Coaching staff 2012/2013
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Squad No:  - Dean  Holdsworth's Picture
: Dean Holdsworth 2012/2013

Dean Holdsworth: 2012/2013 Biography & Statistics

Born: November 8th 1968, Walthamstow

Playing Career: Watford (from trainee), Carlisle United (on loan), Port Vale (on loan), Swansea City (on loan), Brentford, Wimbledon, Bolton Wanderers, Coventry City, Rushden and Diamonds (NC), Wimbledon, Havant and Waterlooville (later player-assistant manager), Derby County (player-assistant manager), Weymouth, Heybridge Swifts, Havant and Waterlooville, Cambridge United, Newport County, Redbridge (player-manager).

Dean was a striker who, alongside twin brother David (a centre half), began his career as a trainee with Watford.

He signed full pro forms in November 1986, but didn't make his debut until December 1987, when coming on as a substitute against Luton Town in a Division 1 match; he finished the 1987-88 season with loans at Carlisle United and Port Vale, for whom he scored once and twice respectively. Dean began the following season in similar fashion, scoring a goal for both Swansea City and Brentford before returning to Vicarage Road and scoring his first goal for the club against Blackburn Rovers in December 1988.

With his opportunities of appearing for the Hornets seemingly being limited, Dean made a permanent return to Griffin Park in September 1989 in return for a payment of £125,000 and more than repaid his fee with 28 goals in all competitions during the 1989-90 season. He scored nine goals the following season as sixth place in Division 3 was secured and played in both legs of the resultant play-off semi-final defeat to Tranmere Rovers; he also played in the two-legged southern area final of that season's Associate Members' Cup in which defeat was suffered at the hands of Birmingham City.

Dean's most successful season in a Bees shirt came in 1991-92, when his overall total of 38 goals made him the club's top scorer, with 24 of those contributing to success for both player and club: Dean was the joint highest scorer in Division 3 (with Huddersfield Town's Iwan Roberts), whilst Brentford were crowned champions.

Dean's form in the Bees' title-winning season coupled with his 75 goals in all competitions paved the way for a £720,000 move to Wimbledon in the summer of 1992 and he made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut against Coventry City in the Dons' third match of the inaugural FA Premier League season. Wimbledon's infamous 'Crazy Gang' finished the season in a respectable 12th place, whilst Dean's tally of 19 goals saw him as the club's top scorer as well as affording him joint third spot in the scoring charts along with Newcastle United's Mickey Quinn.

Dean headed Wimbledon's goal scoring charts in two of the next four seasons. In 1993-94, he netted 24 times as the Dons attained their best-ever finish in the Premier League (sixth) and reached the League Cup quarter-finals; Dean attained a personal honour in the summer of 1994, when scoring on his sole appearance for England 'B' against Northern Ireland 'B'. That year also saw him voted "Britain's Best Dressed Man".

He scored 16 goals in 1995-96 as the Dons reached the FA Cup quarter-finals and followed that up the following season with another nine strikes as the Dons suffered double semi-final disappointment, losing to Leicester City in the League Cup and Chelsea in the FA Cup. Having scored 76 goals in 208 games, Dean's time with the Dons came to an end in October 1997, when Bolton Wanderers paid their then record fee of £3.5 million to bring him to the newly-built Reebok Stadium. The bulk of Dean's time at Bolton was spent either fighting relegation from, or promotion to, the FA Premier League. The 1997-98 season ended with relegation to Division 1 by virtue of an 18th place finish in a campaign where Dean scored three times.

The following two seasons saw Dean score a combined total of 27 goals as the Trotters finished in sixth place before suffering defeats to Watford in the 1999 play-off final (Dean missed all three end-of-season games) and to Ipswich Town in the following year's semi-final; the latter loss came despite Dean scoring three goals across the two legs. In fact, the 1999-2000 season turned out to be one of triple semi-final disappointment as Bolton also lost to Tranmere at that stage of the League Cup and exited the FA Cup at the hands of Aston Villa.

Dean continued to score in the 2000-01 season and his 15 goals in all competitions were rewarded by promotion back to the Premier League being gained via a third-place finish. He eventually netted 49 times in 186 games for Bolton before leaving the Reebok Stadium and having short spells at Coventry City and Rushden and Diamonds, for whom he played in the final seven games of the season as the Division 3 title was claimed in 2002-03.

He was a target for Scottish Premier League Hibernian and Division 3 side Gretna, the latter of whom had already signed brother David in the summer of 2003, before deciding on a return to Wimbledon. During the 2003-04 season, he added three more goals to his overall tally for the Dons (including their first-ever goal at the National Hockey Stadium), but the campaign ended in a bottom-placed finish and, with it, relegation out of the Premier League.

