffield United and when Kevin Blackwell was sacked he was appointed the new manager of the Blades.

With just four months of football management experience under his belt, and six wins, Speed was named manager of his country in February 2011 and he impressed during his time in charge of Wales, moving them from 117th in FIFA’s rankings to 45th by the end of the year.

The football world was stunned in November 2011 when Speed committed suicide. He was 42.

Scott Gemmill

Scotland midfielder Gemmill played for Everton for five years between 1999 and 2004 before moving to Leicester City. His coaching career got under way at Oxford United under Jim Smith before he signed on as a player/coach of the New Zealand Knights.

Gemmill now works for the Scottish FA, coaching the Under 19s with Billy Stark. He also managed the U17s at the 2014 European U17 Championships.

His dad Archie coached under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest and also had two seasons as manager of Rotherham United in the 1990s.

Andrei Kanchelskis

The flying winger was a club record signing when he finally completed a drawn-out £5m transfer from Manchester United in 1995.

Once his playing career had finished, he become sporting director of Russian first division outfit FC Nosta Novotroitsk in 2007. Relegation followed and Kanchelskis’ next stop was at FC Torpedo Moscow, with him being appointed manager in 2009. Kanchelskis then moved to FC Ufa but was fired in 2012 and replaced by his former Russia teammate Igor Kolyvanov.

Anders Limpar

After a club career which peaked with spells at Everton and Arsenal, the Swedish winger made a brief foray into coaching, starting with youth team at Djurgårdens IF. He also worked as assistant manager with Swedish second division team Sollentuna United, before perusing business interests away from football.

Daniel Amokachi

The man who helped fire the Blues into the 1995 FA Cup final was an occasional strike partner of Ferguson’s at Goodison.

Moving into management, he was boss of Nigerian side Nasarawa United and later Emyimba Aba. He has also had spells working with the Nigerian national team and was assistant manager of the Super Eagles at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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