Jason Dodd

#1638564 / gettyimages.com

Jason Dodd is a former right back who was born in Bath on 2nd November 1970. Dodd began his career at Bath City, and signed for Southampton in 1989 for £15,000. He made a fantastic start to his career at The Dell, with Saints winning 4-1 in his first two games. His debut came at Loftus Road against QPR on 14th October 1989. His second start was a week later in a tremendous match against a Liverpool side who would go on to lift the title that season. Dodd made a great first impression in front of his new fans on his home debut, crossing for Paul Rideout's opener. He came up against John Barnes that day, and acquitted himself well, keeping the England star quiet.

Dodd represented his country at under 21 level 8 times between 1990-91, but would never get close to full England call up however.

Dodd initially competed for the right back spot with Aleksey Cherednik, but by the start of the 1991/92 season he had firmly established himself as number one choice. That was until the emergence of young Irishman Jeff Kenna, who forced his way into the team in early 1992. Ian Branfoot rotated Kenna and Dodd during the 1992/93 campaign, with both players starting 27 matches each. In 1993/94 however, Kenna was undisputed top dog, and Dodd was limited to just 5 starts. Jason would remain a fringe player at the club until Kenna departed to Blackburn in March 1995

Dodd missed just one game in 1995/96 as Saints narrowly avoided relegation on goal difference. He scored a vital goal against fellow strugglers Coventry on 25th March 1996, which contributed towards the team's survival.

While mainly operating as a right back, Dodd occasionally filled in at left back or centre back. On 4th October 1997 he scored a 30 yard screamer against West Ham in a 3-0 home victory. He played 36 times during 1997/98, helping Saints to a respectable 12th place finish.

An Occasional penalty taker when Matt Le Tissier was absent, Dodd had a similarly impressive record from the spot to the legendary Guernsey star. Jason netted twice from penalties in consecutive FA Cup victories in 2001 against Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.

Dodd remained one of the first names on the team sheet for the Saints during their move to the new St Marys stadium in 2001. His testimonial on 22nd May 2001 was the penultimate game at The Dell. After featuring regularly in the clubs first season at their new home in 2001/02, the defender missed much of the 2002/03 campaign with injury, and was forced to watch the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal from the stands.

Dodd returned to fitness in 2003/04 and represented the club in Europe against Steaua Bucharest. He also scored a miraculous goal straight from a corner in the 3-0 battering of local rivals Portsmouth on 21st December, which sent Saints to 4th place in the Premiership.

By 2004/05 Dodd's Southampton career was coming to an end. The defender was restricted to just five more appearances for the St Marys outfit, with niggling injuries keeping him away from the side. One of his final acts at the club saw him put in a tremendous performance in the 2-1 derby win against Portsmouth on 13th November 2004, after he had replaced the injured Andreas Jakobsson early in the match. His final appearance came in a humiliating 5-1 loss to Tottenham on December 18th 2004, which saw him put in a poor display. After that match Harry Redknapp reached the conclusion that Dodd was past his best as he failed to pick the former Bath City man again. Dodd was loaned to Plymouth late in the season for a short spell at Home Park.

Dodd left Southampton in the summer of 2005 having made over 400 appearances for the club. He joined Championship side Brighton, who were now competing in the same division as Dodd's old club following Saints relegation from the Premiership the previous season. Dodd was limited to just 7 appearances for the Seagulls however, as injury struck again. When Brighton and Southampton met on 2nd January 2006 at St Marys, Dodd received an award which recognised his sixteen year tenure at his former club.

Dodd linked up with his old Southampton team mate Francis Benali in July 2006 when he joined Eastleigh. He only played 3 times for the Spitfires though, as an ankle injury forced him to retire from playing in November 2006.

Dodd returned to Southampton for the 2007/08 season, where he replaced West Ham bound Glyn Snodin as first team coach. When boss George Burley departed for Scotland in January 2008, Dodd was appointed joint caretaker manager along with John Gorman. The pair made a decent start, guiding the side to a 2-0 FA Cup win against Bury. However, that was followed up with just one point from the next four league matches. The 1-0 FA Cup defeat to League 1 Bristol Rovers on February 16th 2008 highlighted Dodd and Gorman's shortcomings, and they were replaced days later with Nigel Pearson. Dodd remained at the club as part of Pearson's coaching staff, and helped guide the side to safety after a final day win against Sheffield United. Dodd departed St Marys on June 23rd 2008 when Pearson was replaced by Dutch duo Jan Poortvliet and Mark Wotte.

Dodd was named caretaker manager at Aldershot Town on 14th October 2009 after Gary Waddock defected to Wycombe. Dodd's spell with The Shots was short lived, as he returned to Southampton yet again on 4th November 2009, this time as coach for the clubs academy side. Dodd was in charge of the Saints U18s who narrowly missed out on the Premier Academy League Group A title in 2010/11. Saints had led the table for much of the campaign, only to eventually finish runners up to Fulham. It was a similar story in 2011/12 as the U18s finished 2nd behind Fulham yet again.