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Favourites to become new Notts County manager as Swansea unveil Luke Williams in most hilarious way

The favourites to become new Notts County manager has been revealed as they see their boss Luke Williams leave for Swansea City.

The 43 year old has been unveiled as the Championship club’s next manager, coming in as successor Michael Duff who only lasted six months before being axed at the beginning of December.

Swansea had been finalising the finer points of the deal, which sees a substantial six-figure fee in compensation paid to the Magpies to bring in Williams.

The Welsh outfit currently sit 16th in the second tier with 32 points from 26 games played, 8 points from the playoffs and 10 points above the drop zone. Notts County meanwhile are 5th in the fourth tier with 42 points from 26 games, and are 7 points from 3rd place Wrexham.

SWANSEA STATEMENT:

Swansea City is delighted to confirm the appointment of Luke Williams as the club’s head coach.

The 43-year-old joins the Swans on a three-and-a-half year contract from Notts County, having led the Magpies to promotion to League Two following a superb National League campaign last season.

His assistant, Ryan Harley, and first-team coach analyst George Lawtey, also make the move from Meadow Lane as part of Williams’ coaching staff.

They will be in charge for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Morecambe.

The club would like to thank Alan Sheehan, who has led the Swans impressively since assuming caretaker head coach responsibilities last month, delivering a top ten performance over his seven games in charge. Alan will return to his role as assistant head coach and work alongside Luke.

Williams’ appointment follows a thorough and extensive search for a head coach who can deliver the types of performances and results Swansea City need to achieve our goals while exhibiting a commitment to a brand of football in-keeping with the club’s best recent traditions.

Swansea City Chairman Andy Coleman said: “As I have said previously, we have undertaken a diligent and detailed process to find our next head coach. I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time with Luke recently. I have looked him in the eye and know that we can trust Luke to be a coach and leader who is aligned with our vision for Swansea City.

“He fits right into the mould of other talented and ambitious young managers who have succeeded here. I am confident our supporters will be excited by and proud of this Luke Williams-led Swansea City team.”

His arrival sees Williams return to SA1 having previously been a leading member of Russell Martin’s coaching staff during the 2021-22 season, proving a popular and respected figure among the first-team squad.

Renowned for producing sides with an exciting and progressive possession-based approach, Williams won numerous plaudits for the outstanding football played by his record-breaking Notts County side.

The 2022-23 campaign saw them rack up 107 points, scoring a league record 117 goals while conceding just 42 producing another league record goal difference, and setting a new club record of 25 league games unbeaten.

They also won 32 of their 46 league games, yet another club record, before they were promoted via the play-offs courtesy of victory over Chesterfield on penalties after twice coming from behind.

This season they are sitting fifth in the League Two table after impressively making the step up to the EFL with their eye-catching style of play, and they are currently the top scorers in the top four divisions with 55 goals in 26 games.

Sporting director Paul Watson said of Williams, “We know Luke can coach the style of play we want, in part because he was an integral part of delivering it here in training sessions when he was an assistant. Luke’s ability is also backed by the data and results. He is a great fit for Swansea City and our ambitions.”

Williams’ own playing career saw him have stints in non-league and in the Norwich City academy, before a knee injury curtailed his on-field ambitions.

He quickly moved into coaching, working at Leyton Orient and West Ham United, before becoming a coach in the FA Skills programme.

From there Williams joined Brighton & Hove Albion, becoming manager of their under-21 and reserve sides.

He became assistant manager at Swindon in 2013 and helped them reach the League One play-off final in 2015, where they lost to Preston North End.

Williams then had a successful 14 months at the helm of the Robins before becoming coach of Bristol City Under-23s, where his work in player development was praised by those in the senior set-up.

He was an assistant at MK Dons before his move to Swansea and his successful time with Notts County.

NOTTS COUNTY STATEMENT:

Luke Williams has left Meadow Lane to become head coach of Swansea City.

The two clubs have agreed compensation for the 43-year-old, who joins the Sky Bet Championship outfit along with his assistant Ryan Harley and coach George Lawtey.

A statement from our board of directors reads: “As disappointed as we are to lose Luke, he departs with nothing but our very best wishes.

“We’re sure this sentiment will be shared by our supporters, who have grown to love him not only for his phenomenal achievements but also his infectious personality.

“He will be forever known as the man who took the world’s oldest professional club back into the EFL, breaking records and creating lifelong memories along the way.

“The high-profile nature of our achievements since Luke’s arrival 18 months ago, coupled with the immense respect he holds within the game, mean it’s come as no surprise that he’s attracted interest from higher in the pyramid. Our focus now has to be on finding a new head coach to build on the excellent foundations he’s laid.

