Lee Sinnott

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Lee Sinnott
Personal information
Full name Lee Sinnott
Date of birth (1965-07-12) 12 July 1965 (age 49)
Place of birth Aldridge, Staffordshire, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Walsall
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 Walsall 40 (2)
1983–1987 Watford 78 (2)
1987–1991 Bradford City 173 (6)
1991–1993 Crystal Palace 55 (0)
1993–1994 Bradford City 34 (1)
1994–1997 Huddersfield Town 87 (1)
1997–1999 Oldham Athletic 31 (0)
1998 Bradford City (loan) 7 (0)
1999–2000 Scarborough 22 (0)
Total 527 (12)
National team
1985 England U21 1 (0)
Teams managed
2003–2007 Farsley Celtic
2007–2008 Port Vale
2009 Bradford Park Avenue
2011– Altrincham
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Lee Sinnott (born 12 July 1965) is an English former professional footballer turned football manager, who is in charge at Conference Premier side Altrincham.

As a player, he was a defender for Walsall, Watford, Bradford City, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic and Scarborough. His biggest impact was at Bradford City, where he stayed for five years over two spells, making over 200 appearances. He made 505 appearances in the Football League, and over 600 appearances in all competitions. He played in the 1984 FA Cup Final for Watford, taking home a runners-up medal.

He achieved enormous success as manager of Farsley Celtic between 2003 and 2007, winning promotion three times in four seasons to take the club from the Northern Premier League to the Conference. This was followed by a short spell at league club Port Vale in the 2007–08 season. He managed Bradford Park Avenue for ten months in 2009, before returning to the game with Altrincham in 2011. He led Altrincham to win promotion out of the Conference North via the play-offs in 2014.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Aldridge, Walsall, he began his career at Walsall as an apprentice, signing professional in 1982. He made 40 first-team appearances in his first season at Fellows Park before joining First Division Watford. At the end of his first season, when still only 18 years old, he played in the 1984 FA Cup Final against Everton at Wembley Stadium, collecting a runners-up medal. He helped Watford reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup three seasons later.

In 1987, Sinnott moved down a division to Bradford City. In his first season he helped the "Bantams" qualify for the Second Division playoffs, but their promotion bid failed and two years later they were relegated. Sinnott spent one season in the Third Division before moving to First Division side Crystal Palace. He was unable to establish a regular place in the first team and after two years he returned to Bradford.

When Sinnott returned to Valley Parade over the summer of 1993, Bradford were still in the third tier of the English league. He played in most of their first-team games that season, but the "Bantams" missed out on the play-offs and manager Frank Stapleton was sacked. Sinnott followed his manager out of the exit door and signed for local rivals Huddersfield Town. He was made captain of Neil Warnock's team, and guided them to the Second Division play-off victory in his first season. He spent two more seasons in West Yorkshire before crossing the Pennines and signing for local rivals Oldham Athletic, who had just been relegated to the Second Division.

Sinnott played 31 games over two seasons at Boundary Park, but Oldham struggled in a division that they had been expected to win promotion from, and in Sinnott's second season they narrowly avoided relegation to the Third Division. A year earlier, he had been loaned back to Bradford, but the move was not made permanent.

The 1998–99 campaign proved to be Lee Sinnott's final season as a Football League player. Upon its conclusion he moved to Scarborough, who had just been relegated to the Football Conference, and played 22 games in one season for a side who finished fourth in the country's highest non-league division. He then retired from playing after a career spanning almost 20 years.

Managerial career[edit]

Farsley Celtic[edit]

Sinnott was not out of football for long, and moved into management with non-league Farsley Celtic in June 2003.[1] His first success with the club was a third-place finish in the Northern Premier League First Division in 2003–04, which earned the club promotion to the Northern Premier League.

Sinnott would have achieved another promotion in his second season at Throstle Nest as Farsley topped the Northern Premier League at the end of the season. However this was only on the FA's decision that Spennymoor United's records were expunged after they folded. The other clubs in the promotion mix appealed and the FA reversed their decision to expunge the results, leaving Farsley in third place and having to compete in the play-offs. Despite a 1–0 semi final win over Whitby Town, they lost in the final to Workington on penalties.

"I know the players aren't feeling that way at this moment in time – they are hurting – but they should be proud of themselves. Once the dust settles they can look back and realise they could have got promoted this season – twice. I couldn't have asked for any more from them. They have shown they have got what it takes to win this league and operate at a higher level. It's a long drive home but at least I can make it knowing we will move on from here without a shadow of a doubt."

