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Michael Coulson (footballer)

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Michael Coulson
Michael Coulson 21-07-2012 1.jpg
Coulson playing for York City in 2012
Personal information
Full name Michael James Coulson[1]
Date of birth (1988-04-04) 4 April 1988 (age 28)[1]
Place of birth Scarborough, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Playing position Winger / Striker
Club information
Current team
St Johnstone
Number 17
Youth career
0000–2004 Scarborough
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 Scarborough 44 (9)
2006–2010 Barnsley 16 (0)
2007 Northwich Victoria (loan) 6 (2)
2009 Chester City (loan) 0 (0)
2009–2010 Grimsby Town (loan) 29 (5)
2010–2012 Grimsby Town 72 (16)
2012–2016 York City 117 (20)
2016– St Johnstone 2 (0)
National team
2012 England C 1 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:24, 18 September 2016 (UTC).


Michael James Coulson (born 4 April 1988) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger or a striker for Scottish Premiership club St Johnstone.

Coulson started his career with hometown club Scarborough, making his first-team debut in a Conference National match in 2004. His first goal for the club, scored later that year, made him the youngest goalscorer in the club's history. He signed for Championship club Barnsley in 2006, before making a return to Conference Premier football with a loan at Northwich Victoria in 2007. Coulson suffered two cruciate ligament injuries in the space of a year before being loaned to Chester City of the Conference Premier in 2009. Coulson joined League Two club Grimsby Town on loan later that year, signing for the club permanently in 2010 after their relegation into the Conference Premier. He left Grimsby in 2012, signing for newly promoted League Two team York City. In 2016, after four years with York, Coulson signed for Scottish Premiership club St Johnstone.

Club career[edit]

Scarborough[edit]

Born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire,[1] Coulson started his career in the youth system of his hometown club Scarborough at the age of nine.[2] In April 2004, he went on trial with Premier League club Everton, playing in a youth academy match against Liverpool.[3] Coulson captained the Scarborough under-19 team that won the Northern Alliance League title in the 2003–04 season.[2] He made his first-team debut as a 16-year-old after coming on as a 79th-minute substitute at home to Accrington Stanley in a 4–0 Conference National victory on 23 October 2004, making him the second youngest player in Scarborough's history.[4][5][6] Coulson became Scarborough's youngest goalscorer after he scored an equalising goal against Tamworth in a 2–2 home draw on 15 March 2005 with 10 minutes of the match remaining.[6] He signed a one-year professional contract with Scarborough on 5 April 2005[7] and finished 2004–05, his first in senior football, with two goals in 14 appearances.[8]

During pre-season Scarborough manager Nick Henry stated his hope that Coulson, along with fellow youngster Ryan Blott, would fill the gap left by some high-profile departures in the summer.[9] His first goal of 2005–06 came after scoring an 87th-minute equaliser in a 1–1 draw away to Altrincham on 20 September 2005, having entered the match as a second-half substitute.[10] He went on trial with League One club Barnsley in January 2006 and the following month manager Andy Ritchie expressed his desire to sign Coulson in the summer.[11][12] Despite this, Coulson decided against extending his trial at Barnsley, opting to return to the Scarborough team to help their fight against relegation.[13] He finished the season seven goals from 33 appearances as Scarborough were relegated into the Conference North and was awarded the club's annual Players' Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year awards.[4][14]

Barnsley[edit]

Coulson was signed by Barnsley on a two-year contract on 4 July 2006, following their promotion into the Championship.[15] Ritchie described him as a "good young, raw talent who I am sure will develop into a fine addition to our squad".[15] His debut came in Barnsley's 2–2 draw away to Blackpool in the League Cup on 22 August 2006, which Barnsley went on to win 4–2 in a penalty shoot-out, and was booked during the match for a collision with Blackpool goalkeeper Rhys Evans.[16] He scored his first Barnsley goal with a close range header in the third minute of stoppage time away to Southend United in the FA Cup third round on 6 January 2007, making the score 1–1.[17][18] He finished 2006–07 with one goal in six appearances.[17]

