Josh Wagenaar who played 28 times in the 2008-09 League One season for Yeovil Town.

Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar has said the team supported manager Russell Slade after his controversial sacking in 2009.

The Canadian goalkeeper spoke to the Gloverscast as the latest interviewee in our series of chats and articles with former players.

Wagenaar had played every minute of a four-man winning run under Slade which culminated in his sacking which was announced midway through a 3-1 win at Peterborough United in February 2009.

Recalling that time, the keeper said: “Everyone got along well, we were all in Slade’s corner, everyone liked him. I think the club has to do what it feels necessary to get results and that is what we decided. I don’t know I saw his sacking coming, perhaps if I had a bit more experience in the game at that point maybe I would have. I was just like ‘that’s what happens’, we had won a number of games before he was relieved of his job.

“I enjoyed playing for Russell and Thommo (assistant Steve Thompson), they were great coaches and a lot of fun. Their door was always open and they were very easy to talk with, but I also felt like they ran a tight ship as well.

Slade went on to take over as manager at then-League One rivals Brighton & Hove Albion and masterminded a 5-0 win over his old employers a month later – in a game Wagenaar was sent-off with seven minutes remaining.

That led to the return of Chris Weale to Huish Park, and the homegrown stopper kept his place until the 85th minute of a final day defeat at home to Colchester United that season – when Wealey had famously scored a last-gasp equaliser against Hereford United to secure survival.

Wagenaar replaced him for those final five minutes of the final match, but that was the last he would play for Yeovil.

He recalls: “That was really the last time I played for Yeovil because then Wealey came in and I never got my spot back. Yeovil offered me to come back the next year, but it was basically the same contract I had been on the year before and I felt like I deserved a little more.”

He adds: “When I look back at my career, I wish I had been a little bit more professional in my approach but I was a young kid living in another country. I honestly just cared about myself and not a whole lot else, so I was mentally checked out a month before the season event ended. I was looking to move on somewhere else and get home. I was most likely ready for a break and see my family.

Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar, now a financial advisor and a good guy to speak to about your retirement savings.

Having left Huish Park in the summer of 2009, Wagenaar joined Scottish Premier League side Falkirk following a trial, but did not play a single minute as the club was relegated in 2009-10.

He returned home to Canada and drew a close to his professional career having suffered with arthritis of the back for a number of years.

He says: “For a few years I was able to keep that at bay with different drugs and that summer after Scotland I could not get my body to react, it just hurt to do anything. Eventually I found a medicine which gives me real quality of life, I get to play with my three kids and work out with my wife. I can’t train the way I used too but I don’t need too. I’m still coaching the goalkeepers at the university here as a way to stay connected.”

Now living in Louisiana in the United States, the 36-year-old is working as a financial advisor and helping people plan for their retirement.

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