FORMER STOKE CITY MIDFIELDER JOHN EUSTACE ON LIFE AS KIDDERMINSTER MANAGER

In April 2016 John Eustace joined National League North side, Kidderminster Harriers as he entered the world of management at the young age of 36.

With over 390 league appearances to his name for big sides such as: Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Watford and Derby, Eustace has a wealth of experience he can now pass down to his players.

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John Eustace (left) and Luka Modric battle for the ball during the FA Cup Fourth Round match.

Prior to joining Kiddy, the Solihull-born midfielder suffered a serious knee cartilage injury during his playing days with Derby County. This ruled Eustace out for the remainder of the 2014/15 season and he was released at the end of the campaign.

A number of young managers have started to take a player-manager role on their appointment at lower league clubs. Eustace spoke about this saying: “I wish I could play but unfortunately I had to retire due to a knee injury.”

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John Eustace enjoyed spells with teams such as Watford and Derby before retiring.

In his first year with Kidderminster, Eustace showed great promise as a manager when he secured a play-off place finishing second in the National League North with 82 points to their name.

Unfortunately for the 37-year-old, Harriers lost to Chorley 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals.

Speaking to ElWriteBack, the Harriers boss said: “Obviously, we were very disappointed losing in the play-offs but I am very proud of the young group of players who have developed on and off the pitch throughout the season.

“It will be a great learning experience for us all.”

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John Eustace just missed out on the play-off final last season with Kidderminster.

When looking at the season ahead, Eustace continued with: “Our plans are to be competitive in every game we play and to keep developing.

“We will be aiming to finish as high as possible and again be competitive in every game we play.”

As the transfer market is well underway, Kidderminster have already seen talented forward, Arthur Gnahoua join League One side, Shrewsbury.

Eustace went on to speak about his plans for this transfer window saying: “We are talking to a few targets at the moment in all positions.”

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John Eustace (right) has used his playing experience to become a promising young manager.

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