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Defender accepts player/coaching position in England

August 08, 2002

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers announced today that they have given Sean McAuley his release from the club. The Timbers defender requested his release in order to take a player/coaching position with Halifax Town Football Club of the Nationwide Conference in England.

“I have real mixed emotions about this decision because I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” said McAuley. “This is a terrific opportunity for me though, and one that I really can’t pass up. It gives me the opportunity to further my coaching skills, which is something I very much want to pursue once my playing career is over. Plus, I want to continue to work on my college degree. This will allow me the opportunity to do that.”

McAuley, who has been hampered by a sore Achilles tendon recently, has played in 16 of the Timbers’ 21 matches, tallying two assists in 1,327 minutes. McAuley joined the Timbers this year from Rochdale AFC of the English third-division football league. Previously, the 30-year-old played for several teams in Scotland and England. A native of Sheffield, England, McAuley began his career with Manchester United (1990-92) and has since played for St. Johnstone (1992-95), Chesterfield (1994), Hartlepool (1995-97), Scunthorpe (1997-2000) and Scarborough (1999).

“It’s tough to lose a first-class player and first-class person like Sean McAuley,” said Jim Taylor, Timbers general manager. “He’s a professional in every sense of the word. I’m a little reluctant to release him, but on the other hand, you can’t keep someone from pursuing a dream and he’s clearly charting a course for that. In the end, I suspect he’ll be very successful. Plus, I feel that with the players that we have and the MLS players that we have access to, that we’ll be able to adequately fill his position.”

McAuley, who holds one of Europe's highest coaching degrees, the UEFA "A" license, has been actively coaching in the Portland area as well, working with FC Santos, Sherwood and Eastside United soccer clubs.

“The Timbers are a terrific organization from top to bottom and have treated me very well during my stay here,” added McAuley. “I wish them all the success as the club advances toward the playoffs. I think we started out a little slow, but the team is really starting to come together right now, and we’re playing some of the best soccer in A-League. I’d also like to thank the fans of Portland, who are by far and away the best in A-League and have made me feel very welcome.”

McAuley won’t have an opportunity to get much rest before his career with Halifax begins. The Shaymen play host to Leeds United of the English Premier League in a friendly on August 13.
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