'I had a terrific time and made some fond memories' - Calderwood looking forward to his Cobblers return

Colin Calderwood during his time in charge of the Cobblers in 2005. Picture: Pete Norton
Colin Calderwood during his time in charge of the Cobblers in 2005. Picture: Pete Norton

Cambridge United boss Colin Calderwood admits his side's visit to former club Northampton on Saturday was one of the first games he looked out for when the fixtures were released in the summer.

Following a 19-year playing career that saw him make over 100 appearances for Mansfield, Swindon and Tottenham, Calderwood's first managerial role came at the Cobblers in 2003.

The now 54-year-old spent three years at the club and after missing out on promotion in his first two seasons - despite making the play-offs both times - it was a case of third time lucky when he led the Cobblers to second place in League Two in 2005/06, behind champions Carlisle United.

Calderwood has since taken charge of Nottingham Forest and Hibernian but the bulk of his coaching career has been as an assistant manager at several clubs, including Newcastle United, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa.

However, he ended his seven-year break from management when appointed by Cambridge last December and Saturday will mark his first return to the PTS Stadium since.

"It's one of the first fixtures I looked for because I had a terrific time there and made some found memories," said Calderwood.

"I still live in the area so there's lots of people that I know that will be at the game supporting Northampton but there's also a few I know that will be supporting Cambridge, which will help!"

Reflecting on his time in charge of the Cobblers, Calderwood added: "It feels a long time ago now because it was my first managerial job and back then I was recognised as a young coach or a young manager but I don't think that's the case anymore!

"But I enjoyed the experience and it was the start of my managerial career so I'm grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity and sticking by me because there were one or two difficult periods.

"There were moments when they could have made a change but the first group of players I had were excellent and then in the second season the squad became a bit younger because we adjusted the budget.

"But the following year we were able to recruit some real good quality players - the likes of Sean Dyche, Ian Taylor and Eoin Jess probably stood out and they added to what was already there.

"It did take a period but I certainly benefitted from the disappointments we had and the ups and downs we had throughout the season and it gave me a real good foundation."