Wednesday, 16 February 2011

284 Sean McAuley

Position : Left  back

Played : 1999-2000  to  2001-02

Appearances : 37

Goals : 0

Sean was signed from Scunthorpe in February 2000 because Parkin didn’t fancy Dean Stokes at left back. Sean ‘s career began at Old Trafford in 1988 but he was sold to St Johnstone in 1992 for £80,000 without having made a first team appearance. Sean made 62 appearances for them over three seasons with a brief loan spell at Chesterfield where he scored in his only appearance. He returned to England with Hartlepool in 1995 making 81 appearances over two seasons before moving on to Scunthorpe. He made 69 appearances for them in total but had fallen out of favour, having a loan spell at Scarborough in 1999.

Sean was given a generous two and a half year contract which I think influenced peoples’ opinions of him. My friend Mr P I recall had a real downer on him which was slightly unfair. He wasn’t atrocious but he was replacing a decent (though injury-prone) player and we expected a little more than a journeyman Third Division full back. The one notable feature of Sean’s play was that he struck the ball remarkably cleanly, the ball always flying arrow-straight from his boot. If he’d had any vision he’d have been a considerable asset.

In the summer of 2000 Lee Todd came to the club and Sean became an expensive spare part. He only made one League appearance in 2000/01 and it’s surprising that we didn’t loan him out that season. Despite the arrival of yet another left back in Matt Doughty in 2001 , Sean got more opportunities when Todd got injured. He failed to impress new manager John Hollins and left the club early, in April 2002, to play for Portland Timbers.

Sean returned to England in the summer to become player-coach of Halifax Town. In 2005 he retired to go to University then returned to football as a highly-rated coach and head of Sheffield Wednesday’s Academy. He has also had two spells as their caretaker manager.

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