Bolton Wanderers’ Andy Tutte plans to follow Brighton, Liverpool & Manchester United example

INCHING into his thirties and recovering from two serious injuries which kept him out of football for more than a year, Andy Tutte approached a career crossroads with caution at the start of the summer.

The affable Liverpudlian may ordinarily have been preparing himself to find a new club, given he was restricted to just 90 minutes of action during the whole 2021/22 season.

Instead, the club’s decision to launch a B Team left an opening for an experienced player who knew Ian Evatt’s system to take a first step on the coaching ladder. And it was one that Tutte was only too willing to take.

“I was out for seven months of last year and even though I didn’t train that much I know what the gaffer’s standards are,” he told The Bolton News. “I feel like I can drive the kids so that when they are ready for the first team, they can handle it.

“They have given me an opportunity that was just too good to turn down. It was a no brainer.

“I can keep myself fit even while I am coaching, and I can learn from Matt (Craddock) and the gaffer, so I am really looking forward to doing it.”

Tutte played an understated role in Wanderers’ promotion from League Two in Evatt’s first season, where his experience in lower league football proved important in a side that had been hastily assembled.

In a sense, he is being asked to do the same job again, only this time with a collection of younger players who are looking to push their way to the fringe of Evatt’s senior squad.

Tutte suffered a severe torn hamstring at the start of last season and then had to abandon a second comeback attempt in March.

Now fully fit once more, he has no plans to hang up his boots and become a full-time coach, rather the midfielder says his time on the side-lines last season has made him determined to enjoy his time out on the pitch again.

“It was tough because I’d had an operation after my hamstring and it happened in an Under-23s game, as soon as I did it, I knew it was a bad one,” he said.

“It was the calf one to be honest, I came back a couple of times and it kept breaking down so that was the frustrating one.

“I’ll try and play as much as I can now. If that is another five years. I love playing football and so as long as I can play, I’ll keep going.

“But sometimes you can be lucky getting an opportunity to go into coaching. When you do start your coaching badges, sometimes you are working with kids and I’ve stepped up to basically under-23s level, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The role of ‘coach on the pitch’ has been adopted elsewhere to great success with the likes of Paul McShane at Manchester United and Jay Spearing at Liverpool.

“I think it’s been going for a couple of years now at Brighton, I spoke to a lad I played with, Gary Dicker, and as soon as he found out about the role he contacted me and he said it’s a great role,” Tutte explained.

“He has gone down to the 18s and is teaching the 18s now, so I just think it’s good for the kids because if you have 11 kids out there on the pitch without experience, someone like me talking, they’re going to benefit from it.”

Tutte could be heard barking the orders in the B Team’s friendly at Atherton Colls on Wednesday night and hopes to help a team settle down over the coming weeks.

“I felt like I was losing my voice a little bit,” he laughed. “But I enjoy it. I have done that all my career – talk on the pitch – even at first-team level. That is something I have done all the time. It is teaching the kids in situations, talking to them all the time. They are only going to benefit from it.

“My job is to make sure when the lads are getting moved up to the first team, they know the standards to expect, so it’s just getting stuff into their heads about standards, the passing drills.

“I’m going to be on them for everything to be perfect and not be on their backs but to give them a little bit of a kick.”

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