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Kevin Drinkell Interview
By: Jake Olley
KEVIN Drinkell was a local lad who played in probably one of the greatest Grimsby sides since the war. Town's leading scorer for a number of years went on to play for Norwich, Glasgow Rangers and Coventry before going back to Scotland as a player-manager. "Drinks" is now a football agent.
Kevin, you're at 110 Sport Management where you're head of football agents. What I want to know is how are you finding this and was it always the career path you wanted to take after a stint in management?
I am enjoying working with the many different sports at 110, where we look after some of the top stars in snooker, golf, boxing, rugby etc. Now my job is to bring in footballers of the same quality. However I think I should still be a manager, I was very good at it.
Could you give us an insight in the day-to-day life of an agent and what it brings?
We try to take away any of the pressures surrounding the players in order for them to be fully focused on what they do best - play. That could involve contract negotiations, legal matters, taxation, housing or just a shoulder to lean on when things are not going well. I am on call 24/7.
Now on to your playing days, you played for a few different clubs and you were known as a renowned goalscorer. Which club stands out in your development in the game and how highly does Grimsby Town rank up there?
Grimsby is home and the place where I learned my trade. I was fortunate enough to have a successful career and the thing that I am most proud of is that I was the supporters' Player of the Year at Grimsby, Norwich and Rangers. Where I was top scorer and also won championship medals.
Since your time in football, how do you feel it's changed and do you feel it's or the better or worse in your opinion?
There is not enough respect amongst fellow pros today. I switch off when I see players diving about feigning injuries. With the money involved, There is them and us gap between the players and fans. I except that the game is faster now, but I think that standards have dropped.
Now onto the Mariners, you made over 300 appearances, scoring 102 goals. What I want to know is how did you find your time at Grimsby and could you give us a detailed description of what the club was like behind the scenes in those days?
I grew up with probably the best crop of local youngster ever at Grimsby. Guys like Tony Ford, Shaun Mawer, Terry Donovan and the Moore Brothers. We were all pals who were young, hungry and worked hard for each other. And the success we achieved was great for the town. Local kids make good players. We were the nucleus of the team for a number of years and got better every year. Great times, great memories.
In the summer of 1984 you turned down a contract offer from Grimsby and went on to join Norwich. What I want to know is what was the main reason for that and do you still feel it was the right decision?
The board had reneged on an agreement for me to move on earlier and then offered me a deal that suggested they didn't want to keep me. It was that small mindedness that told me they would never get to the top league. Something I achieved a year later at Norwich. No regrets, because it led me on a journey were I played for some great clubs alongside a lot of great players.
On the whole what would you say was your greatest ever Grimsby achievement, and why?
Being a local boy who watched the town from the Pontoon stand, it was a proud day when I made my debut as a 16-year-old in front of my family and friends on the terraces. To score more than 100 goals was great and amongst which was the hat-trick against Sheffield United to win the championship.
Now to more recent times, in 2000 you were linked with the vacant manager's job at Grimsby, only to the disappointment of the Mariners' fans to see Lennie Lawrence join the club. Can you clear up if you did apply and if so what were the board's reasons for turning you down?
I did want the job some time ago, and went as far as to supply a board member with my C.V. I never even got a reply or an interview, they just went ahead and appointed Lennie Lawrence.
Kevin Drinkellâ€™s best eleven.
Played with: (4-4-2)
Ally Mc Coist
We'd also like to take this chance to thank Kevin Drinkell who took time out from his busy schedule to do this interview for Town fans
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