FORMER Conference champion John Coleman is set to return to Non-League’s top-flight as manager of struggling Southport.
Coleman, who won the title with Accrington Stanley in 2005-06, has been out of work since being axed by League Two side Rochdale last January.
The NLP understands the 51-year-old has agreed to be successor to Alan Wright, who was sacked by the Skrill Premier Sandgrounders today after a run of six straight defeats.
Out of the FA Cup and Trophy, Coleman will be tasked with steering Southport away from a second relegation inside 12 months of former boss Liam Watson leaving the club.
When Watson ended his first spell at Haig Avenue in 2006, Paul Cook and then Peter Davenport could not prevent the drop to Conference North.
Watson returned to lead them back to the top division in 2009-10, and claimed The NLP’s manager of the year award for finishing seventh in 2011-12.
But with Watson having left again for AFC Telford in the summer, and the Sandgrounders having dropped to 18th place following an impressive start under rookie boss Wright, chairman Charlie Clapham will be desperate to avoid a deja vu drop in the post-Watson era.