5 Options for Newport County Managerial role

Teams all over the EFL are rushing to get deals done in order to bolster their rosters as the new season draws near. Still others, though, are searching for a new guy to take the team to the next level.

Newport County is one of those teams; after almost two years in charge, the League Two team parted ways with previous manager Graham Coughlan. The Exiles, who are entering their 12th consecutive season in the fourth division, are searching for a new manager with the first games of the 2024–25 campaign just seven weeks away. These are five managers they may want to think about.

Dino Maamria  

Dino Maamria is well-known at Rodney Parade, having briefly filled the position of number two under former manager Graham Westley in the 2016–17 campaign. Having coached Stevenage, Oldham Athletic, and Burton Albion before being fired from the latter in December 2023, the Tunisian has experience as a manager in both League One and League Two.

Maamria’s managerial record isn’t great—he has a 34% win rate from 174 games—but he may offer consistency and familiarity to South Wales. He may be a good fit for a County team that placed 18th in League Two last season, though, since the majority of his work has been with mid-to lower table teams.

Pete Wild  

Pete Wild is a well-known figure in the Football League, especially in League Two, having helped Barrow establish itself as a fourth-tier team over the course of two seasons, finishing in ninth and eighth place, respectively. His teams are bound to be respected in South Wales because they play respectable football and frequently punch above their weight.

After a post-season evaluation, the 39-year-old left the Cumbrian team in May. The Bluebirds completed the season outside of the League Two play-offs. The only things raising red flags here would be the circumstances surrounding his departure from Holker Street and the possibility that, given his recent success, he is searching for work in the division above. However, if he and the hierarchy get along, this may be a fruitful collaboration.

Rob Page 

Despite just losing his job as manager of the Wales national team, Rob Page is on this list. Given that Page has achieved success internationally and is sure to demand significant salaries, County may benefit from this signing. Page also has a fairly excellent resume.

Despite his stellar record of leading Wales to both a World Cup and a European Championship, his career came to an abrupt end due to a dismal run of form following the World Cup, with some arguing he did not maximize the potential of a talented group.

This contract would be a significant change from Page’s previous position, but given that he managed Port Vale and Northampton Town in the past, he might be open to returning to the club scene in his next role. But considering his background alone, this would be a tremendous coup.

Alan Sheehan 

If the Exiles wish to take a chance on an appointment, sticking with more local choices, Alan Sheehan, a current assistant at Swansea and former Notts County, may be a possibility. He may have taken over as Swans interim manager, but he has no permanent managing experience at this time. Nevertheless, having played a large portion of his career in the third and fourth divisions, he is familiar with the league. With his background coaching championship teams, the 37-year-old Irishman would be the ideal pick to help both teams advance.

A change of direction was mentioned in the statement announcing Coughlan’s retirement, which many took to indicate a move from manager to head coach. Sheehan’s current position would fit him well in this more contemporary capacity, and moving would benefit both parties because the clubs are close to the M4.

Cameron Toshack 

This is a move that is made possible by Newport’s organizational structure. Huw Jenkins, the chairman of Swansea City, served in the same capacity from 2002 to 2019, supervising the team’s promotion from the fourth division to the Premier League.

High up at Rodney Parade knows Cameron Toshack, son of former manager John of Swansea, Real Madrid, and Wales, who held positions at the club for a large portion of Jenkins’ career. After winning the 2017 Premier League Cup while working as a youth coach at the Swansea.com Stadium, he started his own coaching career at Pafos FC in Cyprus. His most recent comeback to the UK was when he was Jesse Marsch’s assistant manager at Leeds United.

Based only on Jenkins’s connections, this would probably be a safer course of action for Newport, but it is still possible. Toshack is undoubtedly a skilled coach, but his lack of English pyramid management experience may be a liability.

After Coughlan, Newport is obviously looking to move in a different direction. It appears likely that they will name a younger manager who plays attractive football, most likely following the ‘Head Coach’ style. Among these five choices, Pete Wild and Alan Sheehan stand out as the most suitable. While Wild is undoubtedly more seasoned and a safer choice, Sheehan would be a risk for a manager without experience, albeit he might be an inspired choice. It would be difficult to wager against Wild winning the club’s chair if given the option between these two alone.

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