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Archived News from September 2004

WATKISS APPOINTED ACADEMY MANAGER AT BARNSLEY
13th September 2004 21:12


NEW APPOINTMENT AT OAKWELL
http://www.barnsleyfc.co.uk

BARNSLEY FC can today confirm that Stuart Watkiss has been appointed the Club's new Academy Manager.

The 38-year-old former Mansfield Town manager steps in to the position vacated by Andy Ritchie, who is now the club's first team coach.

Stuart started his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the mid-1980s but dropped out of the professional game after a year with Crewe Alexandra and spent six years playing non-league football with Rushall Olympic. The pro door had not swung shut completely and after impressing for the West Midlands side he was signed by Walsall in 1993 before making more than 70 appearances for the Bescot Stadium side.

He also had a spell with Hereford United before arriving at Mansfield Town in 1996. He made his Mansfield debut on the opening day of the 1996/7 season and was installed as club captain just three games later after boss Andy King was dismissed. King's replacement at Field Mill incidentally was former Reds boss Steve Parkin.

A long-standing ankle injury eventually called time on his playing career in July 1998. He made 141 first team appearances for five different clubs.

After retiring from the game, Stuart spent time working with the Centre of Excellence at Field Mill and brought success to the Stags youth side as well as a number of home-grown players through to the first team, including Liam Lawrence and Bobby Hassell.

He made the step up to Assistant Manager at Field Mill in the summer of 2001 and enjoyed success alongside Billy Dearden. Dearden quit as Stags manager in January 2002 with Stuart confirmed as Mansfield's new boss just days later. He guided Mansfield Town into Division Two the following May but a difficult start to life in a higher league caught up with Stuart come December 2002.

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