Gerry loves the game just like I do – Cotterill
STEVE Cotterill says his old club Cheltenham Saracens are in safe hands under the guidance of Gerry Oldham.
Oldham's tenth season in charge of the Petersfield Park club was due to start with a home match against Oxford City Nomads today (3pm) in the Hellenic League Premier Division.
Cotterill took Cheltenham Town from the Southern League to League One between 1997 and 2002 and has since managed Stoke City, Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest.
But he said Oldham shares the same passion for the game, despite operating further down the footballing ladder.
Traditional Shave, Facial Treatment, Whisky and a Shoe Shine -...View details
Gents, enjoy a traditional shave, facial treatment, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £31
Terms: Early and later appointments available upon request.
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
The pair grew up together in Cheltenham and remain in regular contact.
"Gerry loves football as much as I do and he eats, sleeps and drinks it," Cotterill said.
"From age of ten, we played youth football together at Saracens, had trials at Cheltenham Town and played Sunday morning and Saturday football."
Cotterill was keen to involve Oldham at Cheltenham during his reign as manager.
"Gerry was someone I tried to get to Cheltenham when I was manager and I wanted him to run the youth team," Cotterill said.
"I couldn't afford to bring him in on a full-time basis at the time, but he would have been good for the club.
"I wanted someone who knew all the young players in the area and Gerry does and he's not adverse to knocking on doors and persuading players to sign.
"A lot of young lads in the area will be thankful to him for giving them a chance in football, when they might have otherwise ended up doing something unruly.
"He'd have given them some stability and discipline and he's not only been a parent to his own children but to many other lads at Saracens too."
Bournemouth-based Cotterill always knows that if things are not going particularly well, Oldham will always be on the other end of the phone to put the world to rights.
"He is a really good friend and someone I trust implicitly," Cotterill said.
"He'll ring me up and ask how I am and after ten minutes he knows that fire is still in my belly. It's not when we've won or been promoted, but when he thinks I need his support and that's the measure of a true friend."