WHILE Ryan Lowe and his assistant manager Steven Schumacher were both born in Liverpool, they began their playing careers on separate sides of Stanley Park.
Lowe’s started at Anfield, where he remained until he was 15, while Schumacher, an all-action midfielder, enjoyed a successful apprenticeship at the Reds’ Merseyside arch-rivals Everton.
Schumacher’s promising youth career saw him progress to captain England at under-19 level, but he could not quite break into the senior set-up at Goodison. After loan spells at Carlisle United and Oldham Athletic, the midfielder ended his long-standing association with the Toffees by moving permanently to League One side Bradford City in 2004.
In his first season at Valley Parade, Schumacher found himself operating in the engine room, primarily as a holding midfielder, but sometimes deployed further forward at the tip of a diamond midfield. A near-ever present, he notched his first goal in a 4-1 drubbing of Bristol City, and went on to score six goals in his first season with the Bantams.
In his second season in Yorkshire, injuries restricted Schumacher to 30 appearances, but he regained his regular place at the heart of the Bradford midfield the following season. He netted six times in 44 appearances, but it was not enough to prevent relegation to League Two.
Upon the expiry of his contract at Bradford, Schumacher joined Crewe, where he played alongside Ryan Lowe for the first time. He spent three seasons with the Railwaymen before joining Bury in 2009, once again partnering with the Pilgrims’ new manager.
Upon leaving Bury, Schumacher enjoyed a spell at Fleetwood Town, where he played alongside current Green Antoni Sarcevic, before ending his Football League career at Stevenage in League Two.
Having dropped into non-league with Southport in 2017, Schumacher received his first taste of management, taking on the caretaker role after manager Alan Lewer was sacked.
Upon Lowe’s appointment at Bury in January 2018, Schumacher re-united with his former team-mate, serving as his right-hand man, as the Shakers won immediate promotion back to the third tier.