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Paul Cox returning to the touchline to rescue Kettering Town

Paul Cox

Former Mansfield Town and Eastwood Town boss Paul Cox is back in Non-League management and on a mission to rescue Kettering Town.

The 47-year-old ex-Notts County defender and former Poppies star was set to meet the club’s squad for the first time at training tonight following his appointment as manager at lunchtime on Thursday.

Cox, who made making 125 appearances for the Northamptonshire club in two separate spells, succeeds Nicky Eaden.

Eaden was sacked by the National League North’s basement club four weeks ago in the wake of their humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of Sutton Coldfield Town.

Eaden, 46, took the reins at Latimer Park in June after Marcus Law resigned, despite leading the club to the Southern League Premier Division Central title.

The vastly experience Cox knows all about success. As well as guiding Eastwood Town to the Northern Premier League title, he also masterminded Mansfield’s return to the Football League as National League champions in 2013.

SACKED: Former Poppies boss Nicky Eaden

Cox’s last spell on the touchlines at Guiseley was cut short in February 2018 after five months. Before that he managed Torquay United and spent nearly two years as Barrow boss.

According to a club statement confirming his appointment, interim managers Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham will take charge of the Poppies for one last time against Curzon Ashton on Saturday before Cox officially takes the helm.

The Poppies statement read: “The club is delighted to announce that Paul Cox has been appointed manager of Kettering Town Football Club.

“Paul has a fantastic pedigree within the Non-League structure having managed Eastwood Town, Mansfield Town, Torquay United, Barrow and Guiseley.  In addition, Paul also has a playing history with the Poppies having made 125 appearances in the 1990’s.

“The board of directors would like to thank all of the applicants for their interest in the managerial vacancy and our fans for your patience during this process.

“The Board would also like to thank interim managers Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham for their continuing dedication and professionalism while an appointment has been made.  Both will be in charge of the game at Curzon Ashton this coming Saturday.

“Paul will take charge of the team prior to the Bradford Park Avenue game on Saturday 2 November and we are sure our fans will join us in welcoming Paul to the club and to the Poppies family. Further news, including details of a fans forum to meet Paul, will follow.”

Kettering chairman David Mahoney told the Mansfield Chad’s website on Thursday: “We understand it has taken a bit longer than the fans wanted but we wanted to make sure we got who we felt was the right man.

“We were really impressed with Paul’s pedigree and history in this tier and the one above. He has been successful and he has an incredible amount of passion.

“He has been out of the managerial game for over a year but he has stayed involved in football in various roles and we are really excited that he has agreed to take on this position.

“We also have to thank both Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham for the work they have done in their caretaker roles over the past few weeks. They have got on with it in difficult circumstances and we really appreciate what they have done for us.”

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