A FORMER Liverpool striker who played for the club during their glory days has been appointed as the Demon Knights’ new head coach.
Alan Waddle has been actively involved with the Premier League club since last season, providing coaching tips and tactics to former coach Steve Buckley.
When Buckley resigned from the position earlier this season, Waddle was approached to take on the role.
“There’s two players who are doing the coaching, actually putting the principles into play really, so I’m advising them,” he said.
“So it’s very similar to what I was doing previously.”
Waddle brings a wealth of experience to the role, having played for Liverpool FC from 1973 to 1977.
He described playing for the Reds alongside legends like Kevin Keegan and John Toshack as having the greatest impact on his long career.
“Though I only played four-and-a-half years of my life at Liverpool in 16 years, it had the most profound effect on my football career,” he said.
“I went from being a supporter in the north-east of England supporting Newcastle United when I was 15 to about three-and-a-half years later being in the dressing room with all these Liverpool stars.
“It was obviously the realisation of a dream to be able to not only play professional football but also to be at Liverpool.”
Waddle said the highlights of his time at Liverpool were scoring the winning goal in a Merseyside Derby in front of 57,000 people at Goodison Park in 1973, as well as playing in the FA Cup final against his hometown team Newcastle in 1974.
“Just being involved with the FA Cup final in Newcastle in 1974, when I was in the squad and that was my hometown team we were playing against, that was certainly a memorable experience,” Waddle told The Express.
After leaving Liverpool, the much-travelled Englishman enjoyed his most productive spell at Swansea City, scoring 34 goals in 90 appearances.
When his successful three-year stay ended in 1980, Waddle signed for Newport County before going on to play in Qatar and Hong Kong.
He retired from football in 1993 at the age of 39.
Waddle continued to live and work in England before a trip to Australia to visit his daughter in 2009 prompted him to stay, accepting an IT position in Armidale.
“I came over here on a holiday with no intentions other than to see my daughter,” he said.
“But I noticed an advertisement for a job that I do with the same sort of role that I was doing in the UK, so I came up to Armidale with my wife and we liked it.”
Waddle is hoping to pass on the Liverpool style of training to the Knights.
“I’m not trying to make it complicated for them, simply because I always believed in the Liverpool way, and it is a simple methodology of playing,” he said. “It’s just a matter of trying to correct the thought processes, to play things simpler.
“That being said, I say to them 25-30 yards from goal, take a chance and do something.
“But do it there and then; the other two-thirds of the field I preach safety and being precise with your passing, so that’s my philosophy.”
Waddle said that, despite the Knights’ slow start to the season, the team was well-placed to provide a challenge at home to Southern Conference leaders Tamworth this weekend.
“If we play really well like we did a few weeks ago and like we did last season, then we can give anyone a game,” he said.