Gary Bowyer is a surprise name linked with the vacant Bolton job.
It has been confirmed that Keith Hill and David Flitcroft will not be having their contracts renewed at the University of Bolton Stadium after they run down in June. With Bolton’s CEO, Emma Beaugeard stepping down to save money at the club, Hill’s departure was to be expected as the cash-strapped Whites look to rebuild with life in League Two officially confirmed. Whoever takes over will have the task of building a squad on next to no money, with the fans eagerly awaiting improvement and hoping for an immediate promotion push.
Gone of the days of Sam Allardyce’s reign from 1999-2007 including a venture into Europe and playing against teams like Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, this job will be a tough one to take on, so we’ve looked at the names in the frame to replace Keith Hill.
David Lee: 6/1
A club legend, current assistant Academy Director, and part of the ‘White Hot’ team that toppled Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal back in 1993. David Lee [currently a 6/1 shot] would be the ideal candidate on a financial front for Wanderers, having been involved in the club for a number of years. He has had a hand in bringing youthful talent through the ranks, such as the young side that started the 2019/20 campaign. Although Lee has not yet taken the step into senior management, this could be a tactical move for the club, who’ll need to breed the youth into the side for next season, something that David Lee is more than capable of doing.
Gary Bowyer: 4/1
The 4/1 favourite Gary Bowyer is no stranger to life in the North West having been manager of Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool and Bradford. Bowyer could add another ‘B’ to his career by taking over at Bolton but will have to do so on a low budget. Having a career best win rate of just 36.5% in permanent jobs, Gary Bowyer could potentially use the club and Football Ventures’ project as a way of restarting his own career, and prove his worth in the lower leagues.
Ian Evatt: 10/1
Current Barrow manager, Ian Evatt is now out to 10/1 to ditch the Bluebirds for a shot at promotion. Evatt has come on leaps and bounds at Barrow, guiding them to expected Football League promotion. Evatt has made a name for himself in his short stint in management, not only for his results but for the attractive football he’s delivered to earn the nickname Barrow-celona. It does yet remain to be seen whether or not Bolton would be able to prise him away from Holker Street having been linked with jobs higher up in the footballing pyramid earlier this season.
We spoke to Evatt earlier in the lockdown to talk about his ambitions as a manager...
Kevin Nolan: 8/1
The one that thought the job had got away. Kevin Nolan, 8/1, looked set to be unveiled as the new manager at the club before Keith Hill took the job. Nolan has had his fair share of memories at Wanderers having been part of the side that drew 2-2 against Bayern Munich, to which he assisted both goals. He also took over from Jay Jay Okocha as captain from 2006/7 and would remain the skipper until his departure to Newcastle.
This would be Nolan’s third crack at management having been at Notts County and Leyton Orient, prior to taking the job in Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham coaching staff. By all accounts, this one would be welcomed by supporters despite his lack of experience and could be a good way to get his name back in the football manager arena.There’s also been rumours he’d reunited with another club legend Kevin Davies to help lift the fans spirits after their relegation to the fourth tier.