The Football League Paper - - AWFORD -

Born: Worces­ter, 1972 (Age 41) Play­ing Ca­reer: A left-sided mid­fielder who later r everted to cen­tre­back, Aw­ford started out with Non-League side Worces­ter City, mak­ing his de­but as a 15-year-old and play­ing reg­u­larly there­after. His dis­plays at­tracted in­ter­est from Sec­ond Di­vi­sion Portsmouth,

who signed him to a pro­fes­sional con­tract at just 16 in 1987. That same year he made his de­but in a match at Sel­hurst Park against Crys­tal Palace. Part of a vi­brant young squad at Frat­ton Park, A wford was in the

side that reached the FA Cup semi-fi­nals in 1991-92, draw­ing 1-1 and

0-0 with Liver­pool be­fore go­ing out on penal­ties. A year later they missed out on pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier League on goal dif fer­ence to West Ham. In­jured in 1994, Aw­ford spent 14 months out of the game and, though never fully re­cov­ered, went on to make more than 400 ap­pear­ances for Portsmouth be­fore re­tir­ing aged 28 in 2000. He also made nine ap­pear­ances for Eng­land Un­der -21s. Man­age­rial Ca­reer: Fol­low­ing his re­tire­ment, Aw­ford be­came

a scout, then re­serve team man­ager at Portsmouth, leav­ing in 2005 to be­come Jim Smith’s as­sis­tant at Ox­ford United. He then spent time as as­sis­tant to Mick Jenk­ins at Con­fer ence South Bog­nor while train­ing to be­come a teacher. In 2011, he gave up teach­ing to be­come head

of Portsmouth’s academy and in March 2014 be­gan his fourth spell

as care­taker man­ager.

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