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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 12 May 2011 17:01 UK

Andy Sinton aims for first promotion as manager

Andy Sinton
Sinton is in his first year in charge at Telford

Nick Southall
BBC Radio Shropshire

As a player Andy Sinton will be remembered with fondness by the supporters of Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford, Wolves and Burton Albion.

He started his professional career as a 16-year-old with Cambridge United, where the winger became the youngest player to represent the club.

Capped by England for the first time in 1991, after catching the eye of England boss Graham Taylor while playing for QPR, he was transferred to Sheffield Wednesday for £2.75 million in 1993.

Around the same time his England career came to an end in the 7-1 win at San Marino and Sinton became one of those to pay the price for England's failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

As a player his highest point came when Tottenham won the 1999 League Cup final, beating Leicester City 1-0.

Now the 45-year-old wants to add to his achievements as a player by gaining promotion with AFC Telford United to the top-flight of English non-league football.

"For me personally it would rank up there with playing for England," Sinton told BBC Radio Shropshire.

While it is not the same as playing in front of 48,000 fans in an international match against the Netherlands, Telford do attract crowds averaging well over 2,000 for every home game.

"To manage a club like Telford, to get it to where everyone thinks it should be, back in the Conference would be very special. We've got one final push, I would much sooner be remembered on Sunday evening for winning the final than losing it."

United are seen by many as one of the big clubs at their level, so the combination of an ambitious supporters-run club and Sinton appears to have worked.

In his first year in charge at the Bucks Head, Sinton has guided Telford to second place in the Blue Square Bet North and a win against Guiseley on Sunday in the play-off final will earn him promotion.

"I want to manage in the Football League ultimately and I want to do that with Telford. There's something very special about this place, it could be one of the giants of non-league football. I want to take it on a journey and hopefully that will be the Football League," Sinton added.

If the Bucks do get to the Blue Square Bet Premier, they will return to the level they were at seven years ago under Mick Jones, when the collapse of chairman Andy Shaw's business empire led to demotion by three divisions.

Promotions against Kendal Town and Witton Albion have helped them reach this stage.

Former England legends Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks had short stints as the manager at the Bucks Head in the 1970s. But Sinton will be hoping to outshine his more illustrious predecessors by improving on their record with the club.

He had little time to assemble his squad before the start of the season and has kept faith with a number of players who under-achieved in their last campaign.

The ex-England man is still cutting his teeth as a football boss but if things go right this weekend it could be the start of a flourishing career for Sinton the manager.

Listen to full match coverage of AFC Telford United against Guiseley in the Blue Square Bet North play-off final from 1400 GMT on BBC Radio Shropshire 96 fm, DAB digital radio and online at bbc.co.uk/shropshire on Sunday.



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