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Lincoln targeting ex-Premier League and Ireland player to become new manager

Lincoln City are targeting ex-Premier League and Ireland player Mark Kennedy to become their new manager, and ruled out Michael Carrick.

The Imps are hoping to bring in Kennedy to replace Michael Appleton as with The Athletic quashing reports of any likely incoming for Carrick.

Lincoln have been managerless since Appleton departed from his role at the League One club after three seasons in charge.


Blues can confirm that Mark Kennedy has left the Football Club.

The Assistant Head Coach joined in June 2021 to form part of Lee Bowyer’s First Team staff.

A defender during his playing career that included spells at Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City, he has been a key component in Blues’ backroom during the 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship season.

This saw him assist the development of multiple academy graduates and along with Paul Harsley aided their transition into senior football.

Kennedy also ensured the continual improvement of senior professionals during his 11 months in the role.

Everyone at Blues would like to wish Mark the very best in his future endeavours.

The Club will now work with Lee Bowyer to fulfil the position of Assistant Head Coach in time for pre-season of the upcoming campaign.


Mark Kennedy has been appointed as head coach at Lincoln City Football Club on a four-year contract.

Following a highly successful playing career, Kennedy has built an outstanding reputation as a progressive, forward-thinking coach through roles at Ipswich Town, Manchester City, Wolves and Birmingham City over the past decade.

Chairman Clive Nates, vice-chairman Jay Wright and senior director David Lowes along with chief executive Liam Scully and director of football Jez George, led the extensive recruitment process for the head coach position working to a clear profile of the person and qualities wanted to take the playing squad forward.

Imps chairman Clive Nates said: “Over the course of many hours of interviews, we have been hugely impressed by Mark’s knowledge, energy, drive and passion. We know that he is a highly respected coach, and in the interview process, he impressed us with his desire to improve and develop players while creating an aggressive, attacking style of play that we believe will be successful in League One and excite our fans at the LNER Stadium.


Carrick, who just earlier this season was Manchester United’s caretaker manager for three matches, had initially been linked to the job role but it is understood the club are targeting Kennedy instead, currently the assistant head coach at Championship club Birmingham City.

The only job Mark Kennedy, 45, has had in management was when he replaced Danny Whitaker at Macclesfield Town in January 2020, however was at the helm for 12 matches and then resigned after rejecting the offer of a new contract.

The Silkmen were relegated to the National League as a result of a points deduction for financial issues.

Kennedy left the club picking up just one win, drawing three and endured eight defeats.

Prior to being the boss of Macclesfield, Kennedy kick started his coaching career at Ipswich Town (appointed as the club’s under-21’s head coach in 2012 and managed the Ipswich under-21 side from 2012 to 2016), before heading off to Manchester City’s academy, was a coach with Man City from 2016 to 2018, before being released as part of a restructuring process within City’s academy, and also helped out at Wolves under 23s.

He had a short stint when returning to the Tractorboys’ academy to shadow the club’s head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug in his role to gain more coaching experience.

And now present day sees him acting as Lee Bowyer’s assistant at Birmingham in June 2021.

He made 34 appearances for the Republic of Ireland during his playing career, and also had spells at Liverpool, Manchester City, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Cardiff and Ipswich, racking up plenty of experience.

Lincoln had an underwhelming season, finishing 17th in League One for 2021/22, a year after he guided the club to a playoff final but lost to Blackpool.

Appleton came in to replace Danny Cowley at the Sincil Bank in September 2019, but now the Imps are looking to have a more positive campaign, and getting rid of any potential relegation fears after coming close a few times recently.


Youth career

Senior career
1992–1995 – Millwall – 43 games (9 goals)
1995–1998 – Liverpool – 16 games (0 goals)
1998 → Queens Park Rangers (loan) – 8 games (2 goals)
1998–1999 – Wimbledon – 21 games (0 goals)
1999–2001 – Manchester City – 66 games (8 goals)
2001–2006 – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 167 games (12 goals)
2006–2008 – Crystal Palace – 46 games (1 goal)
2008–2010 – Cardiff City – 66 games (0 goals)
2010–2012 – Ipswich Town – 33 games (0 goals)
Total – 466 games (32 goals)

National team
1992 – Republic of Ireland U17 – 1 game (0 goals)
1994–1996 – Republic of Ireland U21 – 4 games (4 goals)
1995–2002 – Republic of Ireland – 34 games (4 goals)


Manchester City
Football League First Division runner-up: 1999–2000

Wolverhampton Wanderers
Football League First Division play-offs: 2003

PFA Team of the Year: 1999–2000 First Division, 2001–02 First Division

He describes himself on linkedin to be: “Forward thinking, innovative and highly driven Head Coach with a huge passion and commitment for developing players at all levels and stages of their career. Brings a clear and well defined vision, style of play and coaching philosophy to enhance performance and create a positive, empowering club environment.

“Experienced as a First Team Head Coach with a significant track record of First Team, Reserve Team, Academy Coaching and Scouting – all underpinned by a 20 year professional playing career in the English Premier League, Championship and as a Republic of Ireland International.

An Inspirational Leader who instils strong disciplines and values, and guides teams to be the best that they can be. Commands huge respect and loyalty, and leads by example. Leverages modern coaching techniques and Sports Science to deliver an attractive style of play and winning performances.”

Twitter users reacted with Lincoln reportedly targeting ex-Premier League and Ireland player Mark Kennedy to become their new manager…

@deprivedtomb: They can have him and Bowyer

@joshandrew000: We don’t want him. But sums up our board currently with an array of poor decisions .

@sonny_manning: For fuck sake

@Ryan_Rosee: Wouldn’t have been my first choice but I’ll back him until there’s a reason not to

@BcfcMichael: Fair play to him. It adds even more uncertainty around the club though. If Bowyer stays then a reunion with Johnnie Jackson? #bcfc

@WillDWilson83: Do you know much about him and his coaching Adam? Because on the surface he did terrible at Macclesfield as manager and is assistant coach at Birmingham who look terrible and prime relegation candidates next season. A lot of us imps very underwhelmed by the idea to be polite

@ROBBIEBCFC1875_: Good luck at Lincoln mark go smash it

@_chrisquinn: Good luck at Lincoln!

@j_coey11: Mark Kennedy red and white army 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️

@kingearls: I have no opinion on Mark Kennedy as no nothing about him. i just hope he likes a big man up top we all love chaos in the mixer #uti

@BcfcMichael: Off to Lincoln then. Johnnie Jackson to blues as number 2? Bowyer wanted him to come when he moved here. Wonder if new owners are going to give Bowyer an opportunity then? #bcfc

@chriskonrath: Up the Sparky.

@NiallLCFC: Welcome to Lincoln City Mark Kennedy🇦🇹

@BcfcMichael: Fair play to him. It adds even more uncertainty around the club though. If Bowyer stays then a reunion with Johnnie Jackson? #bcfc

@chriswyatt95: Hes decent proper vocal, positive, and its attack minded

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