I used to stack shelves in Waitrose … but now I’m hoping to fire up newly-promoted Northampton in League One

10 months ago 134

JON GUTHRIE used to stack shelves at Waitrose.

And now the Northampton captain believes he is not off his trolley to believe his team can pack a punch in League One this season.

 Jon Guthrie of Northampton Town celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet League Two match between Oldham Athletic and Northampton Town at Boundary Park on April 15, 2022 in Oldham, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Jon Guthrie is hoping Northampton can come up with the produce this season
Bedford, UK - People outside the main entrance of a Waitrose supermarket in the English town of Bedford.Jon Guthrie swapped working in Waitrose to becoming a professional footballer

Guthrie, 31, has come a long way since he was making sure the supermarket shelves did not go empty — carving out a career that has taken in Crewe, Walsall, Livingston and the Cobblers.

He told SunSport: “I was working at Waitrose in Marlborough, Wiltshire, until I was 20. Football wasn’t something I planned for — nor an ambition of mine. 

“I was at the time playing for my local village team Pewsey Vale. Then out of nowhere I got a trial at Crewe and quit stacking shelves to become a professional footballer.

“I do sometimes pop into my old supermarket — but Waitrose is a bit pricey so I don’t do a big family shop!”

The Cobblers won automatic promotion back into the third tier after two seasons in League Two.

And the defender, ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wigan, insists Jon Brady’s side are well stocked to cause a few upsets this season.

He said: “When I signed here two years ago, the club had just been relegated and my aim was to help this team get back into League One.

“We were able to do that. It’s a massive achievement from the club, and I’m looking forward to this season.

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 Jon Guthrie of Northampton Town applauds the travelling fans at the end of the Sky Bet League Two match between Swindon Town and Northampton Town at The Energy Check County Ground on January 01, 2022 in Swindon, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Jon Guthrie reckons Northampton can cause a few upsets this season

“If you look at this division, there are some big clubs in there — the likes of ex-Premier League club Derby, Charlton, Portsmouth, Reading and Wigan.

“There are some grounds I’ve not played at so I cannot wait.

“These are the sort of games you want to be playing in. There are some games where we’re going to be going in as underdogs, which wasn’t the case last season.

“There will be different sorts of scenarios. We won’t be fearing anyone. We’ve been lucky that we have kept this group together for the two years I’ve been here — so there is good continuity to do well in this league.

“We really fancy ourselves to beat anyone on our day.”

Although Northampton are one of the so-called smaller clubs in the third tier, Guthrie points to the success of clubs like Brentford and Luton, who have climbed out of the lower leagues and even made the Premier League.

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And Guthrie believes the Cobblers should look at those sorts of teams and have ambition to climb even higher.

He said: “It’s definitely the aim for us to climb higher. We want to nail ourselves down at a League One first because Northampton have been a yo-yo club between the lower two divisions.

“But we do have good foundations and there’s no reason to fear anyone.”

Boss Brady took over as boss in February 2021 and although he could not stop the Cobblers from crashing back into League Two, he has made a huge impact in the last two seasons.

And Guthrie says he has built a level-headed culture at the club — and the camaraderie is the best he has experienced in his entire career.

He added: “The togetherness here is at the centre of everything we do

“The gaffer has been a breath of fresh air since I came into the club. He has been such a positive guy and is someone who likes to be out on the pitch coaching. He’s very hands on. 

“He made me captain and I’ve a great relationship with him. The manager has a very open door policy so anyone who needs to chat to him can.

Football - 2023 / 2024 EFL Carabao Cup - Round One - Swansea City vs Northampton Town - Swansea.com Stadium - Tuesday 8th August 2023 Northampton Town manager Jon Brady on the touchline COLORSPORT / Winston BynorthJon Brady has done an excellent job at Sixfields since taking over two years ago

“This has all created an environment where you want to come into work. Some clubs you don’t want to go into training but that’s not the case here.”

It all a far cry from when he was at Walsall and eventually got relegated into League Two with them four years ago.

He said: “I fell out of love with football and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do at that point.

“But I ended up joining Livingston in the Scottish Premier League and it was up there where I rediscovered my enjoyment in football. 

“We did well up there — finishing fifth and sixth and also making a Scottish League Cup final. So I have a lot to thank Livingston for.”

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