—Sinnott remained full of positive energy despite the play-off defeat.[2]

Another promotion was achieved in 2005–06, as Sinnott and Farsley bounced back from their play-off set-back. This time Farsley finished fourth in the regulation season before defeating Marine 1–0 and then North Ferriby United 2–1 in the final. Sinnott also added the West Riding County Cup to Farsley's trophy cabinet for the tenth time in the club's history, as they made it a double winning campaign in 2005–06.

The 2006–07 season saw Sinnott steer Farsley to a third promotion in four seasons. Despite finishing fifth in the Conference North, Lee lead the club to victory in the play offs ensuring Farsley Celtic's first ever appearance in the top flight of Non-League. In the play off campaign, Farsley beat favourites Kettering Town in the semi final, before going on to beat Hinckley United in the final played at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium. In the final Farsley Celtic had been 3–2 down with just over ten minutes remaining before two late goals saw a remarkable comeback and a 4–3 victory.

Farsley's three promotions under Sinnott and the declines of Bradford City and their local rivals Leeds United meant that just one and two divisions separated Farsley from its neighbours, when seven years ago six divisions separated them.

Port Vale[edit]

In October 2007, Sinnott was linked with the vacant job at League One team Port Vale, and on 1 November 2007 Farsley Celtic's chairman Andrew Firbank told fans that Sinnott would soon be leaving the club.[3] However, hours later, confusion arose when Sinnott denied resigning.[4] Five days later he was named the new Port Vale manager, ending the speculation about his future.[5] Prominent backroom staff member Dean Glover had hoped to gain the management spot himself, and so pondered resigning from the club,[6] but eventually chose to remain as Sinnott's assistant.[7] The only significant staff member Sinnott was allowed to bring in was scout Steve Joesbury.[8] In his first league game in charge Vale lost to local rivals Crewe Alexandra. Sinnott achieved his first win in charge of the club at Morecambe in the FA Cup First Round, with Port Vale winning 2–0. However the Second Round held embarrassment for both Sinnott and the club, as Southern League side Chasetown (an eighth tier team 101 league places below the Vale)[9] picked up a 1–1 draw at Vale Park,[10] before making a giant-killing with a late goal on their home ground, after Luke Rodgers missed two penalties.[11] Sinnott warned of big changes at the club,[12] and said "there is a bit of work to be done on the training ground without a shadow of a doubt."[13] He signed Chasetown duo Chris Slater and Kyle Perry,[14] and heavily exploited the loan market. He ultimately proved unable to save the club from relegation, and they were relegated on 12 April 2008. With only 38 points from 46 games, they finished ahead of bottom-placed Luton Town only thanks to a ten point deduction inflicted upon Luton. In the summer ten players left or were offloaded by Sinnott, as he attempted to make room for new signings.

To make a success of the 2008–09 season, Sinnott brought in former Hereford United defender John McCombe,[15] and former Middlesbrough midfielder Steve Thompson.[16] Both players cited Sinnott as their reason for joining the club.[17][18] He also added experienced defender Sam Stockley (Wycombe Wanderers);[19] attacker Rob Taylor (Nuneaton Borough);[20] midfielder Anthony Griffith (Doncaster Rovers);[20] and attacking midfielder Louis Dodds (Leicester City) to the squad.[21] Lee Collins also joined on an extended loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers,[22] and would sign a permanent contract with the club in January.[23] He appointed Stockley as his captain.[24] The team continued to struggle, and on 18 September Sinnott admitted that "we are looking to improve, without a shadow of a doubt".[25] However a 4–1 home defeat to Macclesfield Town two days later would prove to be Sinnott's last game in charge. He was sacked two days later, with the "Valiants" lying in 16th place.[26] Three months on from his sacking, the club were yet to reach a compensation settlement with Sinnott,[27] before an agreement was reached in February 2009.[28] The club went on to finish the season in 18th place under Dean Glover. Despite the poor results Vale picked up during his reign, many of Sinnott's signings would become key players for the club over the next few seasons.

Bradford Park Avenue[edit]

Sinnott was linked with a vacant position at newly promoted Northern Premier League side Bradford Park Avenue at the end of 2008. The club were unwilling to pursue the interest because of Sinnott's unresolved contract with Port Vale,[29] and instead appointed his former Farsley assistant and successor John Deacey.[30] However, despite Sinnott still taking legal action against Port Vale, Park Avenue appointed Sinnott as their new manager just one month later; Avenue were 11th in the Northern Premier League Premier Division at the time of his appointment,[31] with Deacey standing aside to become Sinnott's assistant once again.[32] Sinnott's first game ended in a 2–0 defeat to Eastwood Town.[33] By the end of the season Avenue were in seventh place, two points and two places outside the play-off zone. He admitted that "the quality of the UniBond Premier is higher than I remember it to be three or four years ago. You don't get any freebies, without a shadow of a doubt."[34]

He left by mutual consent in October 2009, after a summer spending spree failed to produce results on the pitch for the 2009–10 season.[35] Avenue recovered to finish the season in second place under Deacey, though lost to Boston United in the play-off final.

