MAG­PIE MESSI FLIES THE NEST

Judge looks for sixth boss in three years

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Dave Jor­dan

NOTTS County mid­fielder Alan Judge is look­ing for a new club, but af­ter work­ing with five man­agers in three years at Meadow Lane, he is con­fi­dent he has learned enough to pick the right boss next.

Fans’ favourite Judge will leave on a Bos­man free this sum­mer and claims he has plenty of of­fers from the Cham­pi­onship and League One to sift through when he re­turns from hol­i­day in Por­tu­gal.

The 24-year-old is con­fi­dent that he be­longs in the Cham­pi­onship, and hav­ing sam­pled plenty of dif­fer­ent man­age­rial styles in his time with the Mag­pies he knows what he is look­ing for.

Signed ini­tially on loan from Black­burn by Craig Short in Au­gust 2010, Judge sub­se­quently played un­der Paul Ince, Martin Allen, Keith Curle and lat­terly Chris Ki­womya as Notts County bat­tled in vain for pro­mo­tion from League One.

Wher­ever Judge ends up this sum­mer he says he will not be re­turn­ing to work un­der a for­mer man­ager – rul­ing out a move to Black­pool, where Paul Ince is in charge – but the ex-Ire­land U21 in­ter­na­tional be­lieves he is good enough to play in the sec­ond tier.

Trust

“I’ve had a few of­fers from the Cham­pi­onship and a few from League One so I need to sit down and de­cide what I want to do,” he said.

“The most im­por­tant thing for me is go­ing to a man­ager who is go­ing to trust me and let me play to my strengths.

“I had a fair few man­agers at Notts County but they all helped me to im­prove. It started with Craig Short. He knew my game and he brought me in and used me in a role that was best for me. Then Paul Ince signed me.

“Then I had Martin Allen and he’s a great man-man­ager and he tries ev­ery­thing he can to help his play­ers and each man­ager that has fol­lowed I took lit­tle bits from.

“It ac­tu­ally helped me in a way hav­ing all those man­agers and for­tu­nately I got on well with all of them. That’s im­por­tant for me.

“I know I can prob­a­bly be a bit in­fu­ri­at­ing at times but it is my job to try things and they won’t al­ways come off so it is im­por­tant I go to a club that will play the way that suits my game.”

Judge ar­rived at Meadow Lane from Black­burn Rovers as an un­known back in Au­gust 2010, but the Mag­pies fans soon took to him and gave him the nick­name the “Ir­ish Messi”.

In five years at Black­burn he had failed to break into the first team and made just two ap­pear­ances, with two spells on-loan at Ply­mouth giv­ing his only Football League ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore Notts County took a chance on him.

And now he is leav­ing af­ter a draw at home to Coven­try on the fi­nal day, Judge says he he has plenty to thank the club for.

Fans

“It was re­ally emo­tional know­ing I had played my last game as the fans have been great to me and they’ve re­ally taken to me,” he added.

“When I signed from Black­burn I was a bit raw but over the last two or three years my game has re­ally come to­gether.

“They will be the most im­por­tant years of my ca­reer. It was a great place to progress as a player and it has made a big dif­fer­ence for me. I grew up at the club as a pro­fes­sional and es­tab­lished my­self as a player.

“There are a lot of great mem­o­ries but prob­a­bly my favourite game was Portsmouth at home last Septem­ber (Judge scored in a 3-0 win). That was one of my most com­plete per­for­mances.

“It’s just a shame we didn’t get pro­moted but hope­fully they won’t have to wait too long.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

FANS’ FAVOURITE: Alan Judge was known as the Ir­ish Messi at Meadow Lane, af­ter the world­beat­ing orig­i­nal (inset)

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