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Non-league path has helped me get where I am - Newcastle's Pardew

Alan Pardew suggests his experiences playing non-league football has helped him become the manager he is today.

The Newcastle United boss played for many years outside what we now know as the Football League before turning pro with Crystal Palace in 1987 and he believes growing up around all different types of people, whilst having a full-time job along with football, has allowed him to become a good man manager at professional level.

"It was a very important route because you understand the workplace and what the media represents to the working man," he told The Manager.

"When I was a glazier, I was reading the newspaper every day and that was my only insight into the football world.

"When you play in non-league football, you meet a cross-section of characters that you don't meet in professional football.

"You might have a company chief executive and a dustbin man playing side-by-side in the same non-league team, so you come across many characters from different walks of life whereas in professional football, you have football-focused individuals who have based most of their upbringing on football because it was going to be their career from day one.

"Due to the playing route that I took, I have experienced diversity of character, so when I come across what may be classed as a 'difficult or enigmatic character' in the football world, it's not much of a problem for me."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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