Name: Julian Dicks
Date of birth: 8 August 1968, Bristol, England
Debut: Division One, Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 West Ham United, 2 April 1988
Final game: Premier League, West Ham United 0-4 Arsenal, 6 February 1999
Appearances: 326

As a player, Julian Dicks was nicknamed 'The Terminator' - his goal then was to stop anything the opposition could throw at him. Now his sights are trained on the opposition from the sidelines and, as in his playing days, he is aiming as a manager to reach the very top.

After his playing career was ended by injury, Dicks decided to give it a go as a professional golfer, but he couldn't overcome a couple of handicaps.

"I retired from golf because of my knee. I played in tournaments in Spain, which were over three rounds and after the first round it was impossible for me to play the second and third rounds.

"On top of that I wasn't good enough anyway so the decision was made for me. I played off scratch and was up against kids who were playing off plus two or three and while I was shooting one or two under par, they were firing six or seven under. I knew after a couple of tournaments I wasn't good enough"

Dicks' ultimate ambition in management is to be in charge at West Ham, but for now the ex-golfer has a fair way to go.

The four-times Hammer of the Year was over in Spain when he got the call to start his managerial career.

"One day my mate emailed me and asked if I'd come over and manage his club, Wivenhoe Town. They were in the Eastern Counties League and I stayed there for five months, saving them from relegation, which was the objective."

In September 2009, Dicks became manager at Grays Athletic, a position, despite a few problems, he still holds.

"Last season, unfortunately we were relegated," he said. "But things are looking a lot better now. The club is now being run properly."

Dicks isn't the only ex-Hammer at Grays. His boss is former team-mate John Moncur.

"John is the Chairman. He's someone I have known for a long, long, time and who I have the upmost respect for. We get on really well, and actually he's not around at the club much, so it's not weird at all."

Dicks' philosophy when it comes to coaching is simple.

"All I do is ask the players to work hard, I don't ask them to do anything out of the ordinary or anything they can't do. I just want them to put a shift in for me and give me everything they've got, otherwise they have to be told. Last season I lost my rag with them a few times, but all I say to them is that at the end of the day they're being paid for doing what they enjoy, so I want them to work hard."

Looking the future, Dicks is focused on one job in particular - but not for a few years yet.

"West Ham is my dream job. I had a great career there as a player at Upton Park and the fans are absolutely awesome, they were brilliant with me. I'd love to manage West Ham one day but you can't set a timescale on these things as it might never happen.

"You know how unpredictable football is, but it's something which will always be a goal of mine."

Dicks says his management style includes things he learnt under all of the managers he played for, but especially Harry Redknapp and John Lyall.

"John obviously brought me to West Ham from Birmingham City and I remember when he came to sign me. I walked into the room and he said, I'll give you £650 a week and £50 appearance money - you've got five minutes to think about it.

"Obviously it didn't take that long. As soon as you met him you understood why he was such a good coach and why everyone loved him. Training was always different and fun. I remember one time he made us play rugby in training without a rugby ball! He was top quality."

Dicks is West Ham through and through and is willing to help the club out of its current difficulties in the Barclays Premier League if the opportunity arises.

"All I miss is playing at Upton Park. I have offered my services this season to help the team where I can. I would walk on my hands and knees to Upton Park to help the team now in anyway that I could."