Eric Steele - Moved on by Moyes at United, wins national award at Derby

Derby County West Stand

Derby County goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, formerly of Manchester United, was awarded the Goalkeeper Coach of the Year award for 2014

Revered Derby County Goalkeeping Coach Eric Steele was awarded the Goalkeeper Coach of the Year award at the 2014 FA Licensed Coaches' Club Coaching Awards last week - a year on from being shown the Old Trafford exit by David Moyes.

Alongside Steele, 14 more coaches from across grassroots and elite football were recognised for their achievements over the past year, while four new coaching legends were also inducted into the FA's Hall of Fame. 

After winning the award, the former United coach told dcfc.co.uk of his pride at being voted by his peers for the award. 

''I was pleased to attend because I want to support the coaching set up,'' said Steele. ''I have done that for a long, long time and it has come from them so it is special.

''I am pleased to accept it personally, but also on behalf of the club, it shows how far we have come. You try and give something back, which I have always done. If you can't play, the next best thing is to coach and I have been very lucky to do it.'' 

Steele, along with Rene Meulensteen and Mike Phelan, was axed by David Moyes as he decided to ignore Sir Alex Ferguson's advice and bring in his own men. A decision he has no doubt come to later regret. 

Talking to Sky Sports in 2013, Steele lifted the lid on what went on behind the scenes and clarified while he respected the decision, he did not agree with it.

''He spoke to me, Mick and Rene,'' Steele revealed. "He wanted to be his own man. 

''I don't blame him for doing what he did. I've been in the game long enough to know how it is. But it's ironic, isn't it? You've just been part of a team that has had a great season and won the league. David de Gea's had his best season. Does it make sense that you're not retained to continue the good work? Sadly, that's out of my hands.''

Upon leaving United, Steele rejected several offers of work before joining up with former England boss Steve McClaren and Paul Simpson in a 'coaching team' at Derby County and nearly won a surprise promotion in their first season at the club. However, despite dominating large parts of the play-off final, fell at the final hurdle. 

The Rams currently sit top in the Championship, largely thanks to the hard work done by Eric Steele, and remain the bookmakers favourites to lift the Football League trophy at the end of the season. 

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