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Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008

Old friends reunited at The Den

Kenny Jackett and Gary Waddock
Gary Waddock's Aldershot are a division lower than Millwall
As Millwall manager Kenny Jackett and Aldershot boss Gary Waddock square up on the sidelines this weekend, it will be a case of deja vu all over again.

There will be a familiar feeling when they shake hands because these two first met a long time ago as callow 12-year-olds playing for the same Sunday team.

Reflecting on the past Gary Waddock said: "I've known Kenny a long time. We played in the same Sunday league side going back and then we played against each other as professional footballers."

They came face-to-face on the pitch when Watford played Queens Park Rangers. Jackett spent his entire playing career at Watford, before he was forced to retire through injury meanwhile Waddock played for six different clubs.

"We then went down the coaching and management route, Kenny went down a very similar route to me and we were at QPR together. He was the assistant manager and I was the youth team coach," Waddock added.

But despite striking up a good friendship over the years Waddock can expect anything but a warm welcome in the Lions' Den when he takes his Aldershot side to face Jackett's Millwall in the second round of the FA Cup.

Speaking ahead of the big clash, Jackett said: "I know their manager really well and I know he'll have them well organised, well drilled and it won't be an easy game for us.

"Without a doubt, we'll know quite a bit about each other in terms of players and both clubs but it's a great opportunity for us to take a home game and try to get through to our aim which is the third round.

"We got through a tricky tie at Chester and now we have Aldershot and we won't be underestimating the opposition whatsoever.

"The third round opens lots of avenues for the club: financial, the profile of the club, the national profile and it's very good experience for the players. For many many reasons it's a tremendous competition and one we want to progress in."

And their many encounters over the years will probably have them second guessing each other's next tactical move on the pitch. But what will it really be like facing an old friend in the dug-outs?

"We'll have a chat before and after and wish each other the very best but you have get on with the job in hand but you know it will be nice to see him again," Waddock added.

"He'll be in his technical area and I'll be in mine. I'm sure for the 90 minutes he'll want to win no different to me. We'll shake hands before and we'll catch up then."

But behind the fighting talk it is clear how much respect and affection there is between the two.

"You always look at people and see how they work and he was very professional, very thorough. Player-wise he would know everyone, attend reserve games, first team games," Waddock added.

"His knowledge is fantastic, he has taken that all into his Millwall job and what a good job he's doing."

And the compliments were not all one sided as Jackett continued: "Aldershot have done tremendous in recent times.

"Gary Waddock has done an excellent job and they play very good football and are on a successful run of a couple of seasons because they've made a good impression on League Two."

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see also
Millwall 3-0 Aldershot
29 Nov 08 |  FA Cup


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