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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Guinan: Things Turned Sour With Trewick After Turning Down Assistant Role

Guinan organised a charity match between ex-Hereford United players and the supporters team in March 2015
Steve Guinan will be a familiar name to most Bulls fans, a former striker was enjoyed two successful seasons at Edgar Street in the early 2000s. 

Guinan was an integral part of the record-breaking season where Hereford finished just one point behind Champions Chester City and then suffered play-off heartache.

In the summer of 2009, the end of Guinan's second spell with the club, things had turned a little sour between him and the manager at the time, John Trewick. Guinan had been offered the assistant manager role, and to carry on as a player, but for a 60% pay-cut.

For the past four-and-a-half years he has worked for the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), combined with a Football Association role. Between trips to Russia to work at the World Cup, the Worcester-based 42-year-old spoke to Jon Palmer at Gloucestershire Live about his career, play-off winning strike for Cheltenham and what he has done since hanging up his boots.

Here is just some of the interview where Guinan speaks about his time at Hereford - the rest can be read here (link).

You enjoyed a prolific first spell at Hereford in the Conference before joining Cheltenham Town in 2004, how did the move come about?

I remember going on trial at Hereford for two weeks, which turned into six. I was fighting for my livelihood as I had just got married that summer and I needed a job. 

Hereford were full-time, but I didn’t really want to drop out of the league. I signed and we lost to Aldershot in the play-offs on penalties at the end of my second season, which was my final game for them.

I captained the England C team that summer too and then John Ward came in for me and I had been aware of interest from Cheltenham through Finners. I met Wardy for a chat at a hotel in Birmingham and signed. It was an inexperienced side on the whole and it took a bit of time to bed everything down, but with some good additions we started to do well. 

It was usually me, Kayode (Odejayi) and Gilly (Steven Gillespie) fighting for one or two places up front, with Spence (Damian Spencer) also in the mix. Kay was all about pace and brute strength, while Gilly was clever and a natural finisher. We had a good partnership, but I liked playing with Kay. He'd stretch teams when I dropped in a bit deeper. We all got on really well as a squad and I am still in touch with a lot of the lads now. That helped us bond and I really enjoyed playing in that team.

How was your second spell at Hereford?

We were promoted to League One, finishing third and the season went okay for me. I had a few injuries, but I had a two year contract. We were then a really small fish in a big pond and we struggled. I scored twice against Cheltenham for Hereford and although I took no pleasure in scoring against Cheltenham, it was a massive relief to show I could score at that level. 

I also gave Higgsy (Shane Higgs) some stick that day! Martin Allen was having a bit of a dressing down with Finners outside the bar after the game and it seemed bit of a bizarre time for the club. We lost 6-1 to Bristol Rovers and I scored our goal in the 90th minute. For me it was a great relief to score and did a fist pump, pleased to get that first goal in League One. Cheltenham maybe doubted I could do it at that level, so to score 15 in a team that finished bottom proved to me I could do it given the right formation and strategy. 

Graham Turner resigned with a few games to do and John Trewick came in and we got on great. I was taking the reserves and John asked if I’d become his assistant and carry on playing, but he said I had to take a 60 per cent pay cut.

It would have been double the amount of work for a lot less money and I wasn’t happy with that so I tried to negotiate, but we couldn’t work it out and it ended on a bit of a sour note. 

I had interest from Northampton Town so I signed for them with Stuart Gray the manager. I enjoyed, playing up front with Bayo Akinfenwa, which was an experience. Stuart was under a lot pressure to win promotion and he was sacked and replaced by Ian Sampson. I was travelling over for triple sessions every day and getting back home to Worcester at 9pm so it wasn’t working out. 

At Christmas the following season, Finners gave me the heads up about a full-time coaching role at Hartpury College so I applied for that and got it. Northampton ripped up my contract so we parted amicably and started at Hartpury in the January. We’d played against Forest Green for Northampton in the FA Cup earlier that season and Dave Hockaday signed me on until the end of the season as they were part-time then.