Bred A Blue: Steven Schumacher On Playing With Rooney And Life In Management

Our latest Bred a Blue podcast guest is currently spear-heading Plymouth Argyle’s League One promotion push.

Steven Schumacher never made a First-Team appearance for his beloved Everton, but he went on to play 500 games as a professional and is currently in charge at Home Park as The Pilgrims look to lift themselves up into the Championship.

The former midfielder harbours no grudges about not making the grade at Everton.

“I was eight years old when I first had a trial at Bellefield and I stayed until I was 20, so it’s a massive part of my life and I loved every minute of it,” he says.

“I thought I would get a chance when Walter Smith was the manager.  I was a midfield player who liked a tackle and would have suited Everton’s style of play at the time.”


That Schumacher never got an opportunity in the Premier League maybe, albeit inadvertently, down to Wayne Rooney!

Rooney burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old after helping Everton to the final of the FA Youth Cup in 2002. Schumacher was a team-mate who, like the other nine players who played in that final, got released before playing for the First Team, and he analyses the situation 20 years on.

“We all knew that Wayne was special, everybody did, but I don’t think anyone honestly would have 100% said that he would go on to become England’s leading goalscorer and one of the best players this country has ever produced,” Schumacher added.

"You could see the talent, but it wasn’t the Wayne Rooney show and ten others.

“It probably went against the rest of us because we were all measured against Wayne, and that was tough for the other ten.

"Wrong place wrong time, if you like, with regards to my Everton career.”

From Everton, Schumacher played for Bradford City, Crewe Alexandra, Bury, Fleetwood and Stevenage in the Football League.

He cut his teeth in world of coaching at Finch Farm with the Everton Academy, before returning to the professional game with Bury and then Plymouth Argyle, assuming the top job when Ryan Lowe joined Preston North End in December 2021.

“My tenth game as a manager was Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup,” he recalls.

“One of the coaches at Everton text me and said, ‘you’ve gone from managing against Burnley Under-11s to the Champions of Europe in four years!’ and that’s how quickly football can develop and change.

“There are some massive budgets in League One but we’re enjoying the challenge. We’ve just got to keep competing with them and keep fighting with them as long as we can.”

Listen to Steven Schumacher's Bred A Blue story here or in the player below.

To catch up on other episodes of Bred A Blue, featuring guests including Keith Southern, Hope Akpan and Shane Duffy, click here.

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