On the whole, football fans are always pleased to see an experienced ex-player return to the club in a coaching capacity. Therefore the return of Paul Murray to Oldham Athletic has been greeted positively.
Murray was part of the side who played under Iain Dowie and John Sheridan in 2004/5 which included Calvin Zola, David Eyres and Chris Killen. Although the club had shown signs of challenging for promotion via the playoffs in 2002/03. The momentum had not been maintained despite the inclusion in the side of quality midfield players like Murray.
Like many players nearing the end of their careers, Murray moved around several lower league clubs such as Hartlepool, Carlisle and Shrewsbury and also had a spell at Gretna who were liquidated as a club in 2008.
He had a short spell at Hartlepool as manager but returned to Boundary Park as an assistant to Lee Johnson in 2014.
Murray now returns for his third spell with the club as Academy manager and has a vital role to play, given the importance owner Abdallah Lemsagam has put on developing the club’s young players. With George Edmundson fetching a fee of £700,000 recently. It is vital that Oldham bring their Academy players into the first-team squad and cash in when the time is right.
Much has been said about the future of the Academy at Boundary Park, but it must surely be clear that there are no plans to scrap it as was rumoured. However, Murray may well find himself linked to other roles at the club before long. With last season showing that anybody can end up being a coach at the club at the drop of a hat.
Oldham fans are already looking for odds on Paul getting that position before long.