The Ultimate Opportunity to Make Your Dad Proud
Paul Ince, the newly appointed Notts County manager, has recently signed his son, Tom, on loan from Liverpool. The young midfielder can now join an exclusive list of players, who have experienced the pleasure, or quite possibly the pain, of working for their father.
There are some famous names from way back in the past, but the current generation will be more familiar with the likes of Harry and Jamie Redknapp. They are the modern face of footballing fathers and sons. Jamie was given his professional debut at Bournemouth in 1989, who were then managed by Harry, before going on to be signed by Liverpool, a year and a half later. Fast forward a few years and Harry had hit the managerial big time, with stints in charge of South Coast rivals, Portsmouth and Southampton. Jamie, was given the daunting task of facing these sides, managed by his dad, during his time at both Liverpool and Tottenham. The pair were days apart from being reunited again at Southampton during their struggle to stay in The Championship, but Harry had resigned in order to return to Portsmouth. Their have been rumours that Harry has asked Jamie to come in and help with coaching at his current club, Tottenham, ironically an ex-club of Jamie’s. Jamie is rather hesitant to enter the world of management, given the reputation his father has managed created for himself. He is enjoying his work as a pundit for the time being.
Manchester City starlet, Vladimir Weiss, who is currently on loan at Rangers, has also experienced playing under his dad’s management. His father, who has the same name, is in charge of the Slovakian national side. Vladimir Snr, who has been in charge of Slovakia since 2008, granted his son the honour of his first international cap in 2009. Because of this, Vladimir Snr was accused of favouritism as Vladimir Jnr had not broken through at Manchester City and barley had any real match experience under his belt. The only real professional experience he boasted were 8 Slovakian-U21 games. During a loan spell at Bolton in 2010, Vladimir Jnr was still unable to force his way into the starting line up on a permanent basis, making only 13 appearances. Despite this, his father still called him up to the Slovakian squad for the World Cup in South Africa. People began to see what Vladimir Snr saw in his son, he impressed in the three appearances he made for the national side during the World Cup, as Slovakia made history and qualified for the last 16 after beating Italy.
The player dubbed, Mr Chelsea, Frank Lampard, has played under his dad during the start of his career. However, his dad, also Frank, was only the assistant manager at West Ham. Luckily for Frank Jnr, his dad wasn’t the only member of family in a position of power at West Ham. The manager at the time when he was coming through the ranks was Harry Redknapp, who was his uncle. Harry gave Frank Jnr his big break and allowed him to establish himself as a key member of the London side.
Leeds United defender, Alex Bruce, is another player who was given his professional debut by his father. Steve, who was managing Birmingham City at the time, signed his son on a free transfer in January 2005. Alex was unable to force his way into the first team. He ended up being sent out on loan to three different clubs, Oldham, Sheffield Wednesday and Tranmere, during 2005. In total, Alex only made six appearances for Birmingham and the combination of relegation to the Championship and accusations of nepotism led to the pair deciding it would be best if they parted ways.
Finally, a son who has not been scared to go on and become a manager, despite his dad being one of, if not the most, well known and successful managers in history. Darren Ferguson, is yet another player to be given his professional debut by his dad. Two years after his debut, Darren, was able to adequately fill the void left by Bryan Robson’s absence through injury, during the 1992-93 season. Having made 15 appearances that season, he also qualified to receive a League winners medal after Manchester United claimed the title. He was very much a squad player throughout his time at United and after four years with the club, he was transferred to Wolves, in search of first team action. Immediately after hanging up his boots Darren decided to go into management. His managerial career got off to a fairytale start, two back-to-back promotions in three seasons at Peterborough. Darren’s managerial career then began to stall, as his club were unable to cope with the demands of Championship football. Darren resigned in November 2009, leaving his former club bottom of the table. Now manager of Preston, Darren is using his relationship with his father to his advantage by signing some of Manchester United’s bright young talents on loan.
If there wasn’t already enough pressure on players to produce a certain level of performance for their club, then the added fear of disappointing your dad can’t help matters. Some players could be cursing their luck for having to play under their dad, having to take orders from him at home and at work, but most of the examples listed here have been given a big break by their dad, the chance to impress that has gone on to kick-start their career. It remains to be seen what impact Tom can make at MK Dons under the watchful eye of his father.