Foxes A to Z, Patrick Kisnorbo, Captain of Leicester, A- League coach of the year

Patrick Kisnorbo joined Leicester City from Hearts back in 2005. He scored his first goal for Leicester v. Watford at Vicarage Road in October that same year and it eventually turned out to be the winner of that particular game. The Australian international moved south together with Alan Maybury and Mark de Vries following their former manager Craig Levein who had taken charge of Leicester City a few months earlier. 

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He was, when joining Leicester City, seen as a midfielder, but fortunes turned when he was played in a central defence position partnering Paddy McCarthy. The two made a good partnership and by that change being key players in avoiding relegation to the third tier in that first season.

Over a period of four years at Leicester City, Patrick Kisnorbo had to play under seven different managers and experienced the fatal fact to be part of the squad that had to see in their eyes a relegation to the third tier, he stayed on and was also the club in the push back and winning League One. By that time Nigel Pearson had taken over and he didn’t see Patrick in his feature team at Leicester City, made him available for a transfer and he joined Leeds United, and continued his career at League One level with The Whites. 

Despite the missed chance to yet again play in the Championship with Leicester City, he made a straight promotion act again the season after and helped Leeds United back up.  After a period on the sidelines and a being seen as a risky project due to heavy injury problems, he eventually got a new deal and also captained the Leeds side, as he did at Leicester, so his presence was often seen in a leading approach.

After just 49 league appearances with Leeds United during a four year spell at Elland Road, his life in English football was over in 2013, returning to Australia to continue his career with Melbourne City. At this time Patrick was 32 years of age. He went on to captain this club as well and continued playing until 2016 when he finally called it a day and went straight into coaching at this same football club, taking a role in the youth set up.

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He has since the start of his coaching career been a club man at Melbourne City and coached both the women’s team as well as being the head coach of the men’s first team. In 2020 he was appointed manager of Melbourne City and took that step up in the best way possible. Last season he leaded his club to their first ever Championship, and was voted A-League coach of the year

Despite being at Leicester City during a period of instability and financial difficulties he is one player that will be seen a bit iconic and influential during his time the football clubs history and part of an era that will be easy remembered as it was, despite being negative, so for a one happening in a life time, seeing Leicester City at level three in English football.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Patrick Fabio Maxime Kisnorbo
  • Position: Defender / Defensive Midfielder
  • Date of Birth: 24.03.1981
  • Birthplace: Melbourne
  • Nation: Australia
  • Caps / Goals: 18/1
  • Major League Career:
    • 2003-05, Hearts (48/1)
    • 2005-09, Leicester City (126/10)
    • 2009-13, Leeds United (49/1)
  • Links
  • Category

Leicester City and artificial grass, who are the plastic fantastic

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Artificial turfs are heavily discussed these days. In Scotland, Kilmarnock are playing their home games at Rugby Park on this type of material, but this is not anything new in British football, with a history going back almost 40 years.

Queens Park Rangers, Luton Town, Preston North End and Oldham Athletic were all famous for their “plastic fantastic”. During the 70’s and early 80’s the NASL had more or less all games played on artificial turfs.

Back then you also had a type of special shoes that were especially made for playing on these turfs, usually shoes without knobs. These days the grass are much better and you have mostly shoes with knobs who are comfortable on these types of material.

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In Scandinavia and especially Norway most clubs in the league system only have artifical turfs, due to the heavy weather change and a difficult climate, this makes it better to play instead of playing on muddy and frosty pitches, or getting a great amount of games postponed.

Leicester City also have a pitch like this on their training ground and will also be planning with this type of turf at their new planned training facilities. So the use of “plastic fantastic” is well in place and will probably never be removed as a training turf.

Russia, Spain and the Scandinavian countries are used to this type of grass, and it makes sense to have such fields. Spain, due to dry weather and not using a waste amount of water to keep the grass green, environmental reasons are obvious.

For the countries in the north they are often not able to build grounds and training fields with soil heat. Then artificial material makes great sense. The problem today is that to keep the surface as soft as possible you need to use cuttings of rubber from old car tires, and that in it self is pollution.

Borussia Dortmund visited Norwegian team Odd Skien for an European game a few years back, being 3-0 down after 20 minutes or so, on artificial grass, but after adapting they got back and won 4-3 in the end.

So how did Leicester City do in their games, playing Oldham Athletic, Luton Town and Queens Park Rangers, during the 80’s and early 90’s.

The headlines were often, psychological edge, a nightmare to play on, increasing risk of injuries and a potential cash cow for lower league clubs.

QPR were the first to install in 1981, then Luton Town, Preston North End and Oldham Athletic followed. Oldham had a fantastic rise in performances getting into the top flight by playing on the surface.

Luton had their “plastic” at Kenilworth Road from 1985 to 1989. ¬†Oldham Athletic had their artficial turf from 1986 to 1991. A former fox, Ian Marshall, scored a goal in the last game on “plastic”, winning 3-2 and getting The Latics promoted to the top flight.

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Terry Venables was in charge at Queens Park Rangers during a number of the “Lego” years, and he moved to Barcelona after a great run of results with the Q’s, mostly being blamed for having a great advantage to play on their special turf. QPR had “plastic” until 1988.

