Graham Potter was switching from coaching at non-league level in Yorkshire to his overseas job in Sweden in the year when his opposite number today, Sean Dyche, was embarking on his own managerial career at one of the clubs he had played for, Watford.
A high-profile decade at Burnley followed before Dyche’s recent appointment at Everton, while Potter’s passage to Chelsea via Swansea and Brighton is well-known.
Ahead of pitting their wits against each other at Stamford Bridge today, our head coach talks about their journeys to this stage and taking on a Dyche team, which he has done on plenty of occasions before.
‘With coaching, we all have to take our own path,’ Potter observes.
‘Whether you’re a top player and you end up in coaching or whether you're a player that has hardly played and you go all the way up, there is no one way to do it.
‘For sure me and Sean are completely different personalities but that's not to say that my way is better than his or his is better than mine. He'll be him and I'll be me.
‘He’s a fantastic coach,’ Potter adds. ‘What he did at Burnley was a fantastic achievement, and you can see the effect he’s had on Everton. They play to their strengths. They’re incredibly motivated, they know what they’re doing in all the phases.
‘We’re under no illusions how difficult the game is but it’s a fantastic test for us at home in front of our supporters, and we have to play well.’
The Toffees’ set-pieces is one area our head coach acknowledges will need careful attention by his players today, but it is not the only one.
‘They are strong in that area, the data suggests that, but they do a lot well. They defend well, they defend high, they defend low. They attack with clarity and use the resources they have well.
‘I have huge respect for Sean Dyche because of how he plays, how he affects the team and how he affects the players, so it’s a tough game.’