Sheffield Wednesday:Ex-Owl named as new Hartlepool United manager ahead of tonight's Papa Johns Trophy match
Hartlepool United have announced their new manager just hours before tonight’s Papa Johns Trophy clash at Sheffield Wednesday – and it’s a face familiar to those at S6.
Graeme Lee, who played 67 league matches for the Owls across a three year period from 2003 to 2006, will take his first step into full-time management with the League Two club.
A strong and committed centre-half in his playing career, Lee took the captain’s armband after injury to current Norwich City manager Dean Smith and picked up the Football Heaven fans’ player of the year award in the 2003/04 season.
Lee arrives having built up a strong CV in youth coaching at Middlesbrough and re-joins a club where he spent eight years at the start of his playing career.
Another former Pools defender, Michael Nelson, will act as his deputy.
Such is the short time between the announcement and tonight’s match, caretaker manager Anthony Sweeney will be in the dugout and will preside over the fixture.
In a statement, chairman Raj Singh said: “Graeme joins us from Middlesbrough FC where has amassed a wealth of experience over a 10 year period and alongside Michael Nelson we believe we have two very forward thinking coaches that are also strong and capable characters to lead the players and club forward.
“Graeme and Michael also know this level of football remarkably well having captained various sides in the Football league, they are natural leaders and both have a deep connection with our club having played nearly 500 games for Hartlepool United between them.”