Alex Sykes

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Alex Sykes
Personal information
Full name Alex Sykes
Date of birth (1974-04-02) 2 April 1974 (age 43)
Place of birth Newcastle-under-Lyme, England
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1992–1993 Hereford United
1993–1994 Mansfield Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1994 Mansfield Town 2 (1)
1996–2000 Forest Green Rovers 170 (43)
2000–2002 Nuneaton Borough 46 (14)
2001 Forest Green Rovers (loan) 7 (2)
2002–2004 Forest Green Rovers 63 (8)
2003 Bath City (loan) 4 (0)
2004–2006 Bath City 50 (13)
2005 Gloucester City (loan) 6 (0)
2006–2009 Gloucester City 154 (60)
2009–2013 Bishop's Cleeve (12)
2013–XXXX Shortwood United
National team
England Schools under 18s
England Futsal 38
Teams managed
2011–2013 Bishop's Cleeve
2013–2016 Shortwood United (joint-manager)
2016–2017[1] Shortwood United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Alex Sykes (born 2 April 1974) is an English football manager and former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He also played internationally for the England Futsal side.

Career[edit]

Sykes was a product of the youth setups at both Hereford United and Mansfield Town.[2] He had originally begun his career with Westfields who received a club record fee of £4,000 from Mansfield for his services in 1992.[3] He made his senior debut for Mansfield in a Football League match against Walsall, scoring on his debut. He turned down the offer of a new contract from manager Andy King to attend university in Cheltenham at the University of Gloucestershire.

During this time he played for defunct Hellenic League club Endsleigh, and also for the reserves at Cheltenham Town. He signed for Forest Green Rovers in March 1996 and was part of their successful double league winning side that won back-to-back promotions into the Football Conference in 1998 under Frank Gregan.

In 1999, Sykes reached the final of the FA Trophy with Forest Green at Wembley Stadium but the club lost 1-0 against Kingstonian. He finished as top goal scorer in the competition that season and scored in the semi final second leg against St Albans City.

He then joined fellow Conference side Nuneaton Borough, ruling out the opportunity to sign for Stevenage Borough.[4][5] His first goal for Nuneaton Borough came on 28 August 2000 in a 4-2 away defeat against Morecambe.[6] He helped the club to an FA Cup giant killing against Stoke City however he returned to Forest Green on loan in March 2001 until the end of the season. He made 7 appearances on loan back at Forest Green scoring 2 goals, the first of which again came against Morecambe in April 2001.[7] He missed the club's 2001 FA Trophy final defeat against Canvey Island at Villa Park because he had been cup tied from playing for Nuneaton in a previous round.

Sykes returned to Nuneaton for the 2001-02 campaign but re-joined Forest Green permanently under the management of former England international Nigel Spink in January 2002. This was a swap deal with Lee Howey moving the other way. His two final goals for Nuneaton Borough came in one match on 18 September 2001 when his brace helped Nuneaton to a point in an away game against Doncaster Rovers.[8] He made his third debut for the club in a 1-1 away draw against Dagenham & Redbridge on 19 January 2002.[9] In November 2002, he featured in Forest Green's 0-0 FA Cup first round draw with Exeter City which was broadcast live on Match of the Day.[10]

A loan move to Bath City in September 2003 saw Sykes gain match fitness and he joined Bath permanently in September 2004 after making his final Forest Green appearance in an away defeat against Halifax Town.[11] He was a part of the Bath side who pulled off a cup shock beating Barnet away from home in the FA Cup first round in November 2004.[12] That result saw Sykes feature in the second round where Bath lost 2-0 away to Football League side Peterborough United.[13]

Sykes suffered from injury problems at Twerton Park and was loaned out to Gloucester City to play under his former manager at Forest Green, Tim Harris. He made his debut against Aylesbury United in December 2005 and played six times in his loan spell before returning to Bath.[14] At the end of the season he was released by Bath and re-signed permanently for Gloucester.

He went on to make his second full debut against Maidenhead United in August 2006. He played a pivotal role in Gloucester's 2008-09 season as they gained promotion through the Southern League play offs. Sykes scored 27 goals including a hat-trick at home to Mangotsfield United.

