Interview - Alan Goad - Hartlepool United - Vancouver Whitecaps
3 Decades and Two Continents
A big thank you to Alan Goad for this interview. If you have not had the chance to read Alan's Player Profile please click the link below.
Alan's playing career has spanned 3 decades and 2 continents with over 450 games played in both England and North America. Playing almost 420 games with one club, Hartlepool United, and ending his career in the infamous NASL playing alongside and against Legends of the Game.
Even after his playing days were done Alan dedicated his spare time to coaching the Whitecaps Youth Teams and amateur soccer teams throughout the lower mainland of British Columbia. It has been an entire life surrounded by the game and you get the sense there is little regret in dedicating his life to the sport.
We contacted Alan and asked a few question that we hope will both entertain you and give you a glimpse of a career of a footballing journeyman.
Interview With Alan:
HFC - What were the three most memorable games you ever played in?
Alan Goad - Manchester City - FA Cup Third Round, Aston Villa – FL Cup Last 16 Replay, Coventry City – FA Cup and of course my Testimonial againsts Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest (European Cup Winning Team)
HFC - Toughest game you ever played in?
Alan Goad - At Watford (Div. 3 – 1968-69) Marked Barry Endean who was the leading goal scorer of all four divisions at the time and we drew 0 - 0
HFC - Back in England the stands are so close to the pitch. What was the strangest thing ever yelled at you during a game?
Alan Goad - "Goad, You Suck!!!"
HFC - Which manager do you wish you had the chance to play for?
Alan Goad - Klopp
HFC - Most memorable half time speech given by one of your managers or coaches?
Alan Goad - We weren’t given many inspirational speeches in those days and the only one I can remember may not be what you are looking for. It was Buzzy Parsons, (Asst. Coach with Whitecaps Indoor Soccer Team 1981-82), when sat down beside me in the dressing room at half time and said you should see the size of the woman’s breasts sitting near me in the stand.
HFC - Best stadium you ever played in?
Alan Goad - Manchester City's City Ground
HFC - Did you ever play Subbuteo growing up?
Alan Goad - Yes, I even simulated an entire season on my own when was a kid. No video games back then.
HFC - What was your preferred number? Why?
Alan Goad - #4, it's my lucky number
HFC - Best Soccer Movie you have ever watched?
Alan Goad - Goal
HFC - Best book about soccer you have ever read?
Alan Goad - Clough's Biography
HFC - What made you come to North America
Alan Goad - A Coaching and Playing opportunity with the Fraser Valley All-Stars and then with the Vancouver Whitecaps
HFC - When you came to North America what were your first impressions?
Alan Goad - The long travel, Astro-Turf, The offside line and the shootout-outs rather than penalties
HFC - Do you watch the MLS? Impressions?
Alan Goad - Not very often. The standard of the skill has improved immensely over the last twenty years especially in respect to defenders. But the game has evolved so much and with hard tackling being taken out of the game it creates a safer environment compared to the old days.
HFC - Who was the best teammate you ever played with?
Alan Goad - Derek Possee
HFC - Who were some of your soccer role models growing up?
Alan Goad - Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore
HFC - Did you have a nickname when you played?
Alan Goad - Goady or Stoolie
HFC - Funniest moment, on or off the pitch, from your playing days?
Alan Goad - Whitecaps Indoor on a long away trip in Canada. During training players voted on the worst player of the day and he was given the yellow jersey to wear the next day. I made the mistake of bragging that I had never been given the yellow jersey and when we got of off of the plane in Calgary Carl Valentine had somehow managed to get two thirds of the passengers on the plane to take the yellow headrest covers and give me a line of honor as I walked off, cheering and waving the headrest covers. Of course they had taken a secret vote and it was unanimous.
HFC - Who was the biggest prankster that you played or roomed with?
Alan Goad - Carl Valentine
HFC - Was there ever a time you were in awe of another player in a game?
Alan Goad - Charlie Cooke playing indoor for Calgary against us.
HFC - Who was the hardest player you faced?
Alan Goad - Bobby Newton, Huddersfield Town. He later became a teammate at Hartlepool.
HFC - Who was the most talented player you faced?
Alan Goad - Kevin Keegan two weeks before his move to Liverpool from Scunthorpe
HFC - What’s the best advice you were given when you started playing professional?
Alan Goad - My League Debut at Hartlepool. The coach sat beside me and said, “The first chance you get on the halfway line, kick the winger up in the air and he will never come near you again”. It worked and I never saw the winger for the rest of the game but it doesn’t work today because the winger’s kick you back.
HFC - What advice would you give to young players who want to become professional soccer players?
Alan Goad - Take the chance and go for it. Remember you are getting paid for something that others play in their spare time. Always give 100% and people will forgive any mistakes you may make.
HFC - Top 3 goals you ever scored?
Alan Goad - Can only remember one, at home in a local derby against Darlington. It was a header at the near post from a corner and it won us the game.
HFC - Who would you consider the greatest team of all-time
Alan Goad - Arsenal 2003-04
HFC - If you had to assemble an all-time starting eleven of players that you played with what would the team be (It has to include you)?
Alan Goad -
Bruce Grobbelaar Whitecaps
Bob Lenarduzzi Whitecaps
Roger Kenyon Whitecaps
Alan Goad Hartlepool
Bryan Drysdale Hartlepool
Carl Valentine Whitecaps
John Mcgovern Hartlepool
Keith Houchin Hartlepool
Willy Johnston Whitecaps·
Derek Possee Whitecaps
Bob Newton Hartlepool
HFC - Who is the greatest player of all-time?
Alan Goad - Ronaldo
Once again, A huge thank you to Alan. If you want to know more about Alan's career click the link below.
The images above were taken from the scrapbooks of Alan Goad. Custom art was created by Paul Goad.
Alan’s career at Hartlepool started in 1967 after a brief apprenticeship stint at Exeter City. In the 11 years Alan spent at the club he collected programs, pictures, and newspaper clippings from the many matches he played in Hartlepool (418 in total). I am happy to share these memories so that Hartlepool Fans around the globe can enjoy a piece of history.
Alan Goad is still ranked 5th in games played at the club, ranked 1st in League Cup starts, and is the only player in the club’s history to see the club go through 3 name changes. His time with the club began with the celebration of their promotion into Division 3 but the 70’s were unkind with many relegation votes required to keep the club in the league.
Despite the club's luck and with very little money to be made Alan remained committed to the club, the fans, and the town of Hartlepool. He looks back fondly of his time at the club and the career he was fortunate to have.
Special thanks to Phil Dunn, Geoff Wilkinson and John Phillips for their contributions, guidance and wealth of knowledge on Hartlepool and their Club.
Information on the above mentioned players and teams was sourced from various locations including match programmes, newspaper articles, Wikipedia and the "In The Mad Crowd" website - http://inthemadcrowd.co.uk/