Ex-Leeds United, Sunderland and Rangers striker made favourite for EFL vacancy after 'sadness' over sacking
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Former Leeds United striker David Healy has emerged as the bookmakers favourite to become the next manager of League Two side Grimsby Town. The Mariners parted ways with Paul Hurst at the end of October following a 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers which left them 21st in the table.
Healy spent three years at Elland Road between 2004 and 2007, joining from Preston North End in October 2004 on a four-year deal after Leeds had seen a number of bids turned down for the former Northern Ireland international.
The 44-year-old played 121 times for the Whites, scoring 31 goals and providing seven assists during his time in West Yorkshire. He left in 2007 following the club's relegation to League One and joined Premier League side Fulham before joining Sunderland and then Rangers. He retired with Bury in 2013.
He was appointed manager of NIFL Premiership side Linfield in October 2015, a role he has held since. He has managed over 400 games and won the league title five times while also winning the Irish Cup twice. He also took Linfield to the cusp of the Europa League group stage in 2019 as they drew 4-4 over two legs with FK Qarabag of Azerbaijan.
Qarabag advanced into the group stage on away goals. No Northern Irish side has ever reached the group stage of a European competition. They came close to reaching the group phase of the Europa Conference League in 2022 but missed out to FK RFS of Latvia on penalties after conceding a last-minute equaliser in extra-time.
Healy is currently 2/1 to be named the next Grimsby boss, with former Lincoln City, Huddersfield Town and Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley second favourite at 3/1. Nathan Rooney, manager of Bruno's Magpies in Gibraltar is the next best priced at 5/1.
Grimsby drew 1-1 with Slough Town in the FA Cup first round in their first match since Hurst's departure last weekend. Upon announcing their decision to sack Hurst, who re-joined for a second spell in December 2020, Jason Stockwood, the club's chair, stated: “It is with sadness and disappointment that we’ve reached this point. Since May 2021, we’ve had a positive relationship with Paul and Chris. We’re proud of our achievements under their leadership: our promotion from the National League, the historic FA Cup run, and attaining our highest league position in 17 years.
"However, it’s time to embark on the next phase of the club’s development. We’re grateful for their hard work and wish them future success. They are an indelible part of our history and will always be welcome at Blundell Park.”