Hartlepool United manager hunt: Who is Lee Bradbury? The Havant & Waterlooville boss who is favourite to replace Mathew Bates

Havant & Waterlooville boss Lee Bradbury is the favourite to replace Matthew Bates at the Super 6 Stadium.
Havant & Waterlooville boss Lee Bradbury is the favourite to replace Matthew Bates at the Super 6 Stadium.

Havant & Waterlooville boss Lee Bradbury is the clear favoute to become Hartlepool United's next manager - but who is he?

We take a closer look at the 43-year-old and the chances of him being appointed at the Super 6 Stadium.

What's his background?

When he was an army recruit, Bradbury played part-time when on leave for Halstead Town Under-18s in Essex.

A former striker, Bradbury started his professional career at Portsmouth, where he started his professional career at the start of the 1995/96 season.

Bradbury played for several clubs during his 16-year playing career and made over 500 appearances in the Football League.

He is also well known for his time at Bournemouth, where the forward finished his playing career in 2011.

Bradbury was appointed caretaker manager at Dean Court in the same year, after Cherries manager Eddie Howe moved to Burnley.

What level has he managed at?

Bradbury retired as a player the day after Howe's departure and was offered a two-and-a-half-year deal to become Bournemouth's manager just weeks later.

Bradbury guided the Cherries to the League One play-offs, where they eventually lost on penalties to Huddersfield, before he was dismissed the following year following a poor run of results.

After that Bradbury briefly managed Portsmouth's youth team before he was appointed Havant & Waterlooville's boss in October 2012.

Havant narrowly missed out on promotion in the 2014/15 season, following a fifth-place finish in Conference South (the sixth tier of English football)

The club were then relegated on goal difference the following campaign but the Hawks stuck with Bradbury, a decision which was ultimately vindicated.

Havant have since won back-to-back promotions under Bradbury and are now sit 19th in the National League.

How likely is he to join Pools?

The Havant boss is the clear favourite to replace Matthew Bates, with BetVictor now offering odds of 1/3 for Bradbury to take over at the Super 6 Stadium.

Former Birmingham and Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark is the second favourite to take the job at 6/1.

As reported by the BBC on Wednesday, Pools have made an approach for the former Portsmouth and Bournemouth player.

However, there are some fears a deal could be difficult to negotiate with Havant for Bradbury to make the National League switch.

Why are Pools interested in him?

Caretaker manager Craig Hignett confirmed over 100 applicants have submitted their CVs to replace Bates at the Super 6 Stadium.

However, Bradbury seems to be the standout candidate, and appears to fit the profile of what the club are looking for.

"Lee is someone who has done really well in his managerial career," said Hignett.

"He ticks a lot of boxes and, like I say, we want to speak to as many people as we can.

"He would be one who we would, yeah, you would be interested in."