The inside track on new Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor

Hartlepool United have confirmed their next permanent manager will be Dave Challinor.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 4:23 pm
Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and AFC Fylde at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 13th August 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The former AFC Fylde boss watched Pools’ 2-2 draw at Notts County on Saturday as Antony Sweeney maintained his unbeaten stint as caretaker manager.

Challinor was also linked with the vacant position at League Two side Morecambe before Pools announced they had finally got their man.

Given his record since stepping into management in 2010, it was little surprise that there were a couple of clubs after his services.

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A qualified physiotherapist, the 44-year-old has never finished a season outside a play-off position in his nine seasons in management, unless it meant winning the league.

All but two of those seasons have been at levels lower than the National League, but Challinor’s ability to deliver consistent success over a sustained period is thought to be one of the key factors that saw Pools approach him.

The Chester born defender enjoyed a solid playing career in the Football League with Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County and Bury before ending it at Welsh outfit Colwyn Bay, which is where he started his career as a manager.

In his first full-season in charge, Challinor led The Bay to promotion to the Conference North via the play-offs.

He left to take the manager’s job at Fylde in November 2011 despite The Coasters being two divisions below at the time.

Well backed, Challinor oversaw three promotions and three unsuccessful play-off campaigns in the space of six seasons to help the Lancashire outfit reach the National League for the first time in its history.

And the momentum continued in the fifth tier as The Coasters reached the play-offs in 2017-18 before making the play-off final and winning the FA Trophy at Wembley last season.

But with Fylde suffering something of a play-off hangover this time out, Challinor was dismissed as manager after eight years following a run of four straight defeats. His record stood at 226 wins, 93 draws and 93 defeats.

Having been appointed Pools manager, it will be the first time he’s stepped outside of the north west in his 25-year career.