Southend United’s 43 day wait for a manager is seemingly coming to an end with Mark Molesley poised as the favourite to take over at Roots Hall.
The Shrimpers have had a torrid time recently – a convincing relegation to League Two alongside ever-looming financial issues have crippled supporters into a bleak outlook for the fast approaching season.
However, after researching who he is, the potential appointment of Molesley has raised the spirits of Blues fans.
So why is this relatively unknown manager suddenly favourite to take the reins ahead of the likes of Craig Fagan?
Who is Mark Molesley?
As a manager, Molesley is still very much in the early stages of his career. The 39-year olds previous experience may not be vast in terms of multitude, but it is impressive in terms of achievement.
What is odd about his career currently is that, at the moment, he is Weymouth FC’s manager as well as AFC Bournemouth’s under-23’s assistant manager. It isn’t often you hear about somebody taking two roles as important as those on at the same time.
This may seem bizarre, but what makes it so admirable is how well he has done for Weymouth despite commitments elsewhere. In three seasons at the club, Molesley has earned back to back promotions, most recently taking The Terras into the Vanarama National League for the first time since 2009.
Weymouth may have been absent from England’s fifth division for 11 years, but what makes the achievement of returning there even more impressive is the fact they weren't in the division below for over ten years either as the Terras were marooned in Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division.
Pair this frankly wonderful record with the experience of working in and around Bournemouth’s academy set up for the past four years and it equates to a notable CV.
Fans are backing the potential appointment
So, it is clear that Molesley is a talented manager, but he does lack experience in league football. Although what he has achieved in his short career so far is nothing short of impressive, a step up to League Two will be a challenge to say the least.
However, it seems as if Shrimpers fans do not seem to mind, as in a recent poll 79% of 1650 supporters said they would be happy to welcome Molesley into the Roots Hall dugout.
It’s clear who Southend fans have their heart set on and considering Molesley isn’t a stranger to working with limited financial resources, it is clear to see why.
In an interview with the Tifo Podcast, Molesley commented on how he achieved success at Weymouth despite the club having some of the lowest finances in the division:
“It’s doing the best with what you’ve got, creating that environment for players to improve and surrounding yourself with great people who have the same vision and the same work ethic.”
A clear aspect of Molesley’s managerial technique is that he is a great man manager, somebody who knows how to lift the spirits of a team without spending millions to do so. Considering Southend’s current situation, this description fits perfectly with what the Shrimpers need.
It was heavily rumoured that last Wednesday at 5pm it would be announced who the new Blues manager would be, but a day later, fans are still none the wiser. According to Sky Bet, Molesley is now 4/9 to be announced as the permeant manager, whilst previous favourite Fagan has dropped to 10/1.
If the reins are handed to Molesley, it could be viewed as a risk, but considering all the factors, it seems as if he is the right man to save Southend’s sinking ship.