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Club News

Curle Appoints New Backroom Staff

23 July 2021

© Eddie Garvey
Pictured LtoR: Alan Sheehan, Colin West, Keith Curle & Steve Collis.

Colin West, Alan Sheehan and Steve Collis have all joined to complete Keith Curle’s support staff after recently signing their respective contracts.

Assistant Head Coach - Colin West
The vastly experienced coach has worked alongside Head Coach Keith Curle on three different occasions at Notts County, Carlisle United and Northampton Town. The pair proved to be a formidable partnership especially during their time at the Cobblers as they produced a remarkable promotion to Sky Bet League One. 

West possesses an impressive playing career which began at Sunderland in 1980 and the forward would go on to play for clubs such as Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday and West Bromwich Albion. Overall, he managed to make over 550 appearances and, notably, scored 158 goals throughout his time as a player.

In November 1999, the 58-year-old started his coaching spell at Hartlepool United as Assistant Manager to Chris Turner. West helped guide them to survival before three consecutive play-off finishes in England’s fourth tier.

Following that, he earned himself a move to Sheffield Wednesday beside Turner before occupying coaching roles at Stockport County, Millwall and Southend United. The Wallsend-born man returned to Hartlepool after several years away from Victoria Park.

Whilst working with Curle, he has developed a host of talent on the training pitch such as Charlie Wyke, Jack Marriott and Charlie Goode, who all now apply their trade higher up the footballing pyramid. To add to this, West helped guide Carlisle to three top-half finishes in Sky Bet League Two which included an appearance in the play-offs.

First Team Player/Coach - Alan Sheehan
The immensely experienced defender returns to Latics after spending time on loan with the club in 2009 and will also occupy a coaching role in the next step of his career alongside Colin West and Keith Curle in order to enhance the development of the younger players.

Sheehan, who can operate at left-back and centre-back, has grown a reputation to be a resolute defender and a set-piece specialist with his wand of a left-foot. Throughout his career, he’s consistently delivered pinpoint corners as well as finding the back of the net from free-kicks, netting 30 goals across his playing spell.   

Most recently, he applied his trade at Northampton Town with our current Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach in Sky Bet League One after spending time with fellow third-tier side Lincoln City in the season prior.

Sheehan began his career in 2003 at Leicester City and after a loan spell with Leeds United, he joined the Yorkshire side permanently with the legendary Gary McAllister in charge of the Whites. 

In 2011, he put pen-to-paper on a deal with Notts County and he spent three-years at Meadow Lane which proved to be successful on an individual basis as he was awarded the club’s Player of The Year award for the 2013/14 campaign. 

Whilst at the Magpies, he helped develop and played alongside England international Jack Grealish and Scotland international Callum McGregor. Sheehan netted a penalty at Boundary Park on the last day of the season to ensure County’s Sky Bet League One status in 2014.

After spells with Bradford City and Peterborough United, Sheehan joined Luton Town and the 34-year-old played a vital role in the Hatters’ back-to-back promotions to the Sky Bet Championship. To add to this, he was named in the PFA Team of The Year as well as Luton’s Player of The Season for the 2017/18 campaign.

Overall, the Irishman has made 452 appearances in the EFL which include other clubs such as Leeds, Swindon and Bradford as well as representing his country at U21 level on five occasions.

Goalkeeping Coach - Steve Collis
Last season, Collis spent time coaching the ‘keepers at fellow Sky Bet League Two side Carlisle United as the Cumbrians maintained the status of conceding one of the least in the division with a host of talent in the department.

The 40-year-old began his coaching career with Rochdale in January 2013 and spent five-years with the club under Keith Hill’s second tenure at Spotland. Whilst at the Dale, Collis helped develop a host of talented shot-stoppers and he will be looking to replicate this at Boundary Park.

Born in Harrow, he started his playing spell at Barnet in 1999 before earning himself a transfer to Nottingham Forest. Collis’ best period occurred in Somerset at Yeovil Town as he notched up a vast amount of appearances for the Glovers.

Following that, the goalkeeper would go onto play for clubs such as Southend United, Crewe Alexandra and Northampton Town where he featured regularly before he transitioned into a player/coach at Rochdale. 

On the appointment of three new faces to his team, Head Coach Keith Curle said; “I’m pleased to finally get this confirmed. It’s a key part of being successful having a backroom staff that can support you and the players.

“I know Colin after working with each other on a number of occasions and have also worked with Alan both who have extremely high standards and I know they’ll make the most of the opportunity here.

“Along with Steve who has impressed us since arriving for pre-season and has excellent references regarding improving goalkeepers and his role as a coach in that department. This means they all bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the first team ahead of what will be a challenging but hopefully memorable season.

“We’ll continue to work hard behind the scenes to identify future targets but also improve and nurture the players we have at our disposal already.

“This is another positive step in the right direction and shows the club is supporting our vision.”

Colin West and Steve Collis have signed two-year deals, with Alan Sheehan on a one-year contract as a first team player/coach, with a focus on being part of Keith Curle’s coaching staff.

Welcome to Latics, Colin & Steve and welcome back Alan!

As a result, the club can now confirm Paul Butler departed before pre-season to pursue other opportunities after stepping up to assist Keith Curle during his interim charge for the second part of last season. The Head Coach indicating he had a desire to bring in his own personnel as part of the process this summer.

Whilst physiotherapist Harry McNeilly has recently left to take up a similar role at Blackpool in their department. Oldham Athletic would like to thank both for their service to the club over their different spells and wish them the best for the future. 

Harry Reddick remains part of the backroom team to continue his lead role on all medical matters along with other staff appointed last summer to support the First Team in sports science (Ross Mizen) and analysis (Jamie Powell).


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