He joined Conference Premier club Northwich Victoria on a one-month loan on 31 August 2007 to provide cover for the injured Lee Steele.[19] He made his debut on 4 September 2007 in a 2–0 defeat at home to Burton Albion, in which he came close to scoring but goalkeeper Kevin Poole and defender John Brayford blocked his efforts on goal.[20] His first goal for Northwich came with the team's only goal in a 3–1 home defeat to Histon, before being substituted in the 79th minute with calf strain.[21][22] Coulson returned to Barnsley after the loan expired on 30 September 2007, despite caretaker manager Paul Warhurst having convinced him to stay at Northwich for another month.[23] He finished the loan with two goals in six appearances.[24]

Coulson's return to the Barnsley first team came on 1 January 2008 after entering a 2–2 draw at home to Scunthorpe United as a half-time substitute.[25] Following this appearance, Coulson said: "I really enjoyed that chance and it has been a long time coming".[26] His second Barnsley goal came with the winner in an FA Cup third round 2–1 victory over Blackpool on 5 January 2008, which was his first goal at Oakwell.[27] He made an appearance as an 80th-minute substitute for match winner Kayode Odejayi in the 1–0 home victory over Premier League team Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final on 8 March 2008.[28] He suffered a knee injury in training on 21 April 2008, rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament, which was expected to keep him sidelined for seven to nine months.[29][30] Manager Simon Davey commented: "It's a complete disaster for him. He'd been coming on really well. He was the first name I looked to put on the bench".[29] Some consolation came after being named as Barnsley's Young Player of the Year for 2007–08.[31] He finished the season with 16 appearances and one goal for Barnsley.[32]

Coulson returned to training in early November before making his return to action later that month, scoring in a reserve-team match against Grimsby Town.[33][34] His first-team return came on 22 November 2008 after entering Barnsley's 2–1 defeat away to Preston North End as an 90th-minute substitute.[35] However, a recurrence of his knee injury in January 2009 ruled him out of action for the rest of 2008–09, which he finished with three appearances.[36][37] On 16 October 2009, Coulson signed a one-month loan deal with Conference Premier club Chester City, making his debut on 17 October 2009 against Gateshead in a 1–0 home victory.[38][39] He scored his first goal for Chester on 7 November 2009 in a 3–1 away win over Grays Athletic.[40] After Chester failed in an attempt to extend his loan he returned to Barnsley in November 2009, having scored one goal from five appearances.[41][42] However, these were later removed from the records after Chester were expelled from the Football Conference the following February as a result of the club breaching five league rules.[43][44]

Grimsby Town[edit]

Coulson playing for Grimsby Town in 2011

On 19 November 2009, Coulson signed for League Two club Grimsby Town on an initial one-month loan.[45] He made his debut two days later after starting in a 0–0 draw away to Lincoln City.[46] He scored his first goal for Grimsby on 5 December 2009 in his fourth appearance, a 1–1 home draw with Dagenham & Redbridge, opening the scoring in the 36th minute before Dagenham equalised in the second half.[46][47] His loan was extended for a second month in December 2009, keeping him at Grimsby until 23 January 2010.[48] Shortly before the loan was due to expire, Coulson's stay at Grimsby was extended until the end of 2009–10 on 19 January 2010.[49] He finished the season with five goals in 29 appearances for Grimsby, with the team being relegated into the Conference Premier.[46]

Coulson was released by Barnsley at the end of the season, leaving him free to join Grimsby permanently, signing a two-year contract on 31 May 2010.[50] In the third match of 2010–11, at home to Hayes & Yeading United on 21 August 2010, he took a kick to his ankle, which was expected to keep him out of the team for a month.[51][52][53] He returned on 18 September 2010 after starting in a 2–1 defeat at home to Fleetwood Town, but was substituted at half-time.[54] Coulson made a goalscoring second comeback from his ankle injury in Grimsby's 2–2 home draw with Eastbourne Borough on 30 October 2010.[55] For the first time as a Grimsby player he scored twice in one match in a 2–1 victory at home to AFC Wimbledon on 5 March 2011, with a first-half shot into the bottom left of the goal and a second-half shot into the top-left corner from inside the penalty area.[51][56] Coulson's first season as a permanent Grimsby player concluded having scored nine goals in 33 appearances.[51]

