WANDERERS’ search for Keith Hill’s successor is already underway – and several names have already leapt to the fore in the discussion on who should lead the side into League Two.

With chairman Sharon Brittan hinting at a restructure, the new job is likely to be more like a head coach than the traditional man-in-the-middle with control over all aspects of the club.

And so the profile has shifted slightly from the usual runners and riders to a slightly younger and more modern bunch.

We looked at the bookmakers’ lists, plus some of the names which have been mentioned in recent weeks to compile our own review.

The Bolton News: Axed: Kevin Nolan


Current first team coach under David Moyes at West Ham and a Bolton legend who helped the club into the Premier League and two European adventures.

Credentials: Few appointments could spark the emotions quite like ‘Nobby’ who has earned his spurs in the lower leagues in tough circumstances at Notts County and Leyton Orient.

Down side: He is contracted at West Ham until the end of the season and potentially falls more into the ‘manager’ category than the ‘head coach’.

The Bolton News: Dean Holden has now made the move to the dugout with Oldham, and now Walsall


Bristol City assistant boss who started his playing career at Wanderers and has gone on to become a highly rated young coach, spending a short time in charge at Oldham Athletic.

Credentials: Has managed at first team level before and helped Lee Johnson turn Bristol City into an exciting, attacking side.

Down side: His current club has Premier League aspirations and he is currently contracted to Ashton Gate – which could prove a problem.

The Bolton News: FINE JOB: David Lee led Wanderers U23s to third place this season


The current Wanderers Under-23s boss and a bona fide fans’ favourite who has been with the club for 17 years as a player and coach.

Credentials: Many would argue he is due a chance. Blooded a lot of the Wanderers youngsters and had the development squad playing some good football when he actually had a settled team. Also expressed his wish on a few occasions to try the top job.

Down side: If it doesn’t happen now at Bolton, you have to wonder if it ever will for Lee. He won’t have a team to manage next season – so might see this as his last opportunity.

The Bolton News: Rangers coach Michael Beale, manager Steven Gerrard, and assistant manager Gary McAllister


Rangers coach who worked at Chelsea and then for four years in the Liverpool academy system. He also had a spell as assistant manager of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Credentials: Ability to tap into some big clubs for younger players, which seems like a route Wanderers want to go in.

Down side: A lack of first team experience or familiarity with League Two could be a hindrance.

The Bolton News: Chris Powell's Southend entertain Luton at Roots Hall


Ex-Charlton and Southend boss who has recently left Dutch club ADO Den Haag, where he worked as assistant to Alