Former Bray Wanderers defender Graham Coughlan appointed Bristol Rovers manager

Sun, Jan 06 2019

Credit: Bristol Rovers FC

Graham Coughlan has been appointed permanent manager of English League One side Bristol Rovers following a successful spell as caretaker manager.

The Dubliner took the reins on a temporary basis following Darrell Clarke’s resignation on December 13th and led the Gas to three wins from five as they lifted themselves out of the relegation zone.

44-year-old Coughlan only joined the club as defensive coach in the summer following a five-year stint as Phil Brown’s assistant at Southend United.

The departure of assistant manager Marcus Stewart following Clarke’s departure meant the club turned to Coughlan while searching for a successor.

However the former Bray Wanderers defender’s tenure has been so successful the club have awarded him a two-and-a-half-year contract to take up his first managerial post.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club since arriving in the summer and have felt honoured to be in interim charge of such a big football club for the past five games,” Coughlan told the club’s website.

“I have made it no secret of my desire to take over on a permanent basis and I am thrilled to be the man the club have trusted to take us forward.

“In the five matches I have overseen the team, along with my experience and love of the game, I believe that I have shown I am capable of building on the great work that Darrell Clarke has done in recent years.”

Bristol Rovers president Wael Al Qadi added: “From early on in his interim role, we saw something in Graham that suggested he was the right man to take this football club forward.

“We are really happy that Graham has committed his future to the club and we wish him every success here.”

Coughlan played schoolboy football for Cherry Orchard and moved onto Bray Wanderers in the League of Ireland before signing for Blackburn Rovers aged 21.

He had a long career in both the English and Scottish leagues with Livingston, Plymouth Argyle, Rotherham United and Shresbury Town before finishing up with Southend in 2013.