He spent a few months of the 2009-10 season with Gloucester City in the Conference North as well as a short loan spell at Shortwood United, before departing in December 2009 for Bishop's Cleeve to take on the role of player/assistant manager at Kayte Lane.[15]

Coaching[edit]

In May 2011, Sykes was appointed as manager of Bishop's Cleeve following the shock sacking of Paul Collicut.[16][17] In his first season as manager, he led Bishop's Cleeve to the club's record high league finish of 11th in the Southern League South & West Division - the club's highest finish in its 107-year history. He also led the club to the final of the Gloucestershire Senior Cup where they lost against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. On the way to the final Bishop's Cleeve defeated the likes of Forest Green Rovers, Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town.

At the end of his second season as boss, in April 2013, Sykes stepped down from his role as manager at the club.[18] Just a month later however, and it was announced that Sykes had become joint-manager at fellow Southern League club Shortwood United alongside John Evans.[19] In October 2013, he helped lead Shortwood into the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history with an away fourth qualifying round replay win over Aldershot Town.[20][21] The club went on to host Port Vale in a live televised clash in the first round on 11 November 2013 however suffered a 4-0 defeat.[22][23] At the end of his first season as joint-boss at Shortwood, he helped lead the club to a 6th-place finish, ending the campaign just one point off the play-offs.

International[edit]

Sykes is a former England Futsal international. He captained his country and scored a hat-trick against Cyprus in May 2006 in a 5-5 draw, this was England's first Futsal international where they avoided defeat.[24] In February 2008, he participated in the Kuala Lumpar World 5's competition.[25] In September 2013, he returned to futsal, signing for the UoG Fustal Club.[26]

Honours[edit]

As a player
Forest Green Rovers
Gloucester City
Bath City
As a manager
Bishop's Cleeve
Shortwood United

References[edit]

  1. ^ BREAKING NEWS: Shortwood United part company with boss Alex Sykes‚ stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk, 11 April 2017
  2. ^ "Mansfield Town 1946/47-2007-08". neilbrown.newcastlefans.com/mansfield. 
  3. ^ "Westfields Football Club old-boy Alex Sykes out to mastermind Shortwood United FA Cup win against League One Port Vale". Hereford Times. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Gittens joins Nuneaton Borough". BBC Sport. 9 August 2000. 
  5. ^ "First Home League Match For The Borough". cwn.org.uk. 21 August 2000. 
  6. ^ "Morecambe 4-2 Nuneaton". BBC Sport. 28 August 2000. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Morecambe 0-2 Forest Green". BBC Sport. 21 April 2001. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Doncaster 2-2 Nuneaton". BBC Sport. 18 September 2001. 
  9. ^ "Dag & Red 1-1 Forest Green". BBC Sport. 19 January 2002. 
  10. ^ "Forest Green 0-0 Exeter". BBC Sport. 17 November 2002. 
  11. ^ "'S' Past Players". ilovebathcity.com. 
  12. ^ "Barnet 1-2 Bath City". BBC Sport. 13 November 2004. 
  13. ^ "Peterborough 2-0 Bath City". BBC Sport. 4 December 2004. 
  14. ^ "As expected - Mustoe gets Tigers' post". NonLeagueDaily.com. 1 January 2006. 
  15. ^ "Bishops Cleeve sign Sykes from Gloucester City". thisisgloucestershire. 2 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "New boss Sykes fired up for Cleeve challenge". thisisgloucestershire. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Sykes relishes Cleeve challenge". SportGlos. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Sykes quits as Bishop's Cleeve boss". Non League Daily. 30 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Sykes joints Shortwood as joint-manager". Non League Daily. 24 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Shortwood: FA Cup progress delights joint boss Alex Sykes". BBC Sport. 30 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Shortwood United shock Aldershot Town to set up FA Cup first round home tie against League One Port Vale". Stroud News & Journal. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Shortwood United 0-4 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 11 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Our Chance To Shine, Says Shortwood United Boss". Non League Paper. 13 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "England held by Cyprus". Futsal Planet. 30 May 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Diary from Kuala Lumpur". thefa.com. 1 February 2008. 
  26. ^ "Sykes is the 'New' Addition". universalfutsal.com. 9 September 2013. 

External links[edit]