Manager Russell Slade has explained why he has taken on football scout John Milton onto his staff after the latter had been used by the club in a freelance capacity during the period when the club were between managers. The two first got to know each other six years ago and today's Western Morning News asked Slade how that happened.
Slade explained: "I first met John at Northampton after I left Sheffield United and went down to help Kevin Wilson and we got promoted to Division One. He was doing a little bit of work in and around for us at Northampton and I have kept in contact with him ever since."
When Slade moved onto Grimsby Town, he recruited Milton in to work for him: "He did a lot of work for me at Grimsby and his reports are really detailed and I am really big on preparation. I like to know a team's weakness, his networks are good, and he will be working on the scouting to see if we can pluck 18 or 19 year-olds from various places for us. He is an Exeter lad and he has always known John Fry and the board really well."
This also opens up another chapter in Russell Slade's managerial career that had been unmentioned up until this point. Between his spells with Sheffield United and Scarborough, Slade made the move to Northampton Town, initially as their Youth Team manager, working under Kevin Wilson, arriving in February 2000. He was soon promoted as Wilson's assistant, and Northampton gained promotion to League One level (then titled Division Two), finishing 3rd during that season. As has often been the case in their history, the Cobblers struggled at that level and after a full season in Division Two, both Wilson and Slade were shown the door in September 2001, with the move to Scarborough ultimately not far away.
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