10 months agoLee Clark joins Tribalfootball: Newcastle & Fulham so special to me

first_imgLee Clark joins Tribalfootball: Newcastle & Fulham so special to meby Andrew Maclean10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWe here at Tribalfootballare proud to announce our new guest columnist for 2019, former Newcastle United and Fulham midfielder Lee Clark.Lee brings with him almost 30 years of experience playing and managing in the Premier League and across the Football League. As a player, Lee quite literally lived the dream. Not many players get to play for their boyhood heroes, let alone help reignite an entire city. But that’s what Clark did, having played 46 league games as a 20-year-old in Newcastle’s record breaking 1992/93 season, which ended their four-year exile from the top flight.It was a golden period for Toon. In the 1995-96 season, when Kevin Keegan’s side, dubbed ‘The Entertainers’, famously finished second behind Manchester United.The likes of David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Faustino Asprilla and Peter Beardsley lit up St. James’ Park on a regular basis and Clark was right there alongside them. He says the experience helped raise his game to another level.”Absolutely, every training session and game really, really mattered,” Clark tells Tribalfootball. “We could never rest on our laurels even in training, you knew you had someone, senior players, internationals. “And you knew that one, you wanted to get a place in the team. And two, you wanted to keep it, which was the hardest bit. You had to perform every single day in training. I think that’s the reason why most players during that period had there most successful time of their careers, really.”In 1997, Clark crossed the north-east divide for a brief two-year stint at Sunderland under Peter Reid and helped the Black Cats lift the First Division trophy in 1999. Fulham then paid £3m for Clark’s signature in the early days of the Mohamed Al Fayed revolution. Clark secured his status as a promotion specialist when he picked up another First Division title in 2001. Wearing the captain’s armband, Clark led the Cottagers to their then-highest Premier League finish in 2003/04. Speaking about his six-years in west London, Clark says: “I love the club. The people there, the way me and my family got treated. “The six years I had there as a player were magnificent. We had a great time and I love going back. And it’s quite ironic that it’s Newcastle vs Fulham at St. James’ on Saturday. I’ll be at the game and it will be pulling on the heartstrings really because I want neither of them to be involved [in the relegation battle].”And also another club close to me where my managerial career started, Huddersfield, they’re down in the mix as well. So it’s like I don’t want any one of these three to go down, but unfortunately I think that’s the way its going to be.”There was no break from football for Clark, who immediately joined United’s coaching staff after retirement in 2006. Two years later, he would take up the manager’s position at Huddersfield, spending four successful years in Yorkshire before joining Birmingham City in 2012.Stints at Bury, Blackpool and Kilmarnock have followed and at just 46 years of age, Clark still has plenty left to give to the game.”You learn from the ups and you learn from the downs. I’m a much improved manager than I ever was from the start. And I’m wanting to get back in. I love it. I love being on the graft. I love coaching players and trying to improve them. “I’m absolutely wanting to get back in the game but you know everything has to be right for me and also its not just the U.K, I’d quite enjoy and it would be a good test to work abroad.” TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorAndrew Maclean FollowShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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