EFL Managers – Who could be set to shine in 2019/20?

There are plenty of aspiring young football managers in the Football League waiting for their chance to shine. Who could get their big break with a strong showing for their side in 2019/20?

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Newport County manager Michael Flynn (right) and Padraig Amond celebrate their win after the match.

The start of the 2019/20 EFL season is just weeks away.

There are plenty of aspiring young football managers in the Football League waiting for their chance to shine. Who could get their big break with a strong showing for their side in 2019/20?

Here’s our rundown of five of the most exciting young EFL managers…

 

Five Up-And-Coming EFL Managers To Watch Out For In 2019/20

 

1. Michael Flynn, Newport County

Heavily linked with the Swansea City role earlier this summer, 38-year-old Flynn continues to keep The Exiles punching above their weight. He’s shown he can excel both in firefighting – guiding Newport to a miracle escape in 2017 – and pushing a team on, guiding his side to the play-off final last season.

Newport County manager Michael Flynn applauds the fans after the final whistle of the FA Cup fifth round match at Rodney Parade, Newport.

Now he faces his toughest challenge yet regrouping and going again after Wembley heartbreak. A move up the ladder surely beckons with or without Newport.

 

2. Brian Barry-Murphy, Rochdale

Sometimes it really is best to twist. Rochdale made the hard decision to part with legendary manager Keith Hill with little over 10 games to go last season. Loyal Dale servant Barry-Murphy was handed the unenviable task of reviving the club’s fortunes at the wrong end of the League One table, and the timing proved a masterstroke.

Birmingham City’s Keith Fahey (left) shakes hands with Rochdale’s Brian Barry-Murphy after the final whistle.

Six wins from their final 11 games helped Dale move away from relegation danger with a game to spare. If he can keep Dale comfortably above the bottom four this season, expect other sides to sit up and take notice of the 40-year-old.

 

3. Richie Wellens, Swindon Town

Stats suggest around 70% of first-time managers sacked don’t get a second bite of the cherry. Richie Wellens is one of the lucky ones, and Swindon could end up being the beneficiaries. The 39-year-old tried and failed to keep Oldham in League One in 2017/18 but was arguably unlucky to lose his job given he was cutting his teeth in trying circumstances at Boundary Park.

Oldham Athletic manager Richie Wellens before the game.

Swindon decided to take a second look and made a credible push for the play-offs under Wellens before four consecutive draws in April dashed their hopes. Still, Robins fans will have seen plenty of green shoots of progress ahead of 2019/20.

 

4. Graham Coughlan, Bristol Rovers

A full season will be the acid test of his abilities. However, Coughlan is a classic example of a caretaker manager stepping up to steady the ship when it really matters. Shot-shy Rovers turned had turned stale after a promising couple of years under Darrell Clarke.

Graham Coughlan during his time coaching at Southend.

A final tally of 47 goals for the season was lower than all four relegated clubs, but Coughlan’s skills as a defensive coach ensured Rovers got over the finish line. He’ll be keen to build on an impressive opening tenure that saw the Pirates take 11 wins from his 28 games to edge away from the heart of the relegation battle.

 

5.Michael Duff, Cheltenham Town

At League Two there are various routes to go down when appointing a new manager to get your side out of a rut. Experienced head, fearless rookie, exotic leftfield name from abroad – we could go on. However, the Robins went down the ‘appoint a club legend’ route when bringing Duff back to the club in September 2018.

Michael Duff (right) during his time with Burnley.

The Northern Irishman took some time to adapt to life in the dugout but has benefited from the patience that was always going to be given to a man boasting over 300 appearances for the club. The second half of last season suggests the former Burnley stalwart could be a natural, with Duff guiding the Robins to a comfortable mid-table berth. That’s progress after a season-long relegation scrap in 2017/18.

 

All image sources from PA Images

 

Who are backing to shine this season in the EFL?

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