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Cheltenham appoint ex-Newport, Walsall, Swindon head coach

Cheltenham has chosen appoint ex-Newport, Walsall, Swindon head coach Michael Flynn first reported by Jon Palmer for Gloucestershire Live.

He was one of three people that were interviewed for the job this week, but is now thought to be the successful candidate to replace Darrell Clarke who left for League One club Barnsley.

After all the underwhelming news that Cheltenham has faced in recent weeks, you could say this is probably the best of the bunch, with much of the reaction to this positive, although others still remain unsure appoint the man coming in.

Gary Johnson is the club’s new Director of Football, while Aaron Downes is to be named assistant to Cheltenham Town’s new head coach.


We are delighted to announce that Michael Flynn has agreed to become the new first-team manager of Cheltenham Town Football Club!

We look forward to formally welcoming our new boss to you all next week ❤️

Michael Flynn had a successful career as a midfielder, playing for the likes of Newport County, Barry Town, Gillingham, and Bradford City.

But after that, he then returned to Newport County and pursued his UEFA Pro License, taking the role as caretaker in 2017 during a challenging period of potential relegation, but successfully guided the team to safety.

Under Flynn’s leadership, Newport then achieved remarkable victories in the FA Cup against strong opponents such as Leeds, Leicester, and Middlesbrough in 2017 and in the 2018-19 season, he led the team to the League Two playoff final against Tranmere Rovers but lost.

In cup competitions, Newport came up against Premier League teams, in 2018 it was Tottenham Hotspur, in 2019 Manchester City and West Ham United.

In the 2020–21 Carabao Cup, Newport beat Championship clubs Swansea City and Watford before losing on penalties to Premier League club Newcastle United.

In the same season Newport, lost to Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion in a penalty shootout in the FA Cup and again reached the League Two playoff final, losing to Morecambe 1–0.

Mid-February 2022, Flynn took up the role of Head Coach for League Two side Walsall under a contract that extended until 2024, with Walsall sitting 18th place at the time.

Walsall concluded the 2021-22 season in 16th place in League Two, received the League Two Manager of the Month award for October 2022 after leading Walsall up the table with fourteen points from seven matches.

But in April 2023, Flynn was sacked with Walsall in 15th place after 42 games of the 2022-23 League Two season.

Flynn was then appointed by Swindon Town in May 2023, on a two-year contract, officially taking over after the final match of the season on the same day.

In November 2023, Flynn signed contract extensions to remain at the club until June 2026, but by January 2024, Flynn left Swindon with the team in 15th place, having suffered ten defeats in their last 15 matches.

Meanwhile, the club have already announced that former Robins manager Gary Johnson has returned to the club as their new Director of Football.

In a statement, they said: Johnson’s arrival sees the club revert to adopting the Director of Football position for the first time since Micky Moore’s departure to Shrewsbury Town last May.

The 68-year-old brings his vast footballing experience to the table and comes in to oversee the football side of the operation.

Johnson led the club to the National League title and an immediate return to the EFL back in the 2015/16 season before parting company in August 2018.

He was most recently the manager of National League South side Torquay United where he spent five-and-a-half years before leaving Plainmoor back in February.

His first task is to help the board identify and recruit a new first team manager following the departure of Darrell Clarke to Barnsley.

Following the announcement of Johnson’s appointment, Chairman David Bloxham said: “We’re delighted to appoint Gary and welcome him back to the club.

“Gary comes with a wealth of experience and I’m sure that he will do a really good job. Of the candidates we considered we feel Gary is the right man with the skillset to take us forward.

“We’re looking forward to working with him again and hope he can help us rebuild and bounce back from the disappointment of last season.”

SEE MORE – Cheltenham Town chairman David Bloxham speaks out amid unrest from his own club’s fans after the departure of Darrell Clarke.

This is how fans are reacting as Cheltenham get set to appoint ex-Newport, Walsall, Swindon head coach Michael Flynn…

@hambling_ollie: Of all the bad news, im confident the board have got this one right. Lots of experience, knows the league well and speaks well in his interviews. Should work well with GJ. Disappointed he hasn’t been able to get his own assistant though. Gotta back him and the lads now #ctfc

@cleevecomment: Walsall finished 15th….Swindon were 15th when they sacked him after losing 10/15 games….sounds right up our street!!🙄 His rep is based on Newport where funnily enough they were 15th when they parted Company with him. That’s 15th in each of the last 3 years. Doesn’t excite me

@KevinMcken33546: Shame this wasn’t announced before the Aaron Downes call, would have made more sense.Lets hope he can get us going in the right direction.

@AlexWin36821772: A lot happier with him than the other candidates. Let’s hope he can work within the new set up and accepts the offer so we can start getting some faces in.

@adamguestwfc: A better appointment for Cheltenham than most Walsall fans will acknowledge. Started well with us, was in the playoff race. Then lost two key loanees in January, and replaced them with two injured strikers. Think we’d have done better with him last season than we did with Sadler.

@IronRyan96: Fingers crossed this is the start of the good news now

@TLongney38536: Should be a good appointment because of his experience in L2. Just got to back him and the players now 👍.

@gregnewcombe: Would be very happy with this. Best possible option of those available. 🤞

@JWxttsy: The Flynn 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

@joshyt6: If he’s got common sense he’ll run

@Fredsterface: Finally some good news

@RhubarbRhubar10: Still glad I didn’t buy a season ticket. 1st time in many years I haven’t.

@chxrlie67: come on then super michael flynn

@MattMS_YouTube: Good. Let’s keep it moving now

In the time since Flynn was sacked by Swindon:
– Swindon have gone 134 days without a perm coach with no sign of appointing a new one
– Flynn has been offered a new head coach role
– Oxford have been promoted to the Championship
– Swindon recorded their worst EVER finish

@JRBrown590: Sensible. Need stability, far too much upheaval in recent summers

@Jake__Kimberley: Unlucky Cheltenham fans.

@Eth2nWFC: Fantastic news for all pubs in the Cheltenham area

@robert0wfc: Unlucky lads

@ellisfursland1: super micheal flynn 😍 #ctfc

@whippy31: I’m not sure I’m excited for the Micheal Flynn appointment! Last 2 jobs he had, was sacked from! Young manager I suppose and hoping he can find his form from his Newport days! #ctfc

@markyt86: There will be ups and downs but time to get behind the new coaching team and steady the ship #ctfc

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