Glen Alzapiedi

Early Career

Glen lifting the 2012 Essex Senior Cup with Canvey Island

Glen lifting the 2012 Essex Senior Cup with Canvey Island

Glen’s youth career was one of a journeyman – “doing the rounds” with spells at Tottenham Hotspur (which was particularly difficult for Glen as “I am a Gooner”), an apprenticeship at Birmingham City and then as a non-contract youth team player with Southend United.Glen became disenchanted with the game and his decreasing chances of breaking into the professional ranks, so made the decision to move into the semi professional game “When I drifted into non league at Woodford Town in the Southern league, I had fallen out of love with the game and eventually made the decision to retire at 19 with the tough realisation I wouldn’t be making it as a pro.”

Glen needed to find a job “so I did the knowledge of London, which took me 2 years, to become a taxi driver”. That could have so easily have been that with regards to football but “for a couple of mates playing for Ware who talked me out of the cab and into putting my boots on again. I stayed there for 4 years, broken up with a short spell at Harlow and was very happy being a big fish in a small pond.”

Boro

Brian Williams tried to sign Glen for Boro during the 1989/90 season “but I turned down the move because I didn’t want to travel on my own.”

Paul Fairclough finally lured Glen into Boro Colours in the 1992/1993 season “when Paul Fairclough approached me after I’d played well against Boro in a Herts senior cup game, I still wasn’t keen, especially as my wife had recently had a baby daughter (now twenty, time flies!). Paul worked on me, selling the club well and I agreed to take a chance and move.”

Glen takes charge of Harlow FC, shortly after leaving Ware (2008)

Glen takes charge of Harlow FC, shortly after leaving Ware (2008)

“I settled in quite quickly, travelling up with Steve Graham who lived in Wanstead and made a delayed debut after yet another all too regular suspension”.Glen scored 4 goals for Boro in the 1992/1993 season, which he feels “was a poor return.” Glen does however have fond memories of one particular goal against Kingstonian in a 0-2 away win – “it was very satisfying as it was at the end of a seven or eight passing move, rare in those long ball days!”

The next season 1993/1994 was a big season for Boro as they lifted the Isthmian Premier Division title in the guise of the Diadora Premier Division and in doing so reached the non league elite of the Football Conference.

Glen describes this season as “a very bitter sweet experience for me.” “I had carried a groin problem all season which used to force me off between 60-70 minutes in most games so it was a very frustrating time for me, although ironically, I was in my best form of the season in February 1994 which included a man of the match performance in a 3-0 win v St Albans in front of the home fans at Broadhall Way.”

Playing the following week against Moseley, Glen was to suffer a serious injury.” I ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament and tore cartilages in my right knee. I didn’t play again that season and it cost me a chance of trying to play Conference football and ultimately finished my playing career a couple of years later.”

Looking back at the team mates he played with at Boro, he comments “I enjoyed playing alongside Dave Venables and Shaun Debnem the most. Venners because I could read his runs early and find him with my passes and Shaun because we had little competitions to see who could do the most outrageous tackles before the referee got involved; he was better at it than me!

Glen receives the Ryman league 'Manager of the Month' award (February 2008)

Glen receives the Ryman league ‘Manager of the Month’ award (February 2008)

Reminiscing about his time at Boro, two themes come to Glens mind. “Firstly the winning attitude of the squad that would never accept defeat and had some very strong characters and the second being the coaching of Paul Fairclough with his emphasis on pressing and compacting play which bought out the best in me.”Paul Fairclough has obviously had quite an impact on Glen’s football career “I now realise that Paul was heavily influenced by Arrigo Sacchi, who was very successful at the time with AC Milan, but it was great for me as it was the first time I’d had effective coaching for a decade. Paul’s work made a big, lasting impression on me and started me off on my own coaching route.”

In summing up his time at Boro, Glen commented “I have only been back once since leaving; playing and scoring the winner in a 1996/1997 Herts Senior cup game against a very young Boro side. I take a lot of pride that I was a small part of Stevenage’s rise and am delighted that Boro are still moving onwards and upwards. Long may it continue!” adding “I hope some of the older supporters at Boro remember me, although if they do, the fading memories would be of a noisy, dirty little number 8 who kicked everything that moved, then had to limp off holding his groin as regular as clockwork!”

 

Name Glen Alzapiedi
Position Midfielder
Born 11th September, 1964
Place of Birth Holborn, London
Boro Career 1992/1993 1993/1994
Nick Name None at Boro (Skeletor at Ware FC)
Boro shirt number 8
Played 43 (8)
Scored 4
Superstitions None
Influence on Career As a player I wanted to be the next Liam Brady (with a right foot) but ended up more of a chaser/battler.  As a coach Paul Fairclough inspired with his organised training sessions, team structure and high work ethic demanded from his players.

Later Career

After retiring in 1996/1997 Glen again became disenchanted with the game “I again drifted away from football before I decided to take my coaching badges, finally getting an A licence in 2008.”

“I coached a couple of seasons at Brimsdown Rovers, than two more at Ware before taking over as manager in 2005/06 achieving decent success there including a league title and an FA Cup run to the first round.”

“When I was sacked Ware were 2nd in the league and poised for promotion but its all experience, as were the two successive relegations at Harlow and Waltham Abbey!”

I moved to Canvey Island in 2010/11 as assistant, taking over reluctantly as manager midway through 2011/12, winning the Essex senior cup against Colchester United – however interference from the chairman and Director of Football caused me to resign in the summer and I moved to local rivals Concord Rangers as assistant manager.”

The role suits me and I’m very happy here.  I work with a good young manager in Danny Cowley; my son Daniel plays in the youth team and I now see myself more as a coach than a number 1.”

Stevenage FC History Website would like to thank Glen for agreeing to the interview and for all the help given in compiling the article. We would also like to wish Glen all the very best in his role with Concord Rangers.

December 2012