ASHINGTON CFC boss Gary Middleton – stil looking to appoint a new assistant manager – has added former professional Jonathan Egen, pictured, to his backroom staff as a specialised goalkeeping coach.
Egen played for Sunderland, Dundee United and Berwick Rangers during his full-time days, then had a long serving span of 11 years from 1995-2006 at Bedlington Terriers, during which time he won 17 trophies under the managership of Keith Perry and Tony Lowery.
However, Egen, 39, a stores operator for a firm in Cramlington, is delighted to have landed his latest post with the Woodhorn Lane outfit.
He said: “I first came through Neil (Winskill) but obviously I played with Gary and Richie Bond at Bedlington.
“Neil is my mentor and I came in through that.
“Goalkeeper Karl Dryden had nobody working with him so I spoke to Gary and asked him if he wanted me to help, and he was more than obliging so I came along.
“I’m enjoying it and it is really good.
“Karl is at an age where he is still learning so it is good to come to work with someone who wants to learn – and he is doing really well.
“Before Saturday’s 2-0 win over Team Northumbria, we had been conceding a few goals, which is a bad point for the team, but from a coaching point of view you can work on certain things.
“The games are coming thick and fast at the moment so we are not getting much chance for training.
“We are doing little bits and pieces but once the midweek games start to die off then we’ll work a lot more in training.”
Dryden said: “Any help I can get is great and the fact that Jonathan is a goalkeeping coach is ideal.
“For warm-ups it means I can do my own thing then we come together towards the end.
“As yet we haven’t done any training away from match days so I’m look forward to doing that.
“It is a big help and more specific to what I need and keeps me on my toes with quick feet and handling, so when it comes to games I’m more alert.
“I’ve appreciated the help Jonathan has given me so far.”
Middleton said: “Jonathan is an ex-playing colleague of mine from my Bedlington days.
“He does a lot of youth football at present and he wanted to come in and get some experience and work with Karl Dryden for the qualifications he is doing at the moment.
“He is an asset and a help to the club.
“It’s difficult enough when you have two or three coaches trying to do something individual with the goalkeepers themselves and John is going to do that.
“It’s an ideal situation whereby he is giving up his time and giving Karl some advice.”