Imps Manager Search – Candidate Update

It’s been 16 days since Mark Kennedy left his role as manager of Lincoln City, and as yet, we’re no closer to knowing who could, or could not be coming into the club.

There’s been lots of chatter around possible candidates, and to bring everything together, I thought I’d put together an update of the favourites, and their current situation.

I won’t be talking about Tom Shaw here, as you already know what his current situation is, so there’s no point in me updating you.

Without any ado, let’s drop straight into the list.

Leam Richardson

Richardson, the current bookies’ favourite, was the manager of Wigan Athletic. He did a good job keeping them in League One in 2020/21, then won League One a year later. He had a decent squad and a strong budget in doing so.

He is the bookies’ favourite almost certainly because of a tweet by journalist Darren Witcoop, which suggested he was interested in the role. Whether he is on the shortlist is another thing entirely.

Danny Cowley

Cowley is an obvious candidate given his previous experience at Sincil Bank, and he’s the bookies’ second favourite. He turned down Bradford City yesterday, which many have taken to mean that he’s in the running for the role here.

That’s not necessarily the case – he may have spoken to them because he was not in the running for our job. However, ‘family reasons’ could mean just that – he turned down Bradford as it’s too far from home.

Stephen Bradley

Bradley is another who has been turning heads in the race to be our next boss, he’s third with the bookies right now. He’s dealing with family issues; his son is poorly, and that may influence his decision to move away from Ireland.

He has recently caused a little controversy in Ireland with comments about people coming at him from within, taken to mean within the Shamorck squad. He also blasted the Cork City manager for not having his team give four-time champions Shamrock a guard of honour this Friday.

Damien Duff

Damien Duff is at 16s, and he’s about to take charge of Shelbourne’s final game of the campaign this evening against Drogheda. He’s out of contract this summer, and whilst it’s believed he is expected to stay in Ireland, the situation isn’t 100% clear.

He’s possibly high up the bookies’ odds as we’ve recently signed Jack Moylan from them, a player expected to join the squad soon but not be available until January. Duff has done well with Shelbourne, but the style of football has drawn some criticism.

Brian Barry-Murphy

There are a lot of names between Duff and Barry-Murphy on the list, including Sol Campbell, Lee Bowyer and Sam Allardyce, all of whom will not be taking over under any circumstances. However, after Duff, Barry-Murphy is the one that stood out as I scrolled down.

There’s nothing solid been said about Barry-Murphy, but he does fit a number of criteria, including developing younger players. He’s the Man City U21 manager, and he’s got a reputation for playing nice football, which I think we want. He comes from the lower leagues, playing much of his career with Bury.

He did manage Rochdale, leaving the club after failing to save them from the drop, but that didn’t damage his stock – he was once wanted by QPR, and had experts suggesting he’d be a good fit for Swansea City.