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Liam Rosenior: Derby County assistant manager once told 'you've got no chance of getting a job'

Liam Rosenior (left), Shay Given (centre) and Wayne Rooney (right)
Rosenior (left) joined Wayne Rooney’s (right) coaching team, alongside former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given (center)

When Liam Rosenior told a black England international footballer that he wanted to go into coaching when he finished his career, he was laughed at and told: “You’ve got absolutely no chance of getting a job.”

Rosenior has already proved that player wrong. The former Fulham, Hull City and Brighton player is Wayne Rooney’s assistant manager at Championship club Derby County.

He is part of a new coaching team that also includes former Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given and ex-Scunthorpe midfielder Justin Walker.

And the – year-old hopes he can be a role model and help increase the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic coaches in football. There are only five managers from an ethnic minority background in the EFL and the pathway for young black coaches is regularly discussed.

“It’s understandable why black players have felt that way, it’s something that motivates me to change that perspective from just being the best I can be every day,” says Rosenior, who cites his father, former Fulham striker and Torquay manager Leroy, as someone he looked to for inspiration.
“My dad was my role model. I saw my dad coaching. I saw my dad on the touchline, and I saw it was possible, “he says.

“Chris Hughton (Nottingham Forest manager) is another. We’re playing him on Friday and obviously it’s a big derby. I’m going to be really proud to be going against him because he was someone that I always looked up to.

“Seeing Chris working and playing for Chris inspired me to say if he can do it, I can do it.

“I’ve been at Derby now for months and three black players have come up to me said that they can now see coaching as maybe a possible option for them. “

Last week, four-time Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf said black coaches do not get the chances for top jobs in Europe. Rosenior thinks that although the numbers point to that being true, there is more to it.

“How you get the best people for the job is to be diverse in your thinking and for it to be open and inclusive in terms of the interview process, “he says.

“I love the American way of recruiting coaches in the NFL in the NBA because it’s so public. It’s so public that everybody knows who is on that team’s shortlist.

“If you see the shortlist then you say ‘OK, these guys have been interviewed’. You can tell what the diversity is in terms of that shortlist.”


Ferguson managed Rooney for nine years while at Manchester United

Former Manchester United and En gland striker Rooney took the Derby job permanently last month and that means that Rosenior is his first ever assistant manager.

He is enjoying working with Rooney and believes his years under Sir Alex Ferguson at United have helped shape him as a manager.

“I ‘m a Man Utd fan so that makes it even better. In the Sir Alex Ferguson years whenever you went to Old Trafford every member of staff, whether it’s steward or a physio, they were proud to represent Manchester United and felt important, “Rosenior adds.

“I think Wayne’s done that here in a short space of time. Every single member of staff, kit man, or whoever is important in us moving forward and being a part of a real team.

“The first thing we wanted to do was change the culture and have people enjoy being here but enjoy working hard, and I think the team now reflects that in our performances. “

Social media platforms have increased racial messages There have been many incidents recently of online racist abuse, with Manchester United players Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe targeted. So too Lauren James, her brother – Chelsea player Reece James – and his team-mate Antonio Rudiger.

This has led to Rosenior having multiple conversations with players at Derby about abuse on social media.

“You just never used to get it,” he says.

“The only racial abuse or any type of abuse would happen in the stands and terraces but now you have keyboard warriors who feel brave enough to write something, it’s so easy.

“I do not think that increased I just think that the platforms have increased those racial messages.

“It’s not just racism, sexism – I saw a female pundit make a point which was her point whether you agree with it or not. I think the overall reaction to what she said was completely over the top. “

While Rosenior believes that social media can be a positive platform – as seen by the work Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has done with free school meals for pupils in England who are struggling financially – he is concerned about future generations and tells his players not to read the negative comments.

“I can ‘t tell younger players not to use social media, it’s a massive part of their life but do not take notice of negative comments, do not read into whether your performance was good enough or not, just focus on doing the job that you love every day, “he says.


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