MICKY Mellon has boosted his backroom team for Fleetwood Town’s second Blue Square Bet Premier campaign with the appointment of Steve McIlhargey as goalkeeping coach and Martin Cooper as fitness coach.
Glaswegian McIlhargey, who replaces Eric Nixon at Highbury, is fondly remembered on the Fylde for his four years as Blackpool FC keeper, having signed from Walsall in 1989.
He is best remembered for his Wembley penalty save from Scunthorpe’s Graham Alexander which helped the Seasiders seal promotion to the third tier via a play-off final shoot-out in 1992.
After making over 100 appearances for Pool, McIlarghey moved on to Morecambe and served the Shrimps for over 15 years as a player and then as goalkeeping coach.
There was a possibility of a comeback at the age of 45 in 2007-8, when McIlhargey was named among the Morecambe substitutes in Johnstone’s Paint Trophy ties.
Mellon said: “Steve is a very experienced keeper, a great fella and a good guy to have around.
“We have two young keepers with great potential (Scott Davies and new signing Danzelle St Louis Hamilton) and we felt we needed somebody of Steve’s quality to bring them on.”
The Town squad know all about tough taskmaster Cooper from last December’s big freeze, when he was brought in to preside over some extra fitness sessions, including fell running, as the club strove to use weekends productively when matches were postponed.
Mellon added: “I have known Martin for ten to 15 years. He is the ultimate professional and expects everything to be done properly.
“You can be sure the entire squad, not just those who are playing, will be very, very fit, so they will all be able to come into the team when required.
“It always very important to have the right people in place, and Martin and Steve will be two great additions for what will hopefully be a very exciting season.”