BERWICK Rangers’ search for a new manager will move on at pace this week when the board of directors draw up a short-list of candidates.
Although the club have not revealed any names at this stage, it is understood that one of the applicants is former England international player Colin Todd. Now 62, the former Derby County, Bradford and Darlington boss is from the north east of England and is currently out of work.
The closing date for applications is today, and the board plan to meet prior to Saturday’s home match against Queen’s Park to draw up the short-list, which will almost certainly include caretaker manager Ian Little.
A number of other names have been linked with the vacancy, including former Dundee United and Celtic midfielder David Hannah, former Berwick managers Tom Hendrie and John Coughlin, and current Duns boss Neil Oliver.
Hannah, 38, played for 11 clubs in four countries as well as Scotland Under-21s and gained some experience as caretaker Montrose boss in 2008.
Former Alloa and St Mirren manager Hendrie, who was in charge at Berwick from 1994 to 1996, has been out of the game since 2006 when he was sacked at the Paisley Club, although he narrowly missed out on the Stenhousemuir job to David Irons just less than a year ago.
Coughlin, the current East Stirlingshire head coach John Coughlin, led Berwick to the Third Division title in 2007 before a spell at Stenhousemuir.
Oliver, a former Berwick player, led Duns to the Border Amateur League Division A title last season and is now in charge of the Berwickshire side in the East of Scotland League.
Rangers are searching for a new manager following the resignation of Jimmy Crease, who stood down from his fourth spell in charge in the wake of the club’s humiliating 4-0 Scottish Cup defeat at the hands of Highland League Deveronvale.
That result prompted a wave of public criticism, culminating in a statement from one of the club’s major shareholders, the Supporters’ Trust, who called for Crease to be removed “with immediate effect.”
The job has been advertised for a fortnight, and Crease’s assistant, Little, who has thrown his hat into the ring, certainly did his chances no harm whatsoever on Saturday when his ten-man side took a point from a battling 1-1 home draw against Elgin City.
Little was also in charge of team affairs at East Stirlingshire last night (Wednesday) and will also be at the helm for the visit of Queen’s Park on Saturday.
He knows some people will judge him on his three games in charge. But he said: “I can’t stop that happening, but I would like to think that after seven years here the directors will know I have a lot more about me than that.
“The club is in a good stable situation at the moment, and I would like to think some of the credit for that will go to Jimmy. He was brought in to stabilise the club at a difficult time, and with me as his assistant, we managed to do that.
“Two and a half years down the line we are now in this position. Jimmy has gone, but personally I wish he had stayed on a little bit longer to see it through. We have to move on and I realise this is a chance for me to get on the managerial ladder, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.”
Meanwhile, the SFL has agreed to a request from Annan Athletic and Berwick to move their Third Division fixture, originally scheduled for Boxing Day, forward to Christmas Eve. The game at Galabank will now kick off at 3pm on Saturday, December 24.