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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 14:47 GMT
Redfearn relishing new challenge
By Pete Oliver

Neil Redfearn
After playing almost 1,000 senior games and scoring just shy of 200 goals, Neil Redfearn is ready for the latest challenge of a prolific career.

Redfearn has no plans to hang up his boots, but the 40-year-old midfielder will now share the workload with his first job as a manager.

Conference strugglers Scarborough have turned to Redfearn to revive their fortunes after a dismal start to the season that has left them anchored to the foot of the table.

And after taking the step up from his role as player-coach to succeed Nicky Henry, he feels the time is right to become the boss.

"I have made no secret of the fact that I wanted to go into management and football throws situations at you in different ways," Redfearn told BBC Sport.

"I envisaged Nicky being in the job longer than he was, but these things happen and you have to take chances when they come along.

"I love football and I have been blessed to have been in it since I was 16. I still want to do the right things and do well. And if I get a fair crack of the whip and a bit of luck, I think I can produce."

Nottingham Forest (trainee)
Bolton Wanderers (1982-84)
Lincoln City (1984-86)
Doncaster Rovers (1986-87)
Crystal Palace (1987-88)
Watford (1988-90)
Oldham Athletic (1990-91)
Barnsley (1991-98)
Charlton Athletic (1998-99)
Bradford City (1999-2000)
Wigan Athletic (2000-01)
Halifax Town (2001-02)
Boston United (2002-04)
Rochdale (2004)
Scarborough (2004-)
Redfearn's 15-club career means that he has played under an almost countless number of managers and coaches.

He started out as a teenage apprentice with Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest, found his feet at Lincoln City with the verbose Colin Murphy and later played in the Premiership for both Alan Curbishley and Paul Jewell.

"You've got to draw on that sort of experience and I will take little bits that I need and put them in place with my own ideas," Redfearn said.

"Football, like life, is about opinions and I have to make sure my opinion counts."

Another major influence in Redfearn's career was Barnsley coach Eric Winstanley, and the two have been reunited at the McCain Stadium - with Winstanley coming in as assistant manager.

At Oakwell, the pair played key roles in Barnsley's rise to the Premiership in 1997 and Redfearn believes the partnership can prosper again.

He added: "One of the main bonuses of the Scarborough job is that I have got Eric here as well. He has got tremendous experience, has done every job in football and is an excellent coach.

"With the good side we had at Barnsley he was 80% of everything that happened on the pitch with his organisation and style of play.

"He's also fantastic with young players, like Andy Liddell, Nicky Eaden and Dave Watson at Barnsley, and we have got good kids here who will benefit.

"We were together for eight years when I was club captain and he was coach and we understand each other. He knows what I want on the football side and we will rub off on each other."

Redfearn previously dipped his toe in the managerial waters with two spells as caretaker-boss at Halifax Town, one of five Yorkshire clubs he has played for.

Eric Winstanley
Redfearn is enjoying working with Eric Winstanley again
His first stint was a success but the anticipated job offer did not stack up and when Redfearn replaced Alan Little five months later, Halifax "needed snookers" to stay in the League.

In his second season with Scarborough, Redfearn again takes over a club in relegation trouble. But with plans for changes in tactics and personnel, he is more optimistic about the outcome.

"Everybody is well aware of the situation but with new faces and different ideas, things look different," said Redfearn, whose sole game as temporary boss saw Scarborough fight back from 2-0 down to draw with Aldershot.

"We have lost one or two supporters with the results we've had but there were 1,700 there on Saturday who wanted to see what's happening.

"We've got to capture their imagination, get some results and get up that league, because this can be a very good little club."


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