Preston North End had Deepdale covered with “plastic” from 1986 to 1994, and the last English team to ever have a home stadium and games played on this type of surface. The EFL banned artificial turfs in 1995.

Leicester City’s record on “plastic” will go along with the headlines, and really is a team following the flow, struggling heavy when going out on “plastic”. Leicester played 14 official league and cup games on that type of turf, 1 single win, 3 draws and 10 games lost. The magic win, 1-0, against Queens Park Rangers, a fixture back in 1986. Alan Smith scored the magic goal.

Only four Leicester City players scored goals on “plastic”, Gary Lineker 4, Alan Smith 3, those two must be described as the “plastic fantastic”, Jimmy Quinn and Gary McAllister where the two others.

  • Luton Town
    • Plastic Seasons, 1985-1989, Top Flight Seasons, 1982-1992
  • Queens Park Rangers
    • Plastic Seasons, 1981-1988, Top Flight Seasons, 1983-1988
  • Oldham Athletic
    • Plastic Seasons, 1986-1991, Top Flight Seasons, 0
  • Preston North End
    • Plastic Seasons, 1986-1994, Top Flight Seasons, 0
  • Leicester City “Plastic” Records
    • League, 28.08.90 v. Oldham Athletic, 0-2 Loss
    • League, 30.09.89 v. Oldham Athletic, 0-1 Loss
    • League, 03.12.88 v. Oldham Athletic, 1-1 (Quinn), Draw
    • League, 12.12.87 v. Oldham Athletic, 0-2, Loss
    • League, 24.01.87 v. Luton Town, 0-1, Loss
    • League, 27.09.86 v. Queens Park Rangers, 1-0 (Smith), Win
    • FA Cup, 10.01.87 v. Queens Park Rangers, 2-5 (Smith, McAllister (pen), Loss
    • League, 01.01.86 v. Luton Town, 1-3 (Bright), Loss
    • League, 16.11.85 v. Queens Park Rangers, 0-2 Loss
    • EFL Cup, 30.10.84 v. Luton Town, 1-3 (Lineker) Loss
    • League, 21.04.84 v. Queens Park Rangers, 0-2 Loss
    • League, 24.03.84 v. Luton Town, 0-0, Draw
    • League, 09.04.83 v. Queens Park Rangers, 2-2, (Lineker 2) Draw
    • League, 24.10.81 v. Queens Park Rangers, 0-2 Loss

 

 

 

Foxes A to Z, Rodney Fern, 1969 FA Cup finalist and foxes cult hero

A popular utility forward who mixed flashes of creative inspiration with moment of almost undearing clumsiness. Rodney, was given his frist team brack by coach Bert Johnson while Matt Gillies was on sick leave, and played out his first season in an unlikely looking but effective striking partnership with Frank Large.

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It was Rodney’s 44th minute goal, in only his third game, which prompted City’s hoodoo-breaking FA Cup fightback agianst Manchester City in 1968 (when a 0-2 defeat was turned into 4-3 victory on a night of pulsating drama, and insdeed it was the Cup which regularly brough the best out of him. The 6th Round winner at Mansfield helped City towards Wembley in 1969, while his headed goal at Arsenal in 1971 migt have opened the way to another medal for Rodney had been so cotroversially disallowed.

He was City’s top scorer in 1969/70 (when he got off the mark with a spectacular overhead kick in the opening fixture against Birmingham, but it was a superb playmaking performance in the crucial Easter game at Luton in the next promotion campaign which probably earned Rodney his later ¬£ 45 000 move to Kenilworth Road.

He had a mixed time there until the goal ratio increased again at Chesterfield, but it was as a veteran at Rotherham using his head to save his legs and still striking regularly that enjoyed renewed success twice embarrassing Leicester City in the League Cup and winning a Third Division championship medal in 1981.

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Fern retired in 1983 with a career aggregate of 124 league goals, to concentrate on the running of a pub in Lount, though he later in life established himself as a coal merchant back in Measham.

Rodney had a long life relationship with two other former fotballers, Jeff Bourne and Vic Halom, who all met during school days. Halom is known from the great 73 FA Cup winning Sunderland team, he later played together with Fern at Rotherham and had spells at several clubs including Oldham and Fulham. Jeff Bourne had a career at Derby and Crystal Palace and also played in the NASL, being famous for a fantastic goalscoring ratio.

For Leicester City fans living in Sweden and Norway, Rodney will always be remembered for his goal back in December 1969, against Cardiff City. The first so called Saturday “Tippekampen” live game with Leicester involved.

Rodney Fern sadly passed away in January 2018, at the age of 69. He had struggled with dimentia.

  • Full Name: Rodney Fern
  • Position: Forward
  • Date & of Birth: 13.12.1948, Date of Death: 16.01.2018
  • Birthplace: Burton upon Trent
  • Nation: England
  • Major League Career:
    • 1967-72, Leicester City (152/32)
    • 1972-75, Luton Town (39/5),
    • 1975-79, Chesterfield (152/54),
    • 1979-83, Rotherham United (105/34)

Links: Pinterest, Wikipedia

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