Mike’s Eyes On Future After Marathon Leicester Stint Ends
Mike Stowell has vowed to return to the game as soon as possible after Leicester brought an end to his astonishing 18 years in the King Power Stadium dug-out.
The former Wolves keeper learned just before the start of pre-season training that the club’s newly-appointed boss Enzo Maresca was taking all his own backroom personnel in with him.
The clear-out of existing staff leaves Stowell out of work for the first time since early in the summer of 2005 and he told us: “I have never been one to network, so this is all new territory for me.
“I have always just got my head down and worked. In fact I have had 38 years of virtually unbroken employment in professional football.
“But I’ve just had a close-season break, caught up on the decorating and gardening and think I would get in the way at home if I spend too much time there now.
“With clubs starting pre-season training and with some high-profile transfers in the news, my own situation has probably gone under the radar and I would just like people to know I have definitely not retired.
“I am not ready to step away, nor am I able to, and am looking to crack on in football quickly. I’m still hungry, looking for the next challenge, and have an open mind as to where it might be.
“Apart from filling in for a few days with the Denmark national team through Kasper Schmeichel, I have always worked in England but wouldn’t mind going abroad for a couple of years if the chance came up in somewhere like America or Saudi Arabia.”
Stowell was inducted into Wolves’ hall of fame in late April (see photo above right) in recognition of the fact he played 448 first-team games here across a stay long enough to have been honoured with a testimonial.
But it’s hard to believe that, after a subsequent stint with Bristol City, he went on to spend almost twice as long with Leicester as he did at Molineux.
“Craig Levein appointed me in the summer of 2005,” he added. “Rob Kelly, who I knew well from Wolves, was assistant manager and took over when Craig was sacked.
“I have had five or six spells as caretaker manager and Nigel Pearson made me a first-team coach, so I haven’t only been a goalkeeper coach.
“I am super-proud of what I have been part of at Leicester – to win the League, the FA Cup and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League has been absolutely brilliant. There were three promotions along the way as well and I think I would have been on the touchline for 1,000 games if I had stayed at the club for all of the coming season.
“Being involved in senior first-team football for 18 years hopefully means something to others as well now I am looking for my next job.”
Kasper Schmeichel, with whom Stowell is pictured left, has not let the departure go unrecognised, the Nice keeper writing in an Instagram post that has attracted nearly 38,000 likes: “I can’t thank Mike enough for what he has done for me and my career.
“Both on and off the field, he was always there for me. He has been a huge part of all that was right about Leicester.”