ALAN Sheehan has left Oldham Athletic as part of the managerial shake-up, The Oldham Times understands.

The defender was brought in as part of Keith Curle's coaching staff during the summer, but also signed a player registration to add experience to Latics' squad.

Head coach Curle left the club by mutual consent on Wednesday following Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at Northampton Town, along with assistant Colin West.

But at the time there was no mention of Sheehan's future.

The 35-year-old's player registration has made it less straight forward for the club to cut ties. However, the former Notts County and Luton defender was absent from training yesterday, and it is understood he has been relieved of both playing and coaching duties at Boundary Park, with a dismissal settlement for the remainder of his contract yet to be agreed and finalised.

The news will come as a blow to the squad, with Sheehan a popular figure among the players.

He has been credited with mentoring Benny Couto and assisting the youngster's breakthrough into the first team squad this season, while he has also been a positive influence on left back Sam Hart as he was nursed back to full fitness following a serious hamstring injury.

Of Couto's progress at senior level, former Latics head coach Curle said: "Every day he's out doing extra (in training).

"I think it helps that he's got a mentor now in Alan Sheehan, who similar to himself started out as a left back and left sided centre back.

"So he's got a mentor there who every day he's asking questions to. That's the environment we're trying to create."

In July, Sheehan signed a one-year contract as the first team player/coach, with a focus on being part of Curle's coaching staff.

He started the season but suffered a calf injury in September, and then a recurrence of the problem early in his comeback game at home to Walsall in October with Latics already down to the bare bones of their squad, and he has not featured since.