“It’s important to remember that the club operates in a way that protects itself against the loss of a key figure like Luke. While his presence will naturally be missed, our vision remains the same and we’re very confident of finding a suitable replacement to fit our ethos and help the club challenge for promotion to League One.

“It’s still very much our intention to strengthen the squad this month and, as evidenced in the summer of Ian Burchnall’s departure, we’re more than capable of doing so without a head coach in place should the correct opportunity arise.

“We thank our fans for their ongoing support and will provide a further update when appropriate.”

In the interim, first-team affairs will be handled by Jim O’Brien, Tom Weal and Joao Alves.

O’Brien, the club’s longest-serving player, possesses the Uefa A Licence and has already taken his first steps into coaching with a role in Sheffield United’s academy.

Weal is well known to supporters as our head of goalkeeping and set-piece coach, while Alves has been part of our first-team coaching and analysis set-up for several years.

FAVOURITES TO BECOME NEW NOTTS COUNTY MANAGER:

BetVictor – 6th Jan – 9:30am
Andrew Crofts – 5/1
Mark Bonner – 6/1
Gareth Ainsworth – 8/1
Steve Cotterill – 10/1
Pete Wild – 12/1
Dean Holden – 12/1
Brian Barry Murphy – 12/1
Ben Garner – 12/1
Stuart Maynard – 12/1

This is fans reacted with the favourites to become new Notts County manager revealed as Swansea unveil Luke Williams in the most hilarious way…

@mgsevs: Just a shame we didn’t get chance to say our proper goodbyes. Thanks for the time, the effort and the fantastic 18 months under your leadership. I wish you all the best for the future, we’ll always have 2022/23 and Wembley 👏 @xJo_Williamsx pls pass on my best to your man

@colecaodocarlos: Honestly, don’t know what to say, just feel. Thank you for everything, Luke. You have a brilliant career ahead!

@StewM86: Top manager, it was only a matter of time before we lost him. The best football I’ve seen down the lane also ⚫️⚪️ did think it was very poor from the club not releasing any form of statement that they’ve allowed permission to talk. Onto Grimsby ⚫️⚪️

@NCFC_taylor: Thankyou Luke. Made Notts a club again 🖤

@Splash1967: Thanks Luke for everything but we move on. Just shows words are hollow and loyalty a thing of the past. Good luck at Swansea I’m sure you’ll do a great job.

@wardythemagpie: Nothing but great memories Luke. Thanks for everything. 🖤🤍🖤🤍

@jonnyupt: The 🐐. What a role for him, amazing opportunity. He’ll manage in the Prem one day. A reminder that the model the brothers have here works, we’re in a good place. 🖤🤍

@Helen_Faccio: So long and thanks for the memories, Luke. Can’t blame him at all for wanting to move to a club higher up in the league pyramid. His record at Notts speaks for itself. I wish him every success for the future.

@LucasNCFC: Thank you for everything Luke! It’s been absolutely amazing and the whole county fanbase is gonna miss you. Thanks for everything gaffer ❤️

@LauraJ86: 😢 it hurts, it really does and I genuinely don’t know what to say other than, thank you for everything. Last season was one that I will never forget and the day at Wembley was one of the best days I’ve ever experienced. This is a massive blow but we will find our feet again 🖤🤍

@GavinSmith50: Not ideal, but the world keeps on turning. Interesting that the statement mentions strengthening the squad without a head coach. Let’s hope the absence of Jason Turner with his wide contacts won’t hinder this process. Fair well Luke, Up the Pies!

@cricketcelt: Been watching Notts for close to 30 years and had only ever really known decline, chaos and disappointment in that time. Luke Williams was the first man to make me believe it didn’t always have to be that way and I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

@mrcuthers: The news we knew was coming, but what a ride it’s been. From ‘who is Luke Williams’ to our finest season in our incredible history. Thanks to Luke, Ryan & George for raising the bar. Swansea is a great move for them, and I wish them well. ■□■□ #Notts

@forza_notts: Came in, did the job asked of him last year in a record breaking season. Gave us a day out to remember at Wembley. Leaves us in a good position in the football league. Deserves his shot at Swansea, leaves with no hard feelings from me. If we’re going to be a progressive club up …

@willbobs46: Take care of him ! Greatest manager in my lifetime

@arniebats: Look after him. Luke, thank you for everything you’ve done for us

@adyclarke666: Absolutely gutted but he deserves it! He will be forever known as a legend at Notts 🖤🤍

@OneTheDonDada: What a manager you lot have got. He’ll get you places for sure!

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