It’s not the most surprising news of the summer, but former Tottenham and Swindon defender David Kerslake has left his role as assistant manager of the club.
His departure is not the only one thus far today: Richard O’Donnell, cited as first-team coach and senior professional development phase lead coach, has also left the club. Certainly, the departure of Kerslake was not a surprise, given that he has been coaching the Justin Edinburgh academy and was named on there as a ‘most recently‘ having been our assistant manager. That indicated a departure, but today it has been confirmed.
I can’t talk about Richard O’Donnell I’m afraid, but I did get to speak to Kers and he seemed a decent chap. He was reticent to discuss his time at Spurs, which saw him play in the same team as the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann, and when I asked him questions about his playing experience he was keen to steer away from it. He did say he would be happy to do such an interview in the future, but it never materialised.
I think it is hard to assess the input of an assistant manager, certainly outside of the collective. The only time I can think an assistant did something notable was when Neil McDonald came in and clearly gave Peter Jackson’s sides a boost; other than that, the assistant is there to assist the manager and therefore can only really be judged on the overall performance of the manager. I felt Michael Appleton did well for us, so therefore I guess the same can be said for Kers.
I did want to ask him about Anthony Gerrard’s comments from his time at Cardiff, but how do you possibly go about that in a club interview? You can’t, and anyway I took him as I found him; just part of Michael’s staff. I’d been told we’d never have been able to lure a David Kerslake figure to the club if it weren’t for Michael, and that was one interesting comment for me. Surely, anyone coming here should be coming for the project, not just one man? Maybe it was an attempt to ‘big up’ the appointment, but it did reinforce that feeling he was here with Michael, not Lincoln City.
Still, he’s not here now, and whatever he does go on to do, I wish him the best of luck. He was still part of the management team that took us to within a whisker of the Championship and for that, I’ll always have respect for him.