Notts County have appointed Ian Burchnall as their new head coach following Wednesday’s departure of Neal Ardley.
The National League club surprisingly parted ways with Ardley - manager since November 2018 - despite being 6th in the table with multiple games in hand on all the teams above them.
New boss Burchnall will now be tasked with leading Notts back into the Football League, but first he’ll be looking to lead his new side into the FA Trophy Final, with the club facing Hornchurch in the last-four on Saturday.
“We are tremendously excited to welcome Ian to the role of head coach,” said Notts County owners Chris and Alex Reedtz on the club’s website.
“As part of our ongoing extensive research, we compile detailed profiles of many different coaches and Ian stands out as an outstanding prospect.
“Despite his young age, he has tremendous experience of working in top-flight football and has been linked with several international and club roles since his departure from Ostersund. We feel very lucky to have him and have every confidence that he is the right man to complement our model.
“It’s our hope that Ian will be able to continue our push for promotion this season but we understand it will take him time to fully implement our philosophy. He is a long-term appointment for this club and his performance in the role will be judged on that basis.
“We think supporters will share our appreciation of Ian’s passion for coaching and his willingness to take risks and meet difficult challenges head-on, as he did during his time in Scandinavia, and we’re very excited to see him lead the team for the first time in Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final against AFC Hornchurch.”
It’s the 38-year-old’s first full-time job in England, having spent the last eight years managing and coaching in Norway and Sweden.
Burchnall coached at the University of Leeds, then the Leeds and Bradford academies before moving to Norway in 2012 where he became assistant manager to Brian Deane at Sarpsborg. He then held the same post under Kjell Jonevret at Viking FK, which was upgraded to manager in 2016.
He spent a year at the helm before he was sacked - supporters reacted by protesting - then he moved across the border to Ostersund FK in Sweden where he succeeded fellow Englishman Graham Potter who had departed for Swansea (now at Brighton).
Ostersund finished 6th under Burchnall’s watch but he left last summer due to the club’s off-field problems. He was recently linked with AFC Wimbledon, who ended up appointing Academy coach Mark Robinson, but he’s now landed a job with Notts in the National League with his official unveiling set to take place on the club’s Facebook page at 2pm this afternoon (Thursday).