Next Hartlepool United manager: EFL 'interest' in ex-Newcastle United defender and Gateshead boss Mike Williamson

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Former Newcastle United centre-back Mike Williamson has been considered as a potential option to succeed Graeme Lee as Hartlepool United manager, the Mail understands.

However, Pools are not the only club showing an interest in the Gateshead player-manager with League Two rivals Barrow also believed to be considering the former Magpies defender following the departure of Phil Brown.

Williamson has just completed his third season in charge of the Heed after he was appointed in the aftermath of a supporter-led takeover of the club in the summer of 2019.

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After leading Gateshead to the National League North play-offs in his first year in charge, Williamson’s side looked set for another top-seven push when last season was brought to a premature end by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gateshead player/manager Mike Williamson. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images).Gateshead player/manager Mike Williamson. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images).
Gateshead player/manager Mike Williamson. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images).

After adding the likes of former Hartlepool United loanee Adam Campbell and Carlisle United striker Cedwyn Scott to his squad last summer, Williamson oversaw a successful push for promotion into non-league’s top tier as Gateshead claimed the National League North title.

Gateshead also reached the second round of the FA Cup and put in an impressive display in a 2-0 home defeat against Charlton Athletic after seeing off the likes of Marske United, Bradford Park Avenue and Altrincham to move within 90 minutes of a first appearance in the third round since 2015.

Interest is high in the vacancy at Pools with FC Halifax Town manager Pete Wild and Bromley boss Andy Woodman once again linked with the role, just as they were following Dave Challinor’s departure to Stockport County last year.

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Wild is also said to be high on Barrow’s shortlist as they look to replace former Pools defender Brown, who departed after preserving their Football League status last week.

Both Pools and Barrow are currently understood to be assessing their options.

But any interest in Williamson should not come as a surprise to anyone given the impressive results he has achieved on a relatively modest budget at the International Stadium.

Gateshead are understood to be very hopeful they will retain the services of a manager that has led them back to the National League after a three-year absence and built a positive relationship with the club’s board of directors and supporters during that time.