Cutting their teeth: 7 former Premier League players managing in non-league

10th Oct 2018

The transition from player to manager is a difficult path to tread. For every success story there are several tales of failure to go alongside it.

Even if you have been fortunate enough to play at the highest level, there is no guarantee that you will be able to transfer your skills into the dug out.

Daily Football Tips

The likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard may have been able to walk straight into top jobs immediately after hanging up their boots, but plenty of other former pros have to return to their roots and cut their coaching teeth at a lower level.

The National League - the fifth tier of English football - may not be a glamorous place to be, but it has proven to be the breeding ground of many a great manager.

A total of seven ex-Premier League footballers are currently plying their trade as managers in what used to be known as the Conference. And AskFans is here to shine a light on those putting in the hard yards....

Ian Evatt (Barrow)

Fans will remember Evatt for his spell at Blackpool, who rose to prominence in the top flight under the guidance of Ian Holloway.

The Tangerines became everybody's second team for six months or so and Evatt was a key member of their defence. 

Jamie Fullarton (Halifax)

Fullarton had a nomadic career, taking in the likes of St Mirren and SC Bastia before joining Crystal Palace. His spell at Selhurst Park was short lived and he hung up his boots in 2005.

He got his first taste of management over a decade later and took the reins at Halifax in February 2018.

Steve Watson (Gateshead)

The North Shields-born defender spent eight years at Newcastle and also spent time in the top flight with Aston Villa, Everton and West Brom.

Watson called it a day in 2009 and coached at the likes of Huddersfield and Birmingham before returning to more local pastures with Gateshead.

Justin Edinburgh (Leyton Orient)

Edinburgh spent the lion's share of his playing career with Spurs and was famously sent off in the 1999 League Cup final for a tiff with Robbie Savage.

He has made a fist of management in the EFL with Newport, Gillingham and Northampton and took charge of the O's in November 2017.

The Londoners will be expecting a swift return to League football.

Graham Alexander (Salford City)

Alexander was a rare breed during his paying career. He was very much a no-nonsense defender, but also a set-piece specialist. 

He is widely remembered for a spell in the Premier League with Burnley and has managed Fleetwood and Scunthorpe in recent years.

The 46-year-old joined big-spending Salford in the summer and has been charged with securing the club's first-ever promotion to the EFL.

Tim Flowers (Solihull Motors)

The goalkeeper lifted the Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers in 1995 and also won 11 England caps.

His distinguished playing career came to a close in 2003 and he has coached at several lower league clubs in recent years.

Solihull are currently in the race for a play-off place, despite having a significantly smaller budget than many of their National League rivals.

Sam Ricketts (Wrexham)

Ricketts represented Hull City and Bolton in the top flight and also won more than 50 caps for Wales.

It is fitting that he has made his way into management with Wrexham, who are one of a handful of Welsh clubs operating in England's football pyramid.

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