FA CUP: Q&A with former manager Jimmy Quinn

By Steve Sharman:

Jimmy Quinn was manager of Nantwich Town from March 2011 until March 2013 and was the man who took the club to the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time in it’s history, as they took on MK Dons, with the game ending 6-0 to the League One side.

Dabbers’ press officer Steve Sharman caught up with Jimmy ahead of the Dabbers’ second appearance in the competition against Stevenage this Saturday and gathered his thoughts on the game and his time with the club.

SS: Great to talk to you Jimmy, what do you remember about the MK Dons game and the day as a whole?

JQ: Well the day itself wasn’t particularly good for me obviously because we got beat 6-0. But all the build up leading up to the game was fantastic with all the publicity for the club and for the fans. We hit MK Dons at the wrong time as I believe they were second in League One at the time and they were absolutely murdering everybody. On the Tuesday before, they won 4-1 at home, then they beat us 6-0 on the Saturday, before going to Colchester on the following Tuesday and beat them 5-1. These things can happen when you catch a team at the wrong time. You build up your hopes, try and keep the game tight and maybe nick something from a set piece but we knew it was going to be a hard game as you’re playing League One opponents. They were that confident at the time and we couldn’t deal with them to be fair, they were extra special. Unfortunately we were a bit shellshocked, our better players I have to say didn’t play as well as they had been and thats the difference. But it was a great day out for the fans though, but unfortunately not for me as I would have liked to have gone there and got a result.

SS: What was your favourite moment in the cup run that year?

JQ: We did quite well in the Nuneaton game at home and we played quite well. They were obviously from a higher league and were doing well at the time. But it took a cross from our right-back Matt Lowe that the keeper dropped into the net and that won us the game. For me that’s the stand out game, to get into the First Round was fantastic.

SS: How do you see the game going this weekend against Stevenage?

JQ: They are playing a League Two club, their results are very erratic. I expect Nantwich to go there and play. I know they still have one or two players I had at the time, Sean Cooke and Casper Hughes, two terrific footballers. If you give them the right platform and Stevenage give them a little bit of space then they could come away with a decent result. When you are playing in games like this you have to be organised, which they will be, its all about your best players playing well on the day, it’s always the case, these are lads with good experience.

SS: For the two years you were in charge, how much did you enjoy your time at Nantwich?

JQ: We won the Cheshire Senior Cup for the second time in the club’s history. That was brilliant at Chester against Stalybridge. It was a great day and we played really well and deserved to win it. I think we finished about tenth in the league that year and we had the FA Cup run that year too. It was a good season. The next season not so good, we were in a good position in the league in October time, but we had to cut the budget and we lost a lot of players. You’re then pushing water up a hill, it was very disappointing and I had to leave. I enjoyed my time at the club though.

SS: As a player you made it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with West Ham, what do you remember from that day?

JQ: It was a massive game. The other semi-final that year was at Wembley, and we played at Villa Park which had a tonne of sand on the pitch that day! But after 20 minutes Tony Gale got sent off for us. When you get to that stage, you want to do well but we got beat 4-0 and Forest had a young Roy Keane in the team at the time. It was a massive game and everybody was looking forward to it but it turned out to be a damp squib for me. To get to that stage and be one game away from the final it was great for the fans.

SS: You haven’t been at another club since you left Nantwich, have you any plans to get back into the game?

JQ: I’ve not fallen out with love of football but for me I’ve done my bit. I enjoyed it but after I left Nantwich I had an interview for the Wrexham job and there were different reasons why I didn’t get that. There is a lot of pressure in managing, it’s not the same as playing, it’s 24 hours a day, there are agents involved. Even at non-league level there are agents involved. People are ringing you all the time, there is no rest from it. I’m not going to rush back into football and if someone knocked on my door and offered me a manager’s job then the answer would be no. I still watch plenty of football but if somebody wanted me to do a bit of coaching in that respect I would be interested, but I’m definitely not going back into management that’s for sure.

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