The Football League Paper - - FOCUS ON -

WHEN 32-year-old MarkTyler left his 416-game Peter­bor­ough United ca­reer be­hind to drop into the Con­fer­ence with Mick Har­ford’s rel­e­gated Lu­ton in the sum­mer of 2009, the keeper would have un­der­stand­ably thought it would be for only one sea­son.

Four years as the club’s most con­sis­tent per­former later, and still stuck in Non-League’s bot­tle­neck, he’d have been for­given for think­ing he had played his last Foot­ball League game.

Then John Still, the man who gave him his Posh de­but as a 17year-old, walked into Ke­nil­worth Road in Fe­bru­ary 2013 andTyler started to be­lieve that he could, like Still’s for­mer Da­gen­ham keeper Tony Roberts, have a foot­balling re­nais­sance.

A year on and with a cham­pi­onship win­ner’s medal in his trusty hands, he’ll restart his League ca­reer at the ripe old age of 37.

“John gave me my de­but all those many moons ago, so fair play to the pow­ers-that-be for get­ting the right man,” said Tyler, an ever-present in the league dur­ing the ti­tle romp.

“I didn’t think it would take so long, but in the first sea­son I re­alised what a dif­fi­cult league the Con­fer­ence was.We had a great squad – lads like Kev Ni­cholls, Kevin Gallen and Tommy Craddock – but we failed in the play-off semi-fi­nal, and I thought ‘Wow, this is go­ing to be tough’.

“The club prob­a­bly went through the stage of pick­ing the wrong man­agers, but they’ve got the right man now and the suc­cess we’ve had this year has been bril­liant. “Per­son­ally I was de­lighted with the gaffer com­ing in be­cause I’ve worked with him be­fore and I knew that Robbo played for him un­til he was ages old!

“He’s looked af­ter me. I’ve had my prob­lems with my back in the past, but he’s just left me alone to my own de­vices, and as long as I’m on that pitch at three o’clock on a Satur­day, he’s not com­plain­ing.”

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