Ex-Tranmere boss Brabin in frame for Wrexham job


Former Tranmere manager Gary Brabin could be set for a return to management having emerged as one of the favourites to take over at Wrexham.

Rovers’ promotion rivals were dealt a hammer blow last week when boss Dean Keates left for League One club Walsall, who had been under the brief stewardship of Ian Sharps. Keates has done an excellent job at Wrexham, and the team are still right in the promotion mix.

While Wrexham’s current joint-caretaker boss Andy Davies is odds-on favourite to get the job on a full-time basis, former Tranmere man Brabin has surprisingly featured high on the list of favourites.

Today, Brabin is 3/1 joint second-favourite for the position, drifting slightly from the end of last week. Also at 3/1 is Craig Bellamy, the former Liverpool and Wales striker who recently withdrew from the running for the manager’s position at League One Oxford United.

Gary Brabin’s time at Tranmere

Brabin was in charge at Prenton Park for 16 months, taking over in May 2015 after the club dropped out of the Football League.

Tranmere Rovers Manager Gary Brabin watches on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Tranmere Rovers and Liverpool at Prenton Park on July 8th 2016 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Richard Ault/talru.com)

While his style of play and general down-playing of Rovers’ league position was a cause of great frustration for fans, the ex-Southport boss actually did a decent job of rebuilding the club.

He brought in a strong squad of non-league players during his time with the club, and both top scorers Andy Cook and James Norwood were among his signings, as were Steve McNulty, Ben Tollitt, Ritchie Sutton, Connor Jennings and Jay Harris, all of whom remain key players for Tranmere.

Having missed out on the play-offs by two points during his first season in charge, he started the second campaign with a run of five consecutive wins – an overall record of six wins and one draw from the opening seven league games. He was subsequently named Manager of the Month in August 2016. It proved to be the ultimate curse.

The team then fell away badly in the weeks that followed and Brabin was dismissed in September 2016, replaced by Micky Mellon who then guided the club back in to the title race, eventually pipped by Lincoln City before being beaten by Forest Green in the play-off final at Wembley.

Brabin is currently on the coaching staff at League Two side Port Vale.

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