EDDIE NIEDZWIECKI feels that life has turned full circle for him . . . having joined Stoke City more than four decades after first attracting the attention of the Potters.
Niedzwiecki joined the Club earlier this month as first team coach following the appointment of Mark Hughes as manager.
He has, however, revealed that Stoke took a keen interest in him when he was a teenage goalkeeper still looking to make his way in the game.
The 54 year old Welshman explains: “In many ways my career has come full circle because as a 13 year old I came here on trial as a goalkeeper.
“They wanted me to come back, but in the meantime I’d gone to Wrexham and because it was my local club I signed for them.
“But I still can remember the day when my dad drove me to the old Victoria Ground and then we went for a trial.
“The Club has changed since those days, but it’s a solid and really good Club.”
Like Hughes and Mark Bowen, who has joined Stoke as assistant manager, Niedzwiecki had been out of the game since parting company with Queens Park Rangers in November of last year and was desperate for another opportunity.
“It eats away at you,” he says. “I was still going to games but got fed up of watching Sky Sports on a Saturday afternoon and watching the lads going about their work in the studio.
“I’ve been in the game for 37 years and it does eat away at you. It was a feeling of major disappointment when we lost our last job, we feel as though we’ve got a real point to prove although we don’t feel as though we did too much wrong at QPR.
“It was supposed to be a long-term job but it wasn’t in the end. That’s gone – we’re here now and we’re really looking forward to the challenge and getting stuck into the job.
“Mark has high demands and makes sure that, day-in day-out, players are working at their game.
“He demands from his players – if they slack he’ll be on to them – but he will create a really enjoyable environment, one that’s very structured, one that’s demanding, but done mostly with the ball and I think the players will be excited by that.”