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Hartlepool shock fans by quickly finding replacement for the departing Kevin Phillips

Hartlepool United shock fans by quickly finding a replacement for the departing Kevin Phillips who leaves the club now the season is over.

Kevin Phillips has parted ways with the National League club after a brief three-month tenure as head coach, despite a notable improvement in the team’s performance.

The departure, which was rumoured on Friday night, sparked some fans expressing disappointment and others calling for the chairman, Raj Singh, to step down.

This was confirmed by the club on Saturday morning, before then confirming the appointment of Darren Sarll…


Hartlepool United can today confirm that Head Coach Kevin Phillips’ contract has come to an end.

Further, the Club Board has made a decision on the Manager appointment moving forward and will release more details in due course.

Kevin was appointed as Head Coach in an initial deal that took him to the end of the 2023/24 season.

Chairman Raj Singh commented:

“Kevin has done a good job this season since coming in as Head Coach and he’s been great to work with. His remit upon appointment was firstly to make sure that the club retained its current league status and then from there to start looking up towards play-off positions.

“We had a difficult backdrop and precarious league position when the previous manager departed. We believed that Kevin was the right appointment to navigate through things and in the end he has helped comfortably ensure that the club stay away from any relegation concerns, which at one point were lingering.

“We put on record our thanks to Kevin and we all wish him the very best for the next steps in his career. He will always be welcome at Pools.”

Hartlepool United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Darren Sarll as the Club’s new manager with immediate effect.

Darren comes with extensive management, coaching and player development experience across various levels from Premier League to National League. In total he has managed over 300 games in senior football.

He spent two years at Stevenage as manager in League Two before then guiding Yeovil Town to the National League play-off spots in 2020.

He moved on to Woking where an impressive 2022/23 campaign saw the Cards make the National League play-offs for the first time ever in the club’s history after finishing fourth.

Darren also holds a 20-year coaching career, having gained experience in various capacities including First Team Coach at Brentford, Head of Player Development at Rotherham and Head of Academy at Watford. Throughout he has developed an outstanding reputation in coaching as well as young player development.

A further update on his backroom staff will follow in due course.

Club Director Andy Steel commented on behalf of the Board:

“We are delighted to have secured Darren to deliver in our quest to get back into the EFL. He presented a very clear and compelling view of how he wants to build the squad, deliver a positive style of football that statistically supports success in this league, and create a winning mentality and culture.

“Critically, Darren also has an in-depth knowledge of the National league and its players as well as first-hand experience of getting teams to play-offs, which were all key criteria for the Board when looking at a managerial appointment to move forward.

“We believe the appointment will help ensure the club is challenging at the top of the league next season. Working alongside Joe Monks and Ronnie Moore, the work with recruitment will start immediately.”

Upon joining Pools, Darren Sarll stated:

“I’m really excited to get started – the opportunity and challenge at the club is one I’m very much looking forward to. I’m coming here in order to win and we need to close that gap to the play-offs. We won’t accept mediocrity, we need to challenge every season and that all starts from the dressing room. I can’t wait to start, creating a strong dressing room is the priority ahead of this pre-season.

“Over the years I have managed visiting teams at the Suit Direct Stadium and I am fully aware of the amazing passion the fans have for the club. The intensity they bring gives us a huge advantage and we must capitalise on this community’s passion. I really want to create some lasting memories and be part of what is already an illustrious history. Supporters being proud of their town and team means everything to me.”

As mentioned, Hartlepool shock fans by quickly finding replacement for the departing Kevin Phillips…

@PhilHannon: I’ve no desire to be pools manager but I’ve resigned myself to the fact it’ll eventually be my turn.

@noah_whitton: Good appointment but still fucking fuming

@durhamchris1983: “We won’t accept mediocrity” – I look forward to seeing the retained list in that case, soon find out if that statement is true or not. Good luck

@adam_garrington: Another what’ll be gone in less than 6 months. Been a pleasure already.

@JayNich47098520: I mean good appointment on paper but using Phillips just to get rid of him at the end of the season really isn’t a good look for the club. People talk in football and I imagine the club has pushed Phillips on to the long list of people that warn others of joining the club

@NealWI1984: If I remember rightly he was playing hard ball for his contract before he signed till end of season, only time will tell whether Raj has got this right, but on paper we have a decent manager in place

@BLewis2023: Didn’t expect that but I’ll take it


@SteveGibbs35: I’m not mad. Doesn’t look good on Hartlepool, but let’s see what the season brings 👍🏻

@4554_w: You’ve got a top class manager . Absolutely loved him at Yeovil he’ll give you everything

@SafcFan1973: Ridiculous decision. You deserve all that’s coming your way appointing him. Super Kev deserved a lot more respect than he’s been shown here and no doubt will get a better job on the back of it. Kept you up on scraps and frees when you looked doomed.

@anthonystevenh7: I’ll back him as he hasn’t done anything to not be and wish him good luck but I will say right now he will not be backed and will be stabbed in the back and sacked by December Most likely by that conman Singh

@ScottParko: Well that was quick

@ellishall_12: I’m very pleasantly surprised. What a rollercoaster this last 12 hours has been.

@SteveyAsp: He did well last season….He almost got Woking relegated 🤣

@MarkHufc: Feel sorry for KP, would have liked to see him build his own team.

@benhope1997: This football club is fucking crazy! Let’s see how long he gets….

@DarrenRickerby: More of the same. Will be gone by Jan after a bright start. New manager in just in time to sign a bunch of loanees, the cycle continues.

@HUFC_NWC: Laughing stock, let’s go round again 🎵

@JayNich47098520: Whole things just baffling. Why don’t we learn our lessons. We need to plan long term and stop this ridiculous changing managers every 2 seconds. Hope this isn’t a Graeme Lee 2.0 situation

@martrv69: The club is a shambles… don’t deserve the crowds we get for constant mediocrity.

@AlDinAtlantic: You’ll probably have a great first season with Sarll. Then it will go downhill

@William94161728: Better than expected but it’s still back to square one. We need some consistency

@ChrisThebe: He’ll be sacked by xmas

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