FORMER Tranmere manager Les Parry swopped 20 years of working at the threadbare end of lower division football for a “dream job” with one of the most powerful clubs in the land.
But in stepping onto a new career path as athletic development co-ordinator with Manchester United, Birkenhead-born Parry remains as big a Rovers fan as he ever was.
He says he is “thrilled” to see Ronnie Moore’s team at the heart of the League One promotion race this season.
“Tranmere deserve to go up on the strength of what they have done so far,” he said.
Parry appreciates from his own experiences in two and a half years as manager at Prenton Park that Tranmere are punching well above their financial weight in holding a play-off spot with 10 games of the campaign to go.
Budget worries are not part of the agenda in his new role at Old Trafford, which he describes as co-ordinating the work of the physiotherapists, coaches and sports scientists deployed around United’s youth and development squads.
Parry took the job on in January at United’s invitation.
He said: “I suppose they thought I was a good fit because I have a background in all three aspects of the operation.
“I’m enjoying it. I go into the Carrington training ground each morning and see the first team training. The people on the staff are brilliant. If I go into the canteen Bobby Charlton or Alex Ferguson might walk in.
“It is my dream job, just the kind of role I was hoping to find after leaving Tranmere.”
Parry lost his job at Prenton Park 12 months ago, after a run of 20 games yielding just one victory dropped Rovers close to the League One relegation zone. It brought to an end to more than 20 years of service to the club, most of it as first-team physiotherapist.
Soon after leaving, Parry was asked by former Rovers midfielder Paul Cook, the manager of Accrington Stanley, to work as the club’s physio until the end of the season. Parry agreed and enjoyed his work so much for a club with even less money to spend than Tranmere, that he continued into the following season after Cook left to join Chesterfield.
Parry said: “I was sorry to leave Accrington but when one of the biggest clubs in the world approaches you, it is difficult to say no, particularly with the kind of job they were offering.
“I could not have written a better script for myself than this. This is the ideal job I was thinking about when I left Tranmere.”
Parry was back at Prenton Park last week, checking out the progress of a United youngster, John Cofie, who is on loan to Notts County.
He takes pride in the fact that the coaching staff the assembled at Tranmere last season– coach John McMahon, goalkeeper coach Dave Timmins and physio Gregg Blundell – have played a big part in driving Rovers’ success under Ronnie Moore.
He said: “Tranmere’s performance this season is unbelievable and that really pleases me.”