JOHN MCMAHON is bringing his coaching expertise back across the Mersey to Tranmere, following two seasons with Liverpool Reserves.
McMahon’s return to Prenton Park was confirmed yesterday as manager Les Parry announced the appointment of a new first-team coach to replace David Lowe, who has left to join Blackburn Rovers.
Parry said: “John’s always been well respected by players and other managers and coaches and he’s got plenty of ideas to bring to the table.”
McMahon began his coaching career with Tranmere as manager of the youth team, playing an influential role in the development of young stars such as Ryan Taylor, Iain Hume and Steve Davies.
He graduated to first-team duties under Brian Little prior to making the move to Shrewsbury Town in the summer of 2006. McMahon went on to become assistant manager at Shrewsbury and secured a job on the Liverpool coaching staff as reserve team manager. He held the post under the regimes of Rafa Benitez and Roy Hodgson and left Anfield last season after Kenny Dalglish took over as manager.
Parry added: “I’m sorry to see Dave leave us but this is a great opportunity for him to work at a Premier League club and I wish him well.
“In John McMahon we’ve got the ideal replacement. I’ve known John for many years and I know he’ll be a great addition to the coaching staff.
“He did really well at Liverpool where he helped the likes of Jay Spearing, David N’Gog, John Flanagan, Martin Kelly and Peter Gulacsi become regular members of their first team squad.
“He knows the club, the staff and the supporters really well at Tranmere and I’m sure he’ll be welcomed back by everyone.”
McMahon said: “I’m really pleased to be coming back to Tranmere. It’s a club that’s obviously very close to my heart and one I always enjoyed working at.
“There’s a decent squad of players here and I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of the coaching staff over the coming weeks and months.”
Rovers also appointed a new physiotherapist, Gregg Blundell, after George Cain returned to university to further his education. Cain, a former Football League referee from Bootle, stepped in to the Prenton Park treatment room in January after Steve Walker left to pursue a career in education
Blundell, 35, is a former professional player and no stranger to Prenton Park. He began his career at Tranmere where he progressed through the youth system. After leaving in 1997 he spent time at Vauxhall Motors and Northwich Victoria before moving to Doncaster Rovers. He then spent 18 months at Chester City before joining Darlington and then Barrow.
He ended his career last season at Barrow where he also spent the second half of the season as club physio after gaining his chartered physiotherapy qualifications while playing.
Parry said: “I’m looking forward to working with Gregg. He already knows the club well so should settle back in very quickly.
“He’s young, enthusiastic and has recently completed his Masters in Football Rehabilitation and he’ll be a great addition to the backroom staff here.”
Blundell added: “I’m really pleased the manager has given me this opportunity and can’t wait to get started when the players come back for pre-season training.”
Meanwhile Parry is pondering several options to bring a new first-team goalkeeper to Prenton Park after admitting defeat in his attempts to keep Tony Warner.
The 37-year-old Liverpudlian played 23 games for Rovers in the second half of last season after signing a short-term contract. But Tranmere could not afford to match the kind of offers Warner is now getting after producing a string of consistent performances for the Wirral club..
Parry said: “We’ve not been able to come to an agreement with Tony. We were very fortunate to be able to get a player of his ability for the time we did last season. We always knew he could attract deals from bigger and higher clubs than us so it was always a little bit pie in the sky that he might be staying with us.
“We made him an offer in the hope that he might do so but the number of offers his ad makes it impossible for us to compete. We are talking to three or four goalkeepers I hope to be able to make a decision in the near future.”