Ex-Fylde boss Dave Challinor to become Hartlepool United manager

Dave Challinor is making a quick return to the National League at Hartlepool
Dave Challinor is making a quick return to the National League at Hartlepool

Dave Challinor is set for a rapid return to the National League as manager of Hartlepool United as soon as “contractual issues” with his previous club AFC Fylde have been resolved.

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The former Football League club have confirmed the agreement, adding that they want Challinor to work with their caretaker boss Antony Sweeney.

Sweeney has been in charge since Hartlepool sacked Craig Hignett four weeks ago, three days before Challinor lost his job at AFC Fylde.

The 44-year-old Challinor had been Fylde manager for almost eight years, steering the side to three promotions.

Under the Liverpudlian, Fylde never finished below the play-off positions in any division and came within 90 minutes of promotion to the Football League in May.

However, he was sacked last month with Fylde in the relegation zone, having won just four of this season’s first 16 games. The former Morecambe boss Jim Bentley replaced him last week.

A Hartlepool statement reads: “Hartlepool United are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Dave Challinor to join the club as our new first team manager.

“Following an exhaustive process, we identified Dave as an individual who will bring the necessary experience of the National League as well as a work ethic, track record and proven leadership, which we believe are essential ingredients as we seek to mount a serious challenge for promotion.

“Part of Dave’s remit will be to help develop the career of Antony Sweeney. He and Ian McGuckin have been simply outstanding in their work and commitment over the last few weeks and have improved things immeasurably. They will be an integral part of the structure of the football department under Dave.

“Dave will join the Club once contractual issues have finally been resolved at his previous club. In the meantime, he will attend this evening’s game and will meet with Antony Sweeney on Wednesday.”

Hartlepool are 13th in the National League, seven places and six points above Fylde, going into tonight’s home clash with Solihull Moors.

Fylde drew 2-2 at Hartlepool in August, with the Mill Farm return match set for March.