Together Again – And Flying High
Tracksuited Trio On The Up
In this week of rising managerial anticipation at Molineux, how’s this for a pleasing story from the dug-out several divisions lower?
Kevin Foley missed out on a possible route into coaching at League One level in May when Rob Edwards, the man who had taken him to Forest Green on an informal basis mid-way through last season, upped sticks and joined Watford.
But Neill Collins’ former assistant at Tampa Bay Rowdies is enjoying the link-up he has forged this autumn with two other team-mates from his time at Molineux.
The 38-year-old Londoner is working with Stephen Ward and Roger Johnson at Vanarama National League North club Brackley.
And the team they are shaping are absolutely flying – they have even signed Rooney since being reunited; former Stoke and Birmingham man Adam, that is.
Johnson, the ex-Cardiff and Blues central defender that Mick McCarthy brought to Molineux during the 2009-12 Premier League adventure, was put in charge in early October after previously coaching the under-23s and then the first team at Bromley.
Having played 72 times for Wolves in a stay that proved anything but straightforward, he is now a manager for the first time after replacing Kevin Wilkin, who has since been appointed in the same role at Telford.
Ward, who was at Wolves’ home draw with Newcastle in late August, accepted his first role on the other side of the touchline by being named as Johnson’s assistant manager. Foley is first-team coach at the 2017-18 FA Trophy winners.
Whatever the trio are doing and saying appears to be working superbly. Having taken over a side in eighth place, they recently oversaw a run of five victories in a row before Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southport.
Brackley are still unbeaten under their new management team and have climbed level on points at the top with Darlington, who lead the way thanks to their superior goal difference.
They have also decided that experience is going to be key in the coming months, with Johnson signing two men with considerable Football League careers behind them in Rooney and Martin Woods, whose combined ages is 70.
It wasn’t a mistake when we wrote near the top of this article about this particular St James Park hosting National League North football. Although situated on the border between Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Brackley have Spennymoor, Bradford Park Avenue and Blyth on their fixture list.
For any Wolves fans who may wish to see them during the World Cup shutdown, they are at Leamington on Tuesday, December 6.
Foley, who played for the Republic of Ireland alongside Ward, has a habit of linking up again with former Wolves team-mates. He retired as a player in 2018, when Jamie O’Hara was among his colleagues at Billericay.