How Colin Calderwood played an 'invaluable' role in Blackpool's promotion success

Seasiders were 18th when Calderwood was drafted in as Critchley's 'assistant head coach' at Bloomfield Road

By James Heneghan
Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:20 am
Colin Calderwood.
Colin Calderwood.

When Colin Calderwood was appointed to Blackpool's coaching staff on October 30 of last year, the Seasiders were languishing 18th in Sky Bet League One and even the notion of a promotion challenge seemed fanciful.

But the decision to bring in Calderwood would be an inspired one and proved a turning point in the season as Blackpool embarked on a remarkable run of form, culminating in their play-off final win over Lincoln City at Wembley.

Between the 56-year-old's appointment and the final day of the season, no team in League One collected more points than Blackpool's 73, five more than promotion rivals Oxford, Peterborough and Hull.

Whilst manager Neil Critchley rightly earned many of the plaudits, Calderwood more than played his part in Blackpool's return to the Championship.

“Colin brings that little bit of seniority and experience to the group," Critchley told the Blackpool Gazette back in March. “He will see the bigger picture because he can separate himself and detach himself from what is happening when you’re emotionally involved.

“Sometimes he can spot things that we don’t and he feels comfortable enough to bring that to the table.

“His little bit of advice, his knowledge and his input are invaluable for me. That’s not just on game day, that’s during the week as well.

“I can bounce things off him. I can ask him questions and with the experience he’s got from his playing career, his management career and his days as an assistant, he ticks a lot of those boxes.

“He’s been in the position I’ve been in, so he knows some of the feelings I’m experiencing and one or two comforting words from Colin can be a massive help.”

But Calderwood will not be joining Blackpool in the Championship next season after he moved back to Northampton to become Jon Brady's assistant.

And judging by the reaction from Blackpool fans on social media, he will be sorely missed.

'It’s rather disappointing to hear that Colin is leaving just as we are beginning our new challenge in the Championship. He seemed instrumental in helping to turn us around last season. I don’t recall him being given any real thanks (publicly) for what he did for us after joining.'

'Sad to see him go, feel he was a massive part of what we achieved last season. Good luck for the future.'

'Big blow this. Our defence vastly improved after he came in. Thanks and good luck, Colin.'