Saturday, November 24, 2012
John Ruddy is the not the only member of Norwich’s squad who will be able to catch up with old friends at Everton.
Chris Hughton also has a strong link to Goodison Park in the shape of cultured former Toffees’ midfielder and now Everton U18s coach Kevin Sheedy.
Hughton roomed with Sheedy during an epic Italia 90 World Cup qualifying adventure for Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland that saw the boys in green reach the quarter-finals before losing to hosts Italy.
“Chris Hughton is a good friend, I played a lot of times with him with Ireland and I got to know him really well at that World Cup,” said Sheedy. “We were over in Malta for two weeks doing altitude training and then in Italy itself at the tournament and when you room with someone for about a month, you get to know them well.
“I’m really pleased that he has done well in his managerial career and he has been successful at every club he’s been to. He’s doing a good job at Norwich and it will be a tough game for us on Saturday.”
Sheedy conceded Hughton did not immediately strike him as management material, but the Evertonian legend is convinced City are in safe hands.
“You know players all along your career and some you don’t think are going to turn out to be managers, and Chris is one of those,” he told Everton’s official site. “As a coach, yes, but as a manager, I wasn’t sure. He’s proved that he can be a good manager, is a good manager and has had a good career.
“I think whoever was going to get the job it was going to be a tough ask, but he is the sort of person who keeps his feet on the ground. He won’t get carried away if they win a game, he’ll be working hard to get things right and I am sure over the course of the season he will get them in a safe position.”
Sheedy himself was a former assistant manager at Tranmere and Hartlepool, but has been part of David Moyes’s backroom staff since 2006.
The 52-year-old recently returned to his academy post after successful life-saving treatment for bowel cancer.
“It really helped me deal with my situation, knowing that so many people were rooting for me,” said the popular Irishman.
“My life was saved through early detection. I am told that over 90pc who are diagnosed at the earliest stage are successfully treated.”