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Gary Holt

Norwich Career: 2001-2005 (182 appearances, 3 goals), 2010-13 (Academy Coach), 2014- (First Team Coach)
Current Club: Norwich City (First Team Coach)
Date of Birth: 09/03/1973
Nationality: Scottish

Biography

Scottish international midfielder Gary Holt signed for the Canaries on 19th March 2001 for a fee of 100,000 paid to Kilmarnock. Norwich had been tracking Holt since the beginning of December 2000 and Nigel Worthington was pleased to get his man especially as the clubs had agreed a 400,000 fee prior to Bryan Hamilton's departure. Gary's form prior to Christmas had alerted him to the likes of Bradford, Bolton and Leicester, making it less likely that he would sign for the Canaries. Holt said: "I'm happy to have signed for Norwich, I was very impressed by the set up there and I'm looking forward to helping them challenge in Division One. "It was a big wrench leaving Kilmarnock, but after discussing things with my wife and family, I wanted to have a fresh challenge in the game".

Born on 3rd of September 1973, Holt was plucked from footballing obscurity when serving as a soldier in Germany. Signed by Lou Macari for Celtic in 1993, he failed to make any first team appearances and moved on to Stoke where the same occurred again. Returning to Scotland with Kilmarnock in 1995, he played over 150 games for the Killies leading them into European competition, and has won 3 Scottish caps including recent World Cup ties with Latvia and Croatia. Indeed he signed for Norwich whilst on international duty with the Scottish national side whose coach Craig Brown described the deal as a bargain. Holt signed off with Kilmarnock after their 3-0 CIS Cup final defeat to Martin O'Neill's Celtic on 18th March, in which ex-Canary Chris Sutton was sent off for a late challenge on City's new signing.

Holt is described as a combative right sided midfielder who makes up for his lack of skills with a powerful engine and desire to win.

Gary made his full debut for Norwich in the 2-1 home win over Grimsby on 31st March 2001. He certainly kept running for the 90minutes although the accuracy of his distribution dropped as the game progressed. He adds much needed bite in the centre of the pitch in my opinion. Gary played in the 4-3 defeat at Gillingham but was an unused substitute for the games with Sheffield United, Tranmere and Burnley. This led Teamtalk to speculate that Gary hadn't settled well at Norwich and would make a shockingly quick return to Scotland rejoining Kilmarnock. Wigan and Barnsley were also said to be watching the situation.

Gary has made the central midfield position his own in the early days of the 2001/02 season and was called up for the Scottish World Cup clash with Latvia in early October. He was voted Player of the Year for season 2001/02 in which he was ever-present. His brave performace at Cardiff in the Division One play-off final sums up his attitude to football in that he kept going to the end despite taking some severe knocks and injuries. Gary missed just one game in 2002/03

April 2004 proved to be a very good month for Holt. Not only were Norwich promoted back into the Premiership but he was recalled to the Scottish squad after an absence of 2 years. He started for the Scots in their Aprl 28th 2004 clash with Denmark.

The 2004/5 Premiership campaign was marred by injury. He finished the season with appearances and was swapped with Nottingham Forest's Matthieu Louis-Jean on June 27th 2005. Nigel Worthington said "The £135,000 we spent on Gary Holt is probably one of the best value for money signings this club has made in recent years, I would like to thank Gary very much for his contribution to Norwich City and wish him the very best for the future.”

Gary was released by Forest in May 2007 following their play-off semi-final defeat to Yeovil which consigned them to another season in League One. Holt signed for Paul Lambert's Wycombe Wanderers on 12th July 2007. The tough tackling 34-year-old , who has won 10 Scotland caps, told Wycombe's website: "Manager Paul Lambert sold the club to me. I had the right vibes straight away, and I'm excited to be joining a club that is obviously going places." Lambert said: "Gary will bring some steel to the middle of the park, and that is something we need."

Gary helped Wycombe win promotion to League One in the 2008/9 season and the prospect of playing Norwich. However he left the club on 1st July 2009 by mutual consent saying "I'm gutted, but things come to an end. I've had two great years here and ever since day one I've enjoyed playing for the club. I would like to thank Peter for being honest and rather than me playing fewer games next season it's better if I move on and look for another club."

On 24th July 2009, Gary signed for Colchester as player-coach. In addition to his on-field duties, Holt will assist youth team coach Joe Dunne and work with the first team.

Gary quit Colchester at the end of September 2009 but although he was training at Colney to keep fit, City manager Paul Lambert denied that Holt was returning to Norwich in any capacity. “Gary's in here training at the minute but that's all - nothing will materialise, He just asked me if he could come and train. I think he still stays in this part of the world so he's just keeping himself fit.”

Holt signed for Lowestoft on 7th October 2009 helping them become Ryman League Division One North Champions for 2009-10.

In July 2010, Holt returned to City as Assistant Academy Manager, replacing Dean Rastrick who took up a similar role at Spurs. Holt will be responsible for the coaching of City's under-12 to under-16 age groups as well as assisting the current coaching staff with reserve team matters after the departure of Ian Crook, who returned to Australia

Having worked with City boss Paul Lambert at both Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United, Holt is looking forward to working behind the scenes again for his fellow Scot. “I worked for Paul before, played against him and with him. It's always nice to work with people who you have a lot of respect for and I hold him in the highest regard. “It's something I've been working towards as I've been doing my coaching badges. I'm on the way to getting my A licence.”

Academy manager Ricky Martin said: “To have Gary come on board is really good for the Academy, a former player of the club, who has embarked on his career as a coach and it's a good opportunity for him. It's an opportunity at an Academy which is well established, to come into a set-up where he's got experienced people around him and he'll be able to develop into the role. I think he'll bring a lot to the group with his experiences, he's been a great professional footballer and it'll be a great opportunity for our Academy players to work alongside him.”

Since 2012, he has been the Academy's Professional Development Coach

On 3rd April 2013, Holt left Norwich to become the new manager of Scottish side Falkirk, replacing Steven Pressley. "It's an exciting move for me," Holt told the club website. "I was particularly attracted to the infrastructure and academy set-up."

"I've worked under some good managers and learned a lot," he said. "Their advice was always the same - get your coaching badges and work hard. That has proved to be correct. As time went on, I felt that after three years good experience as a reserve and youth coach, I was ready to make the move into management. It was a case of finding the right club at the right time so I am delighted that I have the opportunity to coach Falkirk at this early stage of my management career."

Chairman Martin Ritchie told BBC Scotland: "What we were looking for was someone to continue the work of bringing young players out of the academy and getting them in the first team.But we were also looking for somebody who was very determined, very ambitious, and somebody we felt could take us on and get us back up to the SPL."

Despite leading Falkirk to the play-off finals, Holt quit at the beginning of June 2014 to return to Norwich as Neil Adams' first team coach alongside Mark Robson. Adams said “Mark (Robson) and Gary (Holt) are two people I’ve worked with closely and both will bring enthusiasm, hunger and experience to the coaching team. They have also played at the highest levels in this country,”


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