Les Is Great for the Job - Summerfield; 'He Gains a Lot of Respect'

Article excerpt

Byline: NICK HILTON

TRANMERE'S new assistant manager is happy to admit he made his journey into professional football coaching by the conventional route.

Kevin Summerfield the player (more than 400 games for half a dozen league clubs) became Kevin Summerfield the youth coach, then first-team coach, then assistant manager.

For most of the last 10 years, Summerfield worked as No 2 to a manager, Paul Sturrock, who also progressed through the game by the traditional route.

Then Summerfield met Les Parry and the seeds were sown for a new partnership with a manager who is writing his own conventions in the job at Prenton Park.

Parry did not play the game professionally. He worked in a shipyard. His primary preparation to taking charge of team affairs at Rovers in the early months of last season was two decades of service as the club's physiotherapist.

But conventional or not, Summerfield believes Parry has the skills and abilities that make him a smart fit for the demands of football management.

"The thing about Les is he has a clear vision of what he wants," Summerfield said.

"He is a very well educated chap and looks at football differently to the way in which other managers have looked at it before. It's not just about the football, it's the psychological aspects Les is good at.

He knows how to work with people."

The former coach at Shrewsbury Town, Plymouth Argyle, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town added: "Les is different. He gains a lot of respect for that. He has been a physio for the best part of 20 years and that is the job where you learn most about players.

"He has been a friend to them. He knows what is going on with them. The physio becomes a font of all knowledge about how players think and about relationships in the dressing room. And Les is really good at it.

"I've been to a management course at Warwick University which is run by the League Managers Association.

"There were people on the course with different strengths and weaknesses and they teach you the side of the game that as a coach, I'm not good at. …