Former Premier League star Dean Windass is back in football as the new manager of East Hull.
As a Hull City legend, the 50-year-old is certain to be in the spotlight in his first coaching role since assisting Colin Todd at Darlington in 2009 following his appointment on Tuesday afternoon, pictured.
He’s also taken charge of a club run by controversial former North Ferriby United owner Jamie Waltham who oversaw a failed name change bid and effort to relocate the Villagers before liquidation and their subsequent rebirth as a phoenix club.
He is already denying accusations that the appointment of Windass on Tuesday is a PR stunt after offering one lucky spectator a chance to win £5,000 just for coming to watch the team at the start of the season in a bid to boost crowds. One recent fixture saw less than 40 in attendance.
Formerly East Yorkshire Carnigie, the club changed name to East Hull in May. Windass will have his work cut out after succeeding Andy Watts at Dunswell Park. East Hull have lost all nine games they’ve played in NCEL Division One and boast an unwanted goal difference of minus 40.
Windass made more than 600 appearances and scored more than 200 goals in an 18-year career, scoring goals professionally for Aberdeen, Bradford City, Oxford United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic.
He ended his career in Non-League, turning out for Barton Town Old Boys and Scarborough Athletic before finally hanging up his boots at AFC Walkington in 2012.
Waltham told the Hull Mail that he believes the veteran striker’s football knowledge and experience will turn their season around.
He said: “Deano is enthusiastic and has played a great level of football. I believe he was a clever player with a great football brain so it will be great to pass his experience on to the lads they can only benefit from him,” Waltham told Hull Live.
“It’s important to emphasise this isn’t a change and it wasn’t my decision it was Andy Watts our manager’s decision. He came to the club to do his UEFA B and was happy with any role. He asked for some help a few weeks back but I struggle for time and when the chance of working as assistant under Deano came up he naturally jumped at the chance.
“Deano didn’t take much convincing. He’s no longer working for City and loves football. He feels the need for a new focus and is looking forward to giving back to a community project.
“I think results will improve but it doesn’t need to be straight away. We understand we are way down the pecking order in terms of budget with lads learning the level, there’s no pressure regarding results.”
Waltham hopes to turn East Hull into the city’s second professional football club and is considering moving the club away from its current home to within the city boundary following criticism of Dunswell Park’s location.