His first goal of 2011–12 came with the winner in Grimsby's 1–0 away win over Forest Green Rovers on 3 September 2011 after capitalising on a defensive mistake.[57] Coulson was handed a one-match suspension after accumulating five yellow cards, missing the home match against Newport County on 19 November.[58] He made an immediate return to the Grimsby line-up, starting in their 1–0 home win over League Two team Port Vale in the FA Cup first round on 22 November 2011.[59] His first two-goal haul of the season came in a 3–0 victory at home to Darlington in the FA Trophy first round on 10 December 2011, scoring Grimsby's first and third goals.[60] It was announced on 23 April 2012 that Coulson had rejected a new two-year contract on reduced terms with Grimsby, meaning he would leave the club at the end of the season.[61][62] Having been left out of the squad for Grimsby's final two matches of the season, Coulson spoke that he was saddened by the manner of his departure, saying "It would have been nice to go out on a high".[62] He finished his final season at Grimsby with 52 appearances and 10 goals.[60]

York City[edit]

Coulson playing for York City in 2014

Coulson joined newly promoted League Two club York City on a two-year contract on 29 June 2012.[63][64] He scored on his debut with a long-range strike away to League One team Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup first round to give York a 1–0 lead, with the match finishing 1–1 after extra time.[65][66] Coulson missed York's first penalty in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, which the team lost 4–2.[66] He then played in York's first Football League fixture since their promotion, a 3–1 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers on 18 August 2012.[67] After sustaining a cruciate ligament injury during York's away match against Accrington on 23 October 2012, Coulson was expected to be out for the rest of 2012–13.[65][68] However, he made his return as a 73rd-minute substitute in York's 0–0 draw away to Bristol Rovers on 30 March 2013.[65] He finished the season with 21 appearances and five goals.[65]

St Johnstone[edit]

In March 2016, Coulson signed a pre-contract deal with Scottish Premiership club St Johnstone, and would join on a two-year contract in the summer.[69]

International career[edit]

Coulson was called into the England C team on 2 September 2010 for a match against Wales but injury prevented him from making his debut.[70] On 2 February 2012, he received a second call up to the England C setup, being selected in the squad to face Italy in the 2011–13 International Challenge Trophy on 28 February.[71] Coulson started and so made his England C debut, playing the entire match as he and fellow winger Matty Blair played well on the flanks, with the match finishing a 1–1 home draw.[72]

Style of play[edit]

He can operate as a striker or as a winger on either flank.[73] He regularly played on the right wing when playing for Grimsby.[59] Grimsby joint-manager Rob Scott noted Coulson's desire and work rate, saying "that isn't always evident in wingers. He does both sides of the game".[74] His ability to set up others has been praised, with Scott describing his assist tally for 2011–12 as "excellent".[74] While in the Scarborough youth team he played as an attacking midfielder.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Coulson supported Scarborough from a young age, living a short distance from the club's ground, the McCain Stadium.[75] He attended Graham School in Scarborough.[3]

Career statistics[edit]

Coulson playing for Grimsby Town in 2012
As of match played 7 August 2016
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scarborough 2004–05[8] Conference National 11 2 2 0 1[a] 0 14 2
2005–06[14] Conference National 33 7 0 0 0 0 33 7
Total 44 9 2 0 1 0 47 9
Barnsley 2006–07[17] Championship 2 0 2 1 2 0 6 1
2007–08[32] Championship 12 0 3 1 1 0 16 1
2008–09[37] Championship 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 0
2009–10[76] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 16 0 6 2 3 0 25 2
Northwich Victoria (loan) 2007–08[24] Conference Premier 6 2 6 2
Grimsby Town (loan) 2009–10[46] League Two 29 5 29 5
Grimsby Town 2010–11[51] Conference Premier 29 8 2 0 2[b] 1 33 9
2011–12[60] Conference Premier 43 8 5 0 4[b] 2 52 10
Total 101 21 7 0 6 3 114 24
York City 2012–13[65] League Two 19 4 0 0 1 1 1[c] 0 21 5
2013–14[77] League Two 33 7 0 0 1 0 2[d] 0 36 7
2014–15[78] League Two 43 4 2 0 1 0 1[c] 0 47 4
2015–16[79] League Two 22 5 1 1 0 0 2[c] 1 25 7
Total 117 20 3 1 3 1 6 1 129 23
St Johnstone 2016–17[80] Scottish Premiership 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 0
Career total 285 52 18 3 9 1 13 4 325 60
  1. ^ Appearance in Conference League Cup
  2. ^ a b Appearances in FA Trophy
  3. ^ a b c Appearance in Football League Trophy
  4. ^ Appearances in League Two play-offs

Honours[edit]

Individual

References[edit]

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External links[edit]