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Barrow have got themselves a new manager in Michael Jolley

Barrow have themselves a new manager following the departure of David Dunn a few weeks back, the club have confirmed on Wednesday.

At the beginning of December, Barrow parted company with former footballer David Dunn following their 4-2 defeat against Crawley.

It always looked to be a dodgy appointment after Ian Evatt chose to leave the newcomers, but dismal form had saw them fall to 21st in the League Two table.

Since then they have lost to Scunthorpe and beat Cheltenham, however they haven still fallen down the division, 22nd with 16 points from 13 played.


The Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Jolley as the new First Team Manager of Barrow AFC.

Jolley has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Club, which includes a summer break clause, and he is set to meet the players for the first time on Thursday morning when he visits the Egerton training ground.

The Sheffield-born 43-year-old was most recently in charge at Grimsby Town, where he spent time in the dugout between March 2018 and November 2019.

Upon his appointment at Blundell Park, Jolley was able to arrest a run of 20 games without a win and engineer a remarkable upturn in form which saw The Mariners clear of relegation danger with a game to spare.

Jolley then built on that survival during his first full season in charge at Grimsby, winning League Two’s Manager of the Month prize for December 2018 and guiding the club to the Third Round of the FA Cup.

A Cambridge University graduate with a degree in Economics, Jolley’s extensive football experience began working in the Academies at Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest before taking a coaching role at Falkirk.

After a spell as Head Coach of Stirling University, he moved back in to professional football in 2011 when he was appointed First Team Coach at Lincoln City before being asked to join Crewe Alexandra where he coached the club’s youngsters and helped shape their Academy structure.

In the summer of 2014, he was named Under-23s Head Coach at Burnley where he helped develop the Club’s next generation of talent, whilst also taking the opportunity to be mentored by Clarets boss Sean Dyche

Jolley broadened his experience with a stint at the helm of Swedish Premier League new boys AFC Eskilstuna in 2017/18 where he was able to drive an upturn in form and oversee historic victories over Malmo and Gothenburg.

“I am absolutely delighted that Michael has agreed to be our next Manager and we all welcome him to the Club,” said Chairman, Paul Hornby.

“The calibre of the candidates for this role was extremely high but Michael hugely impressed us during two rigorous interviews.

“He also comes with a number of excellent references from people within football and, therefore, it was a unanimous decision by all the owners that he was the man for the job.

“Michael not only has all the relevant experience to help move us up the League Two table but his blueprint for the future will make it a fantastic time to be a Bluebird.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rob and all the backroom staff for looking after affairs in the interim and say that I am delighted they will be staying on to work alongside Michael.”

Rob Kelly is to continue in his role as Assistant Manager and, having overseen planning for the Boxing Day game against Port Vale, he will remain in temporary charge at Vale Park this weekend.


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Michael Jolley was sacked by Grimsby Town a year ago after he had a shocking private rant with a radio station which saw him swear 58 times, it’s been revealed.

Jolley aimed his anger at two local radio journalists at Radio Humberside where he ending up saying the f-word a total of 58 times in the space of four minutes.

It left some fans shocked, with the League Two club saying it came ‘following a recent run of poor results’.

Sportsmail however suggest that that club officials, including majority shareholder John Fenty were left angry by Jolley’s rant at journalists Matt Dean and John Tondeur after the 4-0 home defeat by Leyton Orient.

Jolley says to Dean: “You are a fucking disgrace.

Every time you interview me you’re antagonistic, confrontational, who do you think you are, Jeremy Paxman?

You are a fucking disgrace of a journalist. The fucking radio station gives us fucking no positive coverage whatsoever.”

Jolley took particular exception to the way Humberside analysed the 7-1 thrashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the third round of the Carabao Cup in September.

The 42-year-old said: “Fucking you and fucking Gwilym [Lloyd] criticise us for playing man-for-man (marking) at Chelsea.

I go on the Monday night show with Rob [Staton, Humberside sports editor] because he’s a professional journalist and he’s a fucking straight shooter and you don’t fucking ask me a question or when I go off you say “yeah, it was the wrong decision to play man-for-man”. Why not ask the manager?

Because you’ve got no fucking bollocks, you have to snipe behind peoples’ fucking backs.”

After Tondeur said he believed ‘Town fans have seen some progress’, Jolley added: “We were fucking 10th going into today, mate.

Near the fucking play-offs and have you seen our fucking budget?

Have you seen our budget. Do you know where we fucking should be?”

Fans reacted as Barrow have got themselves a new manager in Michael Jolley, see what they said…

@FreeRangeBen1: Have a Michael Jolley Christmas, it’s the best time of the year

@RonanMacca99: Rhythm is a dancer, Jolley is the answer

@LordWalney: Good luck Michael Jolley. They give Sheffield folk a great welcome in Barrow

@morganfay01: Winning the league

@OurBluebirdsFly: Good luck Michael. Welcome to our club. An excellent appointment. Come on #BarrowAFC

@scfctheo: WOW this is a really interesting appointment

@joerutherford66: Decent appointment this

@stringer_oafc: This is a smart appointment

@edward_w97: Solid appointment for me. #BarrowAFC are a team who need to steer clear of the bottom two, and Michael Jolley can be the right man to do that.

@BoroFCcentral: Like that appointment a lot to be fair

@Liam_Muzza99: Top man, best of luck to him

@rhamage: Tis the season to be Jolley!

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