The end of the old is nigh as Bognor boss Howell’s for success
By Dean Adams
The one thing that’s coming to the fore this week: Is the end nigh for the ‘oldies’?
David Moyes? Gordon Strachan? Sam Alladyce? No thank you.
Julian Nagelsmann and Jamie Howell. Who? What?
Hoffenheim unveiled Julian Nagelsmann as the Bundesliga’s youngest full-time boss in February, which was dubbed a ‘crackpot idea’ by the media – Nagelsmann was just 28 and had never coached at senior level, while Hoffenheim were deep in relegation trouble, seven points from safety with 14 games remaining.
Not only did Nagelsmann secure the club’s Bundesliga place, but he has also seen his side move up to third in the table this season and become one of only five teams in Europe’s five major leagues to remain unbeaten.
Back across the sea, you’ll hit Bognor Regis Town of the Ryman Premier League. A small town with a football club that attracts 300+ for a home game. But it’s safe, it’s friendly and there’s no big time Charlies on or off the pitch.
But the club has its own young manager – 39 year-old Jamie Howell was just 32 when he took charge.
Last year he took the club to the division’s play-offs narrowingly missing out on promotion whilst he was also considered 40/1 to fill the vacant managerial vacancy along the coast at Portsmouth in recent years.
Missing out on promotion led to a summer of star player departures with players joining so-called ‘bigger’ clubs for allegedly more money – and who can really blame them as Bognor missed their ‘chance’ of promotion.
Or did they.
As their two star strikers departed for local rivals Havant & Waterlooville – who currently sit in 4th place in the Ryman Premier League – Bognor, as it stands, with what you would assume a lighter wage bill than last season – top the table.
In a summer of big players heading out of Nyewood Lane, not once did you hear the manager having a moan. In fact, he was quiet in the press and no doubt he would have had thoughts along the lines of “was last season our big chance?” and “have I done all I can?” as he sat and pondered in his summer shorts.
Instead, the highly thought of boss quietly went about his business and rebuilt a young squad with the help of the club’s popular assistant Darin Killpatrick. And these two are now in Bognor Regis Town Football Club folklore alongside the legendary former chairman and manager Jack Pearce.
The enthusiasm of the young, or the experience of the old. The thought is yours as England get set to appoint presumably their youngest ever boss in Gareth Southgate in a month when the Premier League’s youngest manager, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe distances himself from the opportunity at ‘this young stage of his career’.