Tuesday, 22 March 2011
313 Alan McLoughlin
Position : Midfield
Played : 2001-02
Appearances : 18
Goals : 1
Alan was a free agent when John Hollins signed him , training with his old club Swindon after having his contract cancelled at Wigan. Alan started out at Manchester United but didn't make the grade and joined Swindon in 1986. His style didn't fit with Lou Macari's long ball tactics and he had a long loan spell with Torquay before establishing himself at Swindon under Ossie Ardiles. As the forward man in the famous "diamond" formation he was a key player and scored the winning goal in the play-off final in 1990. He also made Ireland's World Cup squad making two substitute appearances in the group games. Swindon were then denied promotion for financial irregularities which caused them to sell Alan to Southampton for £1 million. He struggled to impress there and after 24 appearances and an abortive loan spell at Villa he joined Portsmouth in 1992 for £400,000. Alan found his form again and became club captain. He became a regular for Eire and scored the goal against Northern Ireland that took them to the 1994 World Cup, one of 2 goals in 42 international appearances. In December 1999 he left Portsmouth after 309 appearances and 59 goals and joined Wigan for £260,000. Injuries restricted him to just 22 appearances and one goal and his contract was cancelled in 2001.
Alan made his debut in the rout at Kidderminster . He looked out of shape and took time to find his feet. After a few games he was dropped to the bench but came on in the second half at Halifax and looked a lot sharper. He gave a virtuoso performance in the home game against Plymouth , clearly two yards ahead of everyone else on the pitch in his reading of the game, although he did make a cock-up for their third goal. He became absolutely vital to our cause, the team slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Torquay when he didn't play. He scored his last League goal on his 35th birthday in our final match at home to Bristol Rovers with a twice-taken penalty.
Hollins released him in May and he went to Forest Green as player-coach. He retired from playing after one season. He now works for Radio Solent.