Altrincham[edit]

In May 2011, Sinnott was announced as the new manager of Altrincham, a club that had just been relegated from the Conference National into the Conference North.[36] The club finished eighth in the Conference North in 2011–12, before securing a play-off position with a fourth place finish in 2012–13. They were beaten 4–2 by Brackley Town in the play-off semi-finals. The "Robins" again qualified for the play-offs in the 2013–14 campaign, and went on to secure promotion with a 2–1 extra-time victory over Guiseley in the play-off final.[37]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 14 May 2014.[38]
Team From To Record[39]
G W D L Win %
Farsley Celtic 20 June 2003 5 November 2007 187 91 48 48 48.66
Port Vale 5 November 2007 22 September 2008 44 9 11 24 20.45
Bradford Park Avenue 17 January 2009 15 October 2009 33 15 10 8 45.45
Altrincham 25 May 2011 present 162 79 32 51 48.77
Total 426 194 101 131 45.54

Personal life[edit]

His brother is the actor, writer and director Richard Sinnott. His son, Jordan Sinnott, is also a professional footballer.[40]

Honours[edit]

as a Player[edit]

Individual
with Huddersfield Town
with Watford

as a Manager[edit]

with Farsley Celtic
with Altrincham

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sinnott is new Farsley manager". Telegraph & Argus. 20 June 2003. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Sinnott Determined to Bounce Back Next Season". nonleaguedaily.com. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Marshall, Bill (1 November 2007). "Sinnott quits Celts for Vale". Telegraph & Argus (Newsquest Media Group). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  4. ^ "Farsley in chaos over boss future". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 1 November 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Sinnott named new Port Vale boss". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 5 November 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Glover ponders his future at Vale". BBC Sport. 4 November 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Glover to sign new deal with Vale". BBC Sport. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Joesbury exits scouting role". The Sentinel. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "The defeat of Port Vale". BBC Sport. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Port Vale 1–1 Chasetown". BBC Sport. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Chasetown 1–0 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Sinnott eyes changes at Vale Park". BBC Sport. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Sinnott Slams 'Unbelievers'". Daily Mirror. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Port Vale snap up Chasetown duo". BBC Sport. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2008. 
  15. ^ "Port Vale sign ex-Bulls defender". BBC Sport. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  16. ^ "Vale sign Boro youngster Thompson". BBC Sport. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  17. ^ "McCombe reveals link with Sinnott". BBC Sport. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  18. ^ "Thompson happy with Sinnott style". BBC Sport. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  19. ^ "I'm here for promotion – Stockley". BBC Sport. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  20. ^ a b "First summer signings for Sinnott". BBC Sport. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  21. ^ "Port Vale complete Dodds signing". BBC Sport. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2009. 
  22. ^ "Collins makes Valiants loan move". BBC Sport. 31 July 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  23. ^ "Collins and Brammer sign for Vale". BBC Sport. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  24. ^ "Stockley named new Vale captain". BBC Sport. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  25. ^ "Sinnott's headache over set-piece struggle". The Sentinel. 20 September 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Sinnott parts company with Vale". BBC Sport. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  27. ^ Shaw, Steve (17 December 2008). "Port Vale: Valiants still to settle Sinnott's pay-off". The Sentinel. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  28. ^ "Vale reach agreement with Sinnott". BBC Sport. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  29. ^ Whiting, Ian (4 December 2008). "Pursuit of Sinnott hits a snag". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  30. ^ Whiting, Ian (10 December 2008). "Deacey is new Avenue boss". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  31. ^ "Sinnott named Park Avenue manager". BBC Sport. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  32. ^ Whiting, Ian (18 January 2009). "Avenue thrilled to recruit Sinnott". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  33. ^ Whiting, Ian (25 January 2009). "Sinnott left cursing luck after baptism of fire". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  34. ^ "Sinnott isn't expecting a free ride". Yorkshire Evening Post. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  35. ^ "Avenue part company with Sinnott". BBC Sport. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  36. ^ "Lee Sinnott appointed Altrincham manager". BBC Sport. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  37. ^ "Altrincham strike late in extra time to beat Guiseley in play-off final". BBC Sport. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  38. ^ "Lee Sinnott's managerial career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  39. ^ Includes all Premier League, Football League, FA Cup, League Cup and Football League Trophy games.
  40. ^ "Fringe players set for chance to impress". The Sentinel. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 

External links[edit]