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11th tier club appoint ex-Celtic, Aston Villa and Hibernian player

A non league club in the 11th tier of English football have managed to appoint an ex-Celtic, Aston Villa and Hibernian player.

Chester-le-Street United are an ambitious side currently playing in the Wearside League, and on the 23rd of January, announced the appointment of Didier Agathe as their manager.

Eight months ago, he had been managing Durham City in the tier above, however his stint didn’t last all too long, he picked up just one point from opening nine games with the club bottom for their league before leaving, however the club owner revealed it wasn’t because of the results.

Fast forward to January 2021 and Chester-Le-Street United state that they are delighted to announce the appointment of Didier Agathe as their new first team manager.

He scored four goals in five games for Hibernian in 2000 and prior to that had played for Raith Rovers, and two French sides in Ales and Montpellier.

The former footballer made over 120 appearances for Celtic during a six-year spell and featured in several famous Champions League wins when the club was managed by Martin O’Neill.

Agathe, who is affectionately known as three lungs, was also in the Celtic line-up that faced Jose Mourinho’s Porto in the UEFA Cup final back in 2003.


Didier also have a stint at playing in the Premier League, brought in by his mentor Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa.

Chester-Le-Street United are part of the FA national football system operating at Step 7 of the non league pyramid.

They add in their statement: “This is the clubs first season. The club are seeking promotion to progress through the step system. The appointment of Celtic legend and serial winner Didier Agathe demonstrate the clubs commitment to producing the best young talent ready for the professional game.

“The club have worked with Didier creating opportunities for his international players to be housed safely and provide a platform for them to showcase their talents through the partnership with Park View Academy of Sport.

“Didier’s story is an incredible one and something the club are keen to share with the first team players, all of whom are 19 or younger as they seek to follow in his footsteps.

“In addition to his management of the first team alongside John Gamble and Colin Wotherspoon, Didier will work with the professional development phase age groups in the club looking to install the shared philosophy of the club and that of Didier Agathe. His connections across Europe and beyond will be a fundamental part of the clubs success.

“Chester-Le-Street United are ambitious and have plans on becoming a community rooted organisation that provides a true pathway from its youth section through to its mens first team.

“Didier’s connections in the game will add value and remain in keeping with the clubs vision to develop the best young talent in the region maintaining a professional outlook. Presently the first team train full time at the prestigious Park View Academy of Sport (the former training ground of Newcastle United) combining this training with academic studies.

“Didier will also head up the International Football School as the head coach. Working with David Mccreery to identify the best international talent.”

John Gamble, who Agathe will work alongside with as well as Colin Wotherspoon in leading the first team, said: “ I have grown to know Didier over the past few months and his morales and intentions for his players are the same as ours. He is very hardworking and very honest with his players. He has been able to identify talented players some of whom will join our academy and some of whom may be good enough to play in the first team. We have a great set up within the club and the academy giving players the chance to progress from u16 through to the first team. Didier has a point to prove in management and we look forward to him being a prominent figure in the growth of our club. I am keen to work with him as we seek to guide the club onwards and upwards”

Didier Agathe said: “I am delighted to be named Manager at Chester-Le-Street United. The club do everything the right way. They have PlayerTek GPS pods for their players, a fantastic training ground with players training full time. I love the strength and conditioning at the club’s on-site Cross Fit Facility. We want to build a professional team of young players who can challenge in the leagues but most importantly fulfil their ambition of becoming professional players in the future. Over the last 10 years I have been able to do a lot of good in La Reunion forming my Academy, the only thing I want to do now is to help people get better and be the best that they can be. I look forward to giving players from La Reunion the chance to train and play alongside the outstanding English talent that is here within the fantastic set up at Chester-Le-Street United. The clubs plans are very exciting and I am delighted to really push my management career here.”

Fans reacted after seeing the 11th tier club appoint an ex-Celtic, Aston Villa and Hibernian player, see what they said…

@alexmeerkat: All the best 🍀

@ByersAlan: Hope you’ve got a parking space for his tank

@James_5cott: @colinwothersoon this is class- sure he’ll learn a few things from you Col

@simon_garrity: Pleased to see another local coach been given a chance to prove himself, not!!

@PaulGriff1986: Delighted did you see his record at durham. On a plus side surely his record can’t be as bad as it was at durham

@ILPadrino1994: I think a lot of Durhams problems were pre-existing. A lot going on behind the scenes. Didier did bring in his own team who had potential to be a great side. The fact they haven’t improved at all since he left says a lot too.

@danielkent15: After the shit show at Durham, can’t believe he has been given a chance again.

@Connor_9810: Fantastic appointment! And a top bloke!

@CallumMunro2: His ‘connections’ worked wonders at Durham 🤥😂

@Sam_GFC: WOW!

@RichyStorey: Great signing by the club 👏 👏 👏

@ILPadrino1994: Great to see @DidierAgathe back in the game. Had the pleasure of meeting him at Durham earlier this season, has the potential to take @CLSUnited to the next level. Good luck Didier!

@AbangLongKenji: Good Luck Mr.Agathe ✊🏽🍀

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