Being out of a job as a football manager can be a lonely time. Out of the spotlight and seemingly forgotten about, there is little you can do apart from keep applying for jobs left, right, and centre if they come up.
Last season was particularly tough with only the National League completing their season in full and with that in mind there was very little managerial movement unless you were in the Barnet hot-seat.
That of course was understandable across football given the lack of income going into clubs, very few could have afforded to sack a manager and pay him off along with the coaching staff and with no relegation on the cards anywhere no reason to either.
This season has already seen some movement in the opening couple of months and it’s not surprising given clubs needing to operate at the levels they are now and not dip down into the relegation places.
A settled season we so desperately need for clubs, players and managers to revive aspirations and ambitions, another year of stagnation for nearly all clubs is not good for the game.
Speaking to Neil Smith and Darren Currie, two current ex-National League managers out of work, over the summer both were waiting for someone to be doing a bad job to get back into the game. Not the nicest thing to be wishing on anyone but that’s of course how the management game works in some respects.
Neither have yet returned to the dug-out, a sign there aren’t enough vacancies yet or the right job hasn’t appeared if indeed they’ve considered some. On top of those two, Kevin Watson returned to the ‘unemployed’ pool earlier this week. Having only gotten back into the game earlier this year, his few months at Billericay Town interrupted by the null and void decision of last season and a start to this current one that just didn’t take off.
Junior Lewis, who was Currie’s assistant at Barnet, has only just got back into the game at Welling Utd under Peter Taylor, again having to wait for the Wings to start badly and Steve Lovell resigning.
Those on the outside will be looking closely at those clubs in or around the relegation zone and that goes for a majority of the non-league pyramid at all levels.
We’ve seen in recent weeks as well as Billericay both Aldershot and Barnet relieved their managers of their duties along with Gloucester City in the North, the fear of getting stuck into that rut of not winning games and the return of relegation haunts boardrooms. Those two I doubt will be the last of course and there will be guys out there like Smith, Currie and even Watson wanting and itching to get back into the game, I’m sure it can be a hard place without the feeling of a nine month season playing and training.
Hopefully, these guys won’t be out for too much longer but it’s very much a case of the waiting game for them all and I haven’t even touched on others I know such as Ian Hendon.
As we’re only around just over two months into the season there will be more manager’s losing their jobs one way or another, it’s part of the game and when it happens the ball starts rolling for fifty candidates at the top level to a chairman’s phone ringing off the hook at Step 5 or 6, glad it’s not me chasing the job or wanting to drop the phone in the bin……………..