I have opted to start a new feature called ‘Do You Remember’, which focuses on a player who played both for us, and the upcoming opposition.
It might be like some of my other features, that simply crumble away, but it is a way of me putting some content out to help get the juices flowing for the game. In this instance, I’m asking: do you remember Nicky Eaden?
Nicholas Jeremy Eaden is a Barnsley boy, born in 1972. He came through the ranks of his hometown team, signing professional terms in 1992 and helping them to promotion to the Premier League in 1997; he was also named in the PFA Team of the Year that season. Following their relegation, he was a key part of their squad that made it to the play-off final in 2000, a game in which they were beaten 4-2 by Ipswich Town.
He then moved to Birmingham City, where he enjoyed a good two years. In 2001 they made the League Cup Final, where they drew 1-1 with Liverpool, losing on penalties. The following year he was part of the Blues squad that made the play-off final, again sealing promotion to the Premier League. Eaden didn’t play in their draw with Norwich, which they won on penalties, and was later sold to Wigan.
Promotion came easy for the right-back, and he was a big part of the Latics side that earned a double promotion, from the third tier in 2002/03, and then as runners up in the Championship in 2004/05. In 2003, he was again named in the PFA Team of the Season. He played 117 times in the league for them, but didn’t step up to the top flight, Instead, he got a move to Forest.
His time there was challenging, and in two years he played just 28 league games. That led him to us, firstly via a loan, appearing 17 times. That was during the halcyon days of John Schofield’s first season in charge, and the exciting start to the season. He made his debut in our first meeting with Accrington Stanley after their promotion to the Football League and started big games away at Barnet (5-0) and at home against Rochdale (7-1). He signed permanently in the transfer window, and we immediately fell away. His first game as a permanent Imp was a 3-1 defeat at Notts County, and we only won four of his 18 outings, having won 12 of his 17 appearances on loan. He was released at the end of the season.
After brief stints with Halesowen and Solihull Moore, he moved to Kettering Town where he helped them to a Conference North title in 2008. He later stepped up to assistant manager under Mark Cooper, moving to Peterborough when Cooper got the Posh job. He has also worked as Leicester U21 coach, Rotherham United assistant manager and bossed Nuneaton, Hednesford and Kettering.