Former Portsmouth, Everton, Ipswich, Sheffield United and Burnley defender lands first senior managerial role with non-league Oldham

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Former Pompey defender David Unsworth has landed his first major managerial role in senior football with non-league Oldham.

The 48-year-old’s been appointed the new boss at Boundary Park and succeeds John Sheridan, who announced his retirement from football following the Latics’ 3-2 win over Eastleigh on Saturday.

The ex-centre-back joins a new-look Athletic side after they were taken over by local businessmen Frank Rothwell in the summer following a troubled tenure under previous owner Abdalla Lemsagam.

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This saw the club drop out of the EFL for the first time in their 115-year history – and they have had a difficult start to life in the National League as they currently sit 14th in the table.

Unsworth has now been trusted to guide Oldham back to the Football League in his first major management role in senior football following an eight-year spell in Everton’s academy.

The former Toffees favourite also had three spells in charge on a caretaker basis at Goodison Park, before his departure in the summer.

After penning a three-year deal with the Latics, the ex-Pompey defender revealed his excitement at being given his maiden managerial break.

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He told the Oldham official website: ‘This is the perfect job for me and I’m hugely excited to be joining the club at this time.

Former Pompey defender David Unsworth has been appointed boss of non-league Oldham.Former Pompey defender David Unsworth has been appointed boss of non-league Oldham.
Former Pompey defender David Unsworth has been appointed boss of non-league Oldham.

‘I’ve had opportunities to become a first-team manager at a number of clubs over the past three of four years but they haven’t felt quite right.

‘This is the right club, the right fit, with the right owners and board of directors.

‘The fanbase has also been a very important factor in my decision to join. I’ve seen the support they have given the team this season and I’m sure they’ll continue to get right behind the team.

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‘I genuinely think this club is a sleeping giant, one that can climb up not just one league, but two or three, in a short space of time.

‘I’m very pleased to be here and I can’t wait to meet the players and get started on the job.’

Unsworth joined Pompey on a free transfer from Everton in August 2004 and featured 19 times for the Blues before joining Ipswich on loan in January 2005.

The former defender scored a penalty in a 2-0 win over Manchester United marking his most memorable moment during his brief Fratton Park stay, which lasted just 12 months.