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CCF Rebooted 29: Stephen Jordan
Wednesday, 15th Jun 2022 12:48 by AtThePeake

As we continue our odyssey through the Steve Eyre era, you'll be unsurprised to find out today's CCF recalls yet another former Manchester City player who rocked up at Dale in 2011 in Stephen Jordan.

Position: Left-back/Centre-back

Arrived from: Sheffield United

Left for: Dunfermline Athletic

Played : 2011-2012

Appearances : 19

Goals : 0

To be fair to Eyre, this seemed like a move to bring in some much-needed experience as Jordan had featured heavily in higher divisions for the Cititzens in comparison but in reality, it proved to be another below-par signing to add to his repertoire.

Jordan enjoyed a solid start to his career, having come through the ranks with his boyhood club Manchester City, having been with the club since the age of 8. Despite being promoted into the first-team squad in 2000, he wasn't given any minutes and even took his time to move away on loan, eventually joining Cambridge in 2002, where he made 11 appearances in the fourth tier.

He made his City debut later that season as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat to Bolton, and his career is surely best remembered for a terrific man of the match display at Old Trafford in the Manchester Derby, making a goal-line clearance as City earned a hard-fought goalless draw against their then more illustrious rivals.

After that display, Jordan did nail down a first-team spot for some time, playing 19 times in the latter stages of the 2004/2005 campaign and convincing Stuart Pearce to hand him a new two-year deal at the end of that season.

Unfortunately for Jordan, injuries meant that he was never quite able to gain a consistent run of games after that season as he competed with the likes of Ben Thatcher and later Michael Ball for a starting berth and he was released at the end of that contract in 2007, when he dropped into the Championship to join Burnley.

Those injury issues did continue to hamper him at Turf Moor, although Jordan made a total of 73 appearances for the Clarets, helping them to win promotion in 2008/2009 and then playing in 25 of their 38 Premier League games the following season.

Again though, at the end of his contract, Jordan found himself released and this time he joined Sheffield United, where again injuries and a change of management would hold him back somewhat. Now playing as a central defender as often as in his more natural left-sided position, he played just 15 times for the Blades in a season that included a six-game loan spell at Huddersfield.

With injuries now seriously taking their toll, Jordan found himself without a club until October following his release in the summer of 2012 from Bramall Lane, but his former Manchester City youth coach Steve Eyre was on hand to bring him into Spotland on non-contract terms.

And to be fair to Eyre, this did seem to be one of his better decisions at first. Jordan brought a much-needed level of experience and cool headedness to a fractured backline. His ability to play in a handful of different positions made him a versatile option and he put in some decent displays in his first few weeks at the club, including in a goalless draw with Yeovil after which he was offered an 18 month deal.

Unfortunately, this decision proved to backfire pretty spectacularly. The club offered the deal despite Steve Eyre having already left the club and in the end, there seemed to be a clash of personalities with new boss John Coleman, who played Jordan for a couple of months before completely freezing him out of the team.

By this point, his performances had dropped off quite dramatically and very few Dale fans were asking questions about his absence. His contract was cancelled with 12 months remaining by the end of the season, allowing Coleman to bring in his friend Kevin McIntyre to play at left-back and allowing Jordan to move north of the border to join Dunfermline Athletc.

He made 20 appearances during his time at East End Park, finally scoring his first career goal, but was told to find a new club when the Pars entered administration later in the season. He moved back to his native north-west to join Fleetwood Town, where he perhaps enjoyed the most consistent spell of his career.

Jordan immediately helped the Cod Army to win promotion from League Two and ended up playing a total of 73 league games, scoring once, mostly in League One. Unfortunately, injuries eventually took their toll again and aged 34 he dropped out of professional football to sign a semi-pro deal with Chorley Town.

During his two year spell at Victory Park, Jordan studied for a degree in physiotherapy and when after finally retiring from playing in 2018, he would spend time as first-team physio at Salford City. He is now working as a physio in his home town of Warrington.

To be honest, I think I saw Jordan play two or three decent games for Dale and missed some of his worse displays due to University commitments, so I'm happy to admit I probably misjudged him as the supporters were never particularly happy with him despite a solid enough start to his career with us.

Photo: Action Images

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