In the spotlight: Oldham Athletic

Fact File

Full Name: Oldham Athletic Association Football Club

Year Formed: 1895

Nickname: Latics

Stadium: Boundary Park

Capacity: 13,512

2021/22 Finish: 23rd in League Two

Review of the 2021/22 season

Oldham Athletic never got going in the 2021/22 season and endured a really poor start with manager Keith Curle receiving his marching orders in November. Selim Benachour took temporary charge until the end of January. Unfortunately, results didn’t improve with the Latics

only winning once in those two months. John Sheridan returned to Boundary Park for a fourth permanent spell in January and immediately saw an upturn in results. Oldham went on a seven-game unbeaten streak between the end of January and the start of March beating Scunthorpe United, Bristol Rovers and Bradford City during that time. However, that was as good as it got for Oldham as two wins in their 14 games sealed their fate. A 2-1 defeat to Salford City in their final home game of the season confirmed relegation to the National League and loss of their EFL status after 115 years.

Manager – John Sheridan

John Sheridan is no stranger to both Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield with multiple managerial spells at both clubs. The former Republic of Ireland international spent his 23-year playing career mostly in the top two divisions in England. He was given two caretaker spells at Oldham during his six-year stint as a player. Sheridan was finally given the job on a full-time basis in 2006 and spent three years at Boundary Park. Upon his departure from the club, Chesterfield swooped in to make Sheridan the manager at Saltergate. The moved paid off as the Spireites won League Two in their first season at the Technique Stadium and won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy the year after. However, after relegation from League One and a poor start to the campaign after, he resigned in September 2012. A return to Oldham followed in 2016 where he saved the club from relegation to League Two; a third spell with the Latics came in 2017, but Sheridan left after just eight months. The 57-year-old re-joined Chesterfield in 2019 and steered them to National League safety. A poor start to the season after resulted in his departure in January 2020. Stints at Waterford, Wigan Athletic and Swindon Town came and went before Oldham Athletic came calling once more. The ‘Shezzarection’ looked on but a downturn in results saw the club relegated into the National League.

Star Player – Liam Hogan

For any team needing to traverse the National League, having Liam Hogan in your squad is going to help no end. He has numerous promotions on his CV with two at FC Halifax Town, one with Fleetwood Town, one with Salford City and most recently one with Stockport County. It was with the latter club that the defender really found his footing. The centre-back was appointed captain at the start of the 2020/21 season as County looked to gain promotion back to the EFL after over a decade out of it. They got to National League play-offs but fell to Hartlepool United in the semi-finals. The 2021/22 campaign would be a different story for Hogan and Stockport. He played 33 times in the league and helped to guide the Hatters to their goal. A 2-0 win over his former club FC Halifax Town secured the National League title. Hogan left the club at the end of the season and joined Oldham Athletic ahead of the 2022/23 season with promotion once again on his mind.

Overall Head-to-head Record

P70   W21   D17   L32

Oldham Athletic have the upper hand when it comes to head-to-head fixtures against Chesterfield. In the 2016/17 League One season, the two sides took part in a goalless draw at Boundary Park in September. However, the reverse fixture included some late drama at the Technique Stadium. Anthony Gerrard was sent-off for a confrontation at half time; however, the Latics found a winner with Peter Clarke heading home in second-half added time.

Played for both – Mike Fondop

Mike Fondop became something of a fans’ favourite during his time in north Derbyshire. He had plenty of National League experience and looked to prove a point and help Chesterfield towards a promotion push in the fifth tier. In 29 league appearances, the striker scored ten goals and provided four assists. Unfortunately, the Spireites struggled and a resurgence under John Pemberton help just avoid relegation as the season was brought to an early end. Following spells at Aldershot Town, Burton Albion and Hartlepool United, Fondop reunited with manager John Sheridan at Oldham Athletic. The 28-year-old only made two appearances and scored two goals before his season was ended through injury. He’s not the only former Spireite currently at Boundary Park, though, as Chris Porter and Dan Gardner joined during the summer.