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Southampton Re Sign Ex Central Defender
Tuesday, 27th Jul 2021 13:49

Saints have brought one of their old players back to St Mary's after 11 years away to work with the B side, welcome back to the club to Olly Lancashire, who has been much travelled since leaving back in 2010.

Saints have made a smart move in appointing Olly Lancashire as a player mentor for the B Team.

So what sort of role is a player mentor ?

Well in simple terms it is a sort of hybrid between being a coach and a player and it is becoming increasingly prevalent at some of the more forward thinking clubs.

Lancashire will be part coach and part player and will get game time for the B side with his role to be the leader on the pitch and help them through games, outside of matches he will assist the coaching staff and mentor the B team squad members to help them with their own development.

It is a role suited to someone who has been there and done it and Lancashire has certainly done that, he was born in Basingstoke and was a part of the Crystal Palace youth set up before joining the Saints academy, he started 11 games plus another two as sub for the first team and played in the first few games of the Markus Liebherr era before being loaned to Grimsby Town

After spending the best part of the 2009/10 season out on loan at Grimsby he joined Walsall on a free transfer at the age of 22.

He then became a journeyman footballer, going on to play for Aldershot, Rochdale, Shrewsbury, Swindon and his last club Crewe whom he left at the end of last season having played 22 League games in League One last season.

Now he is back at St Mary's and is well suited to this role, it is about helping those with their development who need help to progress and someone who has been through the same problems themselves is the ideal man for the job rather than s Premier League superstar.

Lancashire had this to say about his return:

“I’m delighted to be back, ll be here to train with the B team lads, to try and guide them, mentor them and prepare them for what is a very tough industry.

“Ultimately, we want as many of the players here to play for the first-team. Hopefully I can use my experience from playing professional football for 15 years.

“If I can teach them the character traits and the behaviours I was fortunate enough to learn here then it will stand them in good stead.”

Academy Director Matt Hale explained the thinking behind bringing Lancashire back in order to be integrated into the B Team set-up.

“It’s something that myself and Matt Crocker have had a good discussion about over the summer,” he said. “Olly is someone Matt knew from his time here before and, when it comes to the idea behind this, Olly ticks all of those boxes that we were after.

“He has a vast amount of experience playing league football, and that professionalism and characteristic that he’s got will be massive in terms of getting that across to our players.

“Olly will be a strong leader to take this group onto the next level and make sure we’re operating in the right way. He’s got a key role to play in that.”

In many respects this is exactly what the first team at St Mary's need, we lack and experienced leader in the squad, someone who can play when necessary, but who can organise and teach those around him, half our problem over the 4 years since the issues with Van Dijk and Fonte leaving have been the lack of a leader at the back and the likes of Bednarek, Stephens and now Salisu have had to learn the hard way with no one talking them through games and organsing.

Ok Olly Lancashire won't be great at Premier League level on this, but he will be at Academy level.

Welcome back Olly Lancashire for what is a very astute appointment by the club.

Saints B team are in action this evening July 27th at AFC Totton more details can be found using the link below.


Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 17:07 - Jul 28
You seemed to have summed up all the salient points about Olly ( Nick), and he is typical of the type journeyman player whose career moved him around a few L1/L2 clubs.

He never got near a regular start place in our (then) Championship / L1 days, and went out of the picture after the likes of Fonte and Jaidi joined the club.
He should be a good mentor for what will be our " very young B team squad " in the coming season and hopefully will be able to teach the lads how NOT to get red-carded so often, which Olly managed to do - on quite a few occasions during his career.

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