Neil Aspin’s departure from FC Halifax Town last week has sparked a huge amount of interest within the game from managers seeking to become his successor.
One of those to apply for the vacancy is Halifax-born Greg Fee, a former Sheffield Wednesday and Mansfield defender currently working in youth development at Premier League club Everton.
Fee, 51, has signed players currently involved in the Toffees’ under 18s and under 21s team, including highly-rated Danny Bramall, who joined from Chesterfield this summer.
He has previously managed Boston United and Gainsborough, but has not been in charge of a club since 2000.
However, Fee believes he can be a success at The Shay given the chance.
“My management experience isn’t recent, and that is a big barrier, but I’ve got experience in all levels of football from Everton in the Premier League to working with the England C team,” he said.
“I work with people I’m convinced can be very successful at Halifax who have good management skills and can get the best out of people.
“I’m well qualified, I just need the opportunity.
Fee was born in Northowram and watched Town as a youngster.
“I was stood on the terraces when they beat Man City in the mud.
“My cousins still go and watch them now,”
He joined Bradford as a professional aged 15 and says his highlight as a player was turning out for Sheffield Wednesday in the First Division, playing against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
“It was a great time to be a player. There were some great teams, the Liverpool team especially with the likes of John Barnes, Ian Rush and Steve McMahon.”
Fee is proud of his record as a manager, but feels he has learned a lot in his time away from the coal face, with his work at the FA including coaching in academies, recruitment and assessing education programmes.
He said: “I was manager at Boston and I thought I did very well there.
“We played in the Conference and we finished second and third.
There were a few financial issues and I was still young at the time, still a player.
Clubs give players with no experience a job in management but I’m now at the stage where I’ve got lots of experience but clubs are more reluctant.
“I left there to go to Telford to further my playing career as I thought I could still achieve things as a player.
“I then went to Gainsborough but I was also working at the FA and doing both jobs was very difficult.
“I went to the FA in the end, which was more of a business role which took me away from the technical and coaching side of the game.
“I was there for three years. Looking back now I found it difficult to get back into the technical side.
“But after three years I thought ‘I’m better qualified than I’ve ever been to manage’ I’ve found it difficult to find somewhere who will give me the opportunity.”
Fee admits the lure of his home-town club is a factor in his desire to return to management at The Shay, and believes Halifax has the potential to move up into the Football League.
“The fact it’s Halifax makes it a bit more appealing, they’re one of the clubs I keep an eye on,” he said.
“They’re at a level which is appropriate to where I am. I know I’m not going to get a job in the Football League.
“I don’t think they’ve got a bad budget for the level they’re at.
“There are things about Halifax that are attractive to players.
“You only have to look at how many applicants there are to see it’s an attractive club to manage too.
“If you’re successful there there’s no reason why Halifax can’t be playing in League Two or even League One in the future.
“They were always in the old Fourth Division which is now League Two when I used to watch them and there’s no reason why they can’t be again.”
The former Chesterfield defender admits the Town supporters may be clamouring for a more recognisable figure to be appointed, but says that is no guarantee of success.
He added: “The fans might want a big name but every manager is judged on results, and that will be the case whoever gets the job, it doesn’t matter who you are.
“The most experienced managers with the greatest CV’s have failed at some point, so experience is not the panacea.
“The most important thing is the quality of the individual.
If I was given the opportunity I think I would be a credible proposition for the club.
“Whether I get that opportunity, I’ll have to wait and see.”