• Dan Carter

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: WHAT HAPPENED TO STEVE COTTERILL'S FIRST BRISTOL CITY SQUAD?


Steve Cotterill holds a special place in all Bristol City fans’ hearts, having been the manager to take the Robins back to the Championship and we all wish him well as he recovers from Covid-19.


The now Shrewsbury manager won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as well at the League One title with an impressive 99 points, but it didn’t start as well for Cotterill.


He was appointed on December 3, 2013 with his first league game in charge being a 2-0 home defeat to Rotherham that put the Robin’s bottom of League One.


What has happened to that team seven years later and where have their careers taken them in 2021?


Starting XI


Elliot Parish


Parish came through the ranks at Aston Villa before a transfer to Cardiff City in 2012 where he spent time on loan at Wycombe Wanderers.


A trial at Aberdeen didn’t lead to a contract offer with him then trialling with Bristol City, which was a success, leading to a two-year deal at Ashton Gate.


He left the Robins on loan to Newport, before signing for Blackpool on a free transfer but was once again released before signing on a free contract for Colchester.


Two one-year contracts at Accrington Stanley and Dundee have led to Parish now playing for St Johnstone where he has made eight appearances keeping one clean sheet this season.


Brendan Moloney


The serial loanee from Nottingham Forest from who he had four separate loan spells, joined the Robins on a free transfer in 2013 where he made 58 appearances.


He left the Robins when his contract was cancelled in 2014, as he signed for Yeovil Town with now Leeds United centre-back Luke Ayling heading in the opposite direction.


He only made seven appearances before heading on loan to Northampton Town on a loan deal that later became permanent, where he proceeded to make 115 appearances, scoring twice.


Moloney has now retired from football, after a persistent knee injury meant he didn’t feel able to accept a new contract offer from the Cobblers in 2018.


Aden Flint


A more memorable name at Ashton Gate, Flint joined the Robins from Swindon Town in 2013, with Sean O’Driscoll bringing in the former non-league defender.


He was a stalwart of City’s 2015 success with key goals in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final as well as a hat-trick against Walsall in the Robin’s 8-2 demolition.


Lee Johnson was an admirer with Flint remaining in BS3 until 2018 when he signed for Middlesbrough but that move only lasted for a year before he moved onto Cardiff City.


With appearances being limited, Flint signed for Sheffield Wednesday on loan, but that deal was cut short this January after the centre-back picked up an injury, leaving his future unclear.


Derrick Williams


Having come through the Aston Villa youth teams, Williams signed for the Robins on a free transfer in 2013 as a 20-year-old defender.


He made 131 appearances for City and like Flint was a key member of Cotterill’s promotion side and was still often used in the Robin’s return to the Championship.


The Republic of Ireland international signed for Blackburn Rovers in 2016 as Lee Johnson was appointed and has remained there since, playing 152 times in League One and the Championship.


Greg Cunningham


The Irish left-back joined Bristol City from the Manchester City youth set-up, in 2012 and proceeded to make 107 appearances for City.


He had great competition for the left-back role as Joe Bryan broke into the first team set-up that ultimately led to Cunningham joining Preston who were promoted with City in 2015.


111 appearances followed in the north of England before Cunningham, like many other City players signed for Cardiff City where he has also been loaned to Blackburn Rovers.


He has made five appearances for the Bluebirds this season but at 29 years of age may feel aggrieved like Flint and Pack to not feature more often for Neil Harris’ side.


Scott Wagstaff


Signed by O’Driscoll in 2013 from Charlton Athletic, and remained in BS3 as they won the double in the 2014/15 season and for their first season in the Championship.


Wagstaff scored nine goals in 90 appearances for City before a free transfer allowed him to leave for Gillingham and after two years another free transfer took Wagstaff to AFC Wimbledon.


In the summer of 2020, he left for free once more, this time back to the South West as the midfielder signed for Forest Green Rovers where he has played 12 times and assisted twice.


Marvin Elliott


Marvin Elliott signed for Bristol City in 2007 from Millwall as then manager Gary Johnson added the talented midfielder to his side as they challenged for promotion to the Premier League.


Elliott played 263 times for City scoring 28 goals in seven seasons in BS3 before he was released under Cotterill’s stewardship, then signing for Crawley Town.


After two years away from football Elliott signed for Whitehawk where he then moved on to Kingstonian FC in 2017 before retiring in July 2018.


The centre midfielder also joined Fowler Drew Wealth Management since retiring, aiming to use his football contacts to help footballers secure financial stability.


Simon Gillett


Simon Gillett joined Bristol City on loan from Nottingham Forest in October 2013 where he stayed for the entire 2014/15 season as the club won the double.


The central midfielder played 23 times during his spell at Ashton Gate, scoring twice as he added yet another club to his long list of loan destinations.


A free transfer to Yeovil followed in 2016, where he made 32 appearances before embarking on a month-long loan to Peterborough United.


On his return to Yeovil Town, he was released and retired from football, as he announced on Twitter, he now is a senior area scout for Chelsea FC.


Joe Bryan

A product of the Bristol City academy, Joe Bryan’s breakthrough occurred in 2014, exemplified by his first City goal where he curled in the winner against Bristol Rovers.


He continued to be a stalwart at left back where he excelled in the Championship, attracting interest from Aston Villa where he drove away from a medical to sign for Fulham in the Premier League.


He featured 28 times as Fulham were relegated but rediscovered his place as the Cottagers were promoted back to the topflight at the first time of asking.


With two goals in the play-off final Bryan appeared integral to Scott Parker but has struggled for minutes this season with only nine appearances in 2020/21.


Jay Emmanuel Thomas


A fan favourite at Ashton Gate Emmanuel Thomas signed from Ipswich Town in 2013 having been an academy prospect at Arsenal.


15 goals and 10 assists in his first season showed the class of ‘JET’ but he found his appearances more limited as City were promoted before joining QPR on a free transfer.


Loans to MK Dons and Gillingham followed before JET joined Thai side PTT Rayong on a free transfer where he scored once before the side was liquidated.


After a year out of the game JET joined Livingstone in the Scottish Premiership in September 2020 where he has scored once in 10 league appearances.


Sam Baldock


Signed from West Ham United in 2012, Baldock was an expensive acquisition and impressed scoring 24 goals in League One, winning the golden boot.


However, that was the end of Baldock’s spell in BS3 as he joined Brighton in 2014 where he scored 20 goals in 94 appearances as they reached the Premier League.


In 2018 he left for around £3 million to join Reading where he remains today with chances to feature have become more limited since his arrival, with only four starts this season.


Substitutes


Frank Fielding


Left Bristol City in 2019 on a free transfer, joined Millwall and is still there. Suffered a major injury on his debut but returned recently to action.


Louis Carey


Bristol City’s record appearance holder who retired at the end of the 2013/14 season who is now a youth coach at Southampton.


Bobby Reid

Transformed to a goal scoring striker by Lee Johnson, only to join rivals Cardiff. Now plays for Fulham where Parker has converted him to an effective wing-back.


Ryan Taylor


Left the Robins in January 2014 and joined Portsmouth, after spells with Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle he now plays for Newport County.


Marlon Pack


Signed after a trial having ran down his contract at Cheltenham Town, Pack played 283 times for the Robins before joining Cardiff City on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2019.


Nicky Shorey


A retired defender, left Bristol City and played for Portsmouth and Pune City among others, had become Reading’s academy scout but was made redundant in 2019.


Wesley Burns


Still only 26 years old, Burns left BS3 permanently in 2017 after loan spells with Aberdeen and Fleetwood. Now at Fleetwood permanently and has played 18 times this season scoring twice.

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