Sport Soccer

Saturday 17 February 2018

'Strachan came in, we didn't see eye to eye' - Mark Yeates

Mark Yeates in an Ireland shirt during an U21 friendly against Sweden in 2006
Mark Yeates in an Ireland shirt during an U21 friendly against Sweden in 2006

In his own words, Mark Yeates charts a career of ups and downs

Aug 2001-Jul 2007

Appearances 4 Goals 0

It's the place where I learned my trade. I did all my growing up in London and I've still got a lot of friends there. I went out on loan a lot when I was there. If you're at such a big club and not going to play, there's no joy in going out on a Monday in front of a couple of hundred people for the reserves. Mostly, I went at my own request.

BRIGHTON

LOAN – Nov '03-Jan '04

Appearances 10 Goals 0

I had a brilliant time there. I was only 18; they were a big side in League One at the time and Mark McGhee was really keen to bring me in. A few of the lads drove from London so there was no move involved. I was never the biggest of lads but played central midfield the whole time I was there.

I was then brought back to Spurs and made my debut at the end of the season; that summer I thought I was going to be one of the up-and-coming boys but Jacques Santini came in and wasn't keen on having young lads in the squad.

SWINDON

LOAN Aug '04-Sep '04

Appearances 4 Goals 0

I went there just to get out and play, it was out of frustration. The manager Andy King was a character, and I didn't stay too long. I lived in a hotel for the month but Martin Jol took me back, and said I shouldn't have gone out on loan in the first place.

He put me in the first-team squad for the rest of the season and, as a young lad, you start to feel you're part of something big.

HULL

LOAN – Aug '06-Jan '07

Appearances 7 Goals 0

Phil Parkinson, who I'd already worked with, was appointed and tried to buy myself and Dean Marney but Spurs offered me a two-year deal and I'd always been told to try and stay at the highest level I can so I signed it and they agreed to let me go on loan for the year.

I had a place there but the gaffer lost his job, Phil Brown came in and wanted to do his own thing so I went back to Spurs.

LEICESTER

LOAN – Jan '07-May '07

Appearances 9 Goals 1

I started really well, scored in my first game. Rob Kelly was great for me. Then Milan Mandaric pretty much took over the club, there were a lot of changes, even a stint where a few youth team coaches had the job and then Nigel Worthington was there.

He wanted a small squad of players because he felt he'd have the job the season after; I wasn't going to be around the next year so I was sent back.

COLCHESTER

LOAN – Aug '05-May '06

Appearances 52 Goals 6

FREE TRANSFER – Jul '07-Jul '09: Appearances 81 Goals 21

I had great times there, the first time, on loan, it was the first time I worked with Parky and we got promoted and went on a great FA Cup run. Then, when my contract expired at Spurs, I signed permanent.

The club was trying to build and stay in the Championship but in the end we went down and failed to get back up at the first time of asking. It's a club whose results I will always look out for though.

MIDDLESBROUGH

£500,000 Jul '09-Jan '10

Appearances 21 Goals 1

I was 24, they had just come down from the Premier League and aiming to go straight back up. It was a great move. I signed for Gareth Southgate, he was top notch for me and everything looked to be going the right way.

He got sacked and I still can't understand it. We'd just beaten Derby 3-0 and weren't far off the pace. Gordon Strachan came in, we didn't see eye to eye and he brought in a lot of boys from Scotland.

I still feel if they'd stuck with Gareth and brought in a few that January, we'd definitely have been in the shake-up. And I would have seen out my contract there.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

£500,000 Jan '10-July '11

Appearances 56 Goals 7

Another massive club with ambitions of getting straight back into the Premier League. Kevin Blackwell signed me, then Gary Speed got the job and anyone who worked with him would say how top class he was.

We had three Irish lads – myself, Andy Reid and Stephen Quinn – in the side at the same time. Then Speedo took the Wales job and Micky Adams came in with his own ideas, his own plans. That was it.

WATFORD

£250,000 July '11-Jun '13

Appearances 66 Goals 7

I signed for Sean Dyche but the whole team has pretty much changed in two seasons, a massive turnover. I played a lot of games for Gianfranco Zola and liked him but I think anyone looking from the outside can tell the club is being run a bit strange.

You'll be training one day and then look up and there's 14 new lads training next to you. Last season, I played 20 games at the start but there were clauses that said if I played a certain amount more, a new deal kicked in and it didn't work in my favour. It's a club going in its own direction. I'm not sure how they will do.

BRADFORD

FREE July '13-Present

Appearances 7 Goals 1

I had a couple of chats with the Millwall gaffer and there were other teams but things were taking too long and once I spoke to Parky and he told me his ambitions and what he thought the club could achieve, it felt like a wise move.

Coming down to League One, he wants me to be one of their main players and that's when I get the best out of myself. Hopefully, come the end of the season, we'll be going to the Championship.

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