Tuesday, November 2, 2010
ESPNsoccernet: November 3, 8:47 AM UK
The lure of the grindstone
Jimmy Calderwood has launched a global bid to find his next managerial position as he fears becoming the forgotten man of the Scottish game.
The experienced boss has been out of work since parting company with Kilmarnock during the close season despite preserving the Ayrshire club's SPL status. Calderwood failed to get the assurances he needed over both playing and coaching budgets and decided to walk away from Rugby Park at the end of his short-term deal.
Of course it's not the first time he's been left on the outside looking in, as he spent a little over six months on the sidelines after controversially leaving Aberdeen in May 2009. But the 55-year-old, who cut his managerial teeth in the Netherlands with Willem II and NEC Nijmegen after ending his playing career in the country, remains upbeat.
To him, a job hunt is something of an occupational hazard and he is confident he'll secure an opening in the near future.
"I have been in the game a long time both as a player and a manager so thankfully know a lot of people," Calderwood said. "But I've now basically exhausted my contacts book speaking to everyone I know and that's as far afield as places like Australia, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
"I met a lot of people during my spell playing and managing in Holland as there's now a strong contingent of Dutchmen in influential positions throughout the world which is always a help. Some of these places might not seem like a first choice for some people but it could provide me with a way back in and plenty of other Scottish managers have done well abroad.
"I'm willing to consider any sort of role if it was to offer me a return to my profession as I miss the involvement of working with players and coaches. It's a case of almost playing a waiting game to see if one of your peers loses his job. It's not a nice situation to be in but it is the nature of the beast."
Calderwood is best known for his largely successful five-year spell in charge of Aberdeen after initially impressing in Scotland at Dunfermline. The former Birmingham player is still at a loss to explain why his Pittodrie reign ended just hours after guiding the club back into Europe on the final day of the 2008-09 season.
But he clearly still has a real passion for the Dons and recently returned to the Granite City to watch his former club face Hearts in the SPL. What he didn't expect was the ovation he received when he walked into one of the corporate lounges just minutes before kick-off.
He added: "It's been a frustrating time for me and I just keep wondering why things didn't work out at Aberdeen. Had I suffered a poor run of form then it would be easier to accept but when I took over the club was struggling and I managed to take them back into Europe.
"I'm not going to run away from a few bad cup results that should have been better but you're talking about a few games out of hundreds. But that's life and you can't legislate for what might happen - I certainly loved my time at Aberdeen.
"It was nice to go back a few weeks ago and receiving the reception I did was very encouraging."
Calderwood clearly misses the buzz of the beautiful game as he patiently waits for the phone to ring or for a positive email to land in his inbox. There seemed to be a glimmer of hope when Hibs decided they needed to move in a new direction and parted company with John Hughes.
However, it was Colin Calderwood who was given the nod, leaving Jimmy to fill the void left in his life with no Saturday afternoon adrenaline.
"I can't sit and dwell on things too much - I am remaining positive and will look forward to the next opportunity that comes along," he said. "The obvious destination for me would be England, but it's been a long time since I played down there with Birmingham so won't be as well known as others I could be up against for certain jobs.
"Holland could be another option and there have been press reports that there's something going to be happening here or there but nothing has ever materialised. I was recently linked with the Hibs job but there was never any contact so again I can only put that down to paper talk.
"I have been to watch a few games and have been down to see my old assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl, who is now in charge at Cowdenbeath. It's been great to catch up with the guys I'm friendly with at clubs but there are only so many matches you can go to without becoming really frustrated.
"I've also played a few games of golf but I'm not that much of player so it's not like the time off is helping me to improve my game any.
"People have said you must be enjoying the break but they couldn't be more wrong. You get enough time off during the summer. I'm just hoping that something comes along as quickly as possible."