In the summer of 2004, Dean left the professional game and joined Southern League Premier Division outfit Havant and Waterlooville, with the move into non-league immediately revitalising Dean, who scored on his debut against Newport County on the opening day of the season. He was appointed as player-assistant to boss Ian Baird in February 2005 and finished the campaign having scored a total of 33 goals, which not only made him the Hawks' top scorer for 2004-05, but earned him the double accolade of being voted both the players' and supporters' 'Player of the Year'.

Dean eventually left Westleigh Park in August 2005 to take on the role of player-assistant at Championship side Derby County under boss Phil Brown, who had been his coach at Bolton. Following Brown's dismissal the following January, Dean left Pride Park and had brief spells at Weymouth and Heybridge Swifts, for whom he scored on his debut and added two more in his second appearance; the Swifts finished the 2005-06 season as runners-up to Braintree Town in the Isthmian League Premier Division, which was the highest that the club had ever finished in the pyramid.

Dean returned to Westleigh Park in the summer of 2006 before having non-contract spells at Cambridge United and Newport County, for whom he scored three goals and appeared in their FAW Premier League Cup final defeat by The New Saints. In the summer of 2007, he was appointed as player-manager of Isthmian League Division 1 North side Redbridge and, although he didn't make any appearances for the Motormen in 2007-08, he did lead them to a third-place finish (winning three "Manager of the Month" awards in the process) before their season ultimately ended in disappointment as they lost to Canvey Island in the play-off final on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Dean hung up his boots in the summer of 2008.

During his time as a player, Dean was chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) between 2001 and 2004 and made a total of 400 + 130 FA Premier League and Football League appearances, scoring 163 goals. Over the course of his entire playing career, he played 545 + 184 games and scored 255 goals.

Dean's achievements with Redbridge brought him to the attention of Conference South outfit Newport County, who appointed him as their manager in May 2008 in succession to Peter Beadle who, ironically, had released Dean from Spytty Park in 2007. He set about rebuilding the Exiles' side and, following a difficult start to the 2008-09 season, steadied the team to the point where they suffered only a handful of defeats in the last two months of the campaign and finished in a creditable tenth spot.

A worthy contribution to the non-league game was made by Dean in 2009, when he founded the Non-League Footballers' Association (NLFA), an organisation dedicated to helping its members in a variety of ways, such as low-cost education, healthcare and lifestyle choices.

As pleasing as the 2008-09 season was, nothing could have prepared anyone associated with Newport for the wonderful season that was to follow. By the September, Newport went top of the table and remained there for the rest of the season, winning the title in mid-March 2010 by beating Dean's former club Havant and Waterlooville in front of a record Spytty Park crowd of 4221. In addition to that, County had a near-perfect home record, winning 18 and drawing three of their 21 games, during which the opposition scored just eight times. Furthermore, the Exiles scored the most goals in the division (93) and had the meanest defence (just 26 goals were conceded).

As if all that wasn't enough, a new club record sequence of 21 league games unbeaten was set; in fact, County lost just three league games all season and won with title with 103 points (a divisional record), a staggering 28 more than runners-up Dover Athletic! And the list of Dean's achievements for 2009-10 goes on: Newport were voted the 'BBC Wales Sports Team of the Year', whilst the boss picked up four "Manager of the Month" awards as well as being named as the 'Conference South Manager of the Year'.

By now, Dean had attained his UEFA 'A' and 'B' Licences and he was linked with the manager's job at Barnet in the summer of 2010, but chose to sign a new two-year deal with Newport. His team began the 2010-11 season where they had left off, suffering just one defeat (on the opening day) in their first dozen Blue Square Conference Premier games. By the end of the October, a new club record of 32 consecutive home league games unbeaten had been set and, by the turn of 2011, Dean's reputation saw him linked with the managerial vacancies at League 1 sides Bristol Rovers and Walsall.

However, the lure of the Football League proved too much to resist and, following the dismissal of Shots boss Kevin Dillon two days earlier, Dean stepped up to League 2 by becoming Aldershot Town's new manager and, along with his assistant Matthew Bishop, signed a deal to remain at the EBB Stadium until the summer of 2013. The Shots were six points and three places above the relegation zone when Dean arrived, but he soon instilled a new vigour and belief into the players; his positive and fan-friendly attitude also endeared him immediately to the Shots faithful.

The team quickly reverted back to the type of attacking football for which they had been known in previous seasons and, having pieced together a 10-match unbeaten run from the start of March to mid-April (wInning him the npower League 2 Manager of the Month award in the former month), ended the season in 14th spot having lost just four times in the 24 games for which Dean had been in charge.

Away from his 'regular' employment, Dean has taken part in a few television programmes: he appeared on Gamesmaster (the UK's first-ever television show dedicated to computer and video games) in 1995, sports magazine show Turnstyle in 1997 plus reality shows Deadline and Cirque de Celebrité in 2007. He has also appeared as a pundit on various Sky Sports footballing broadcasts.

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