Kevin Nolan: Gary Speed Advised Against Newcastle Move

  • October 25, 2017 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/54791

Kevin Nolan says his transfer from Bolton to Newcastle United rejuvenated his career, despite the best attempts of Gary Speed to put a halt on the move.

Nolan, who signed for Wanderers at the age of 16, progressed through the academy ranks at the Reebok Stadium to make 345 senior appearances, scoring 50 goals, before completing a reported £4million switch to St James' Park in January 2009.

Now 35, Nolan, who is currently manager of League Two side Notts County, admits he holds no regrets over any of his career decisions, revealing a move away from the Trotters was exactly what his career needed at that particular time.

"A lot of people asked what I was doing," Nolan told Liverpool Echo.

"I remember Gary Speed ringing me when I was on my way up there. Me and him were close - he called saying 'Don't do it, Nobby lad'.

"I told him I had to because I needed a change. Bolton were going through a change and I needed to get away and have a new challenge.

"Everything had become too familiar - it was a bit repetitive. Whenever we weren't doing well, I was the go-to guy to have a pop at.

"I felt going to Newcastle was a new challenge, new surroundings and you've got to make everyone around you believe you are a good player.

"When we got relegated, I think it was the best thing that ever happened to the club. It got rid of a lot of players who didn't want to be there and were on inflated wages and I had a year in the Championship where I was Player of the Year."

Nolan looks back fondly on his time at Bolton, recalling several of his former teammates when asked who was the best to have played alongside during his career.

"I was privileged to have played with Jay-Jay Okocha, El-Hadji Diouf and Stelios Giannakopoulos," he added.

"Kevin Davies - I saw him a few weeks ago and those little blonde locks will start going grey soon.

"Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo all stood out. You could see why they'd all won the Champions League because they all had that little bit extra than anyone else.

"I loved working with Per Frandsen. He was someone I really looked up to and had a lot of time for."

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Pos Team Pld Pts
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20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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