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Getting to know Ryan Kidd

11 November 2016

Get to know all there is about Ryan Kidd. His football filled career, and current role as Youth Team Manager.

Ryan Kidd (Kiddo to the chosen few) is Head Coach for the Bury FC Youth team and what he doesn’t know about coaching and game plans is really not worth knowing. 

Ryan was born in Radcliffe and is married to Mirinda and they have two boys. It’s fair to say that his life is totally devoted to football, always was as a player and always will be as a coach or manager. 

He hates his day off, gets bored and under Mirinda’s feet; he just wants to be with his players and his colleagues. Mirinda is philosophical about her life with Ryan, she says she knew what she was letting herself in for when she married him and there is probably a lesson there for all wives, husbands and partners of those involved in football and she’s got it absolutely right!

Ryan was with Port Vale as an apprentice and was given a two year professional contract but then released in 1992, on a free transfer, before signing for Preston North End. Ryan ended up playing more than 320 games for the Lilywhites and went through as many highs and lows as you possibly can be in football.  He saw Preston promoted twice and three out of their four Play-off campaigns fail; the most memorable of which was losing the Play-off final for promotion to the Premiership in 2001 as North End lost to Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers at the Millennium Stadium. 

Ryan is no stranger to football’s great and the good and Ryan played together with David Moyes at Preston before Moyes became a coach, then manager for Preston. Ryan comments that Moyes was a very, very good manager and very highly motivated. In addition, he also played alongside David Beckham, who was on loan to Preston North End in 1994–95, when they finished fifth, but missed out, on the 1995 Play-off final after they lost 2 – 0, on aggregate, to Bury at the semi-final stage.

Ryan was forced to retire in November 2001 when, in a televised match against Barnsley on a Thursday night, he headed a ball about 20 minutes into the game and felt pins and needles. He was taken off and, by the following Monday, his playing career was finished. He had suffered a serious neck injury, a collapsed disc, which meant he could not safely head the ball again for fear of paralysis.

For his ten-years-service and more than 320 league and cup appearances for the "Lambs", Ryan was granted a testimonial match, in the summer of 2002, against Kevin Keegan's Manchester City. David Moyes, his Preston manager said of his retirement; "He has played a big part in the team for the last 10 years and I hope that after this disappointment he will get a good turn-out for his testimonial because he has been such a good servant."  In fact, more than 13,000 supporters attended his testimonial.

Ryan refers to his time after this injury as being ‘in the wilderness’. He carried on training for a while and then Simon Davey, who was with the PNE Youth at the time, encouraged him into coaching. He says he didn’t fancy it at first but then he took a session, found he could help and, after 12 years in the game, discovered that he was good at it. He got his UEFA “A” coaching licence within 2 years. 

Ryan first came to Bury in 2005, as manager of the Centre of Excellence and enjoyed it when Simon Davey, who was by this time, academy manager at Barnsley, asked him to join him at Oakwell and, in 2006, Bury let him go. Ryan ended up as assistant manager at Barnsley to Simon Davey and, although managing first team players in a Championship club was new to him, between them they kept Barnsley in the Championship for 3 years, on a low budget, beating both Liverpool away and Chelsea at home in the run up to the 2008 FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley. 

In 2010, Ryan and Simon paired up again when they both went to manage the first team at Darlington, in League Two. A couple of months later, Darlington were relegated out of the Football League.  Ryan followed this with a spell of working at Salford College, coaching boys who were tied into Manchester United’s Foundation. 

In February 2014, both the Gaffer and the Chairman convinced him to come back into full time football and he was duly appointed as Bury’s under-18's manager who, under his leadership, have gone from strength to strength; this is probably due to the highly intensive strategic conversations he has with Mark Litherland at 7 o’clock every Friday evening even whilst he is in the bath!

When asked about what he loves about his work, he is quick to say that the interaction with the players and staff is fantastic; he loves being out in the open every day, seeing the boys improve and going on to further their careers in football. He is too modest to say that he makes a difference, but he does. 

Ryan believes that Tom Pope has made a massive difference to our first team squad adding that his partnership with James Vaughan is a real positive and says “as an ex-centre half I wouldn’t want to come up against that partnership…it’s a lethal combination.”

Ryan is aspirational for the club and shares the vision of the Chairman’s five year plan indicating that the Championship is a real possibility and saying “if Burton can do it, I don’t see why we can’t.” 

He hates the M60 with a passion saying that it takes 3 hours a day out of his life which he cannot get back - a typical Ryan comment! But the move to Carrington has had a massive impact on Ryan and his training and preparation strategies. As a coach, he states “I have a third more training sessions with the boys and the quality of the surface suits how we play.” He finishes on a great line by saying “there are lots of coaches out there who are very jealous of what we have got and it wasn’t so long ago it was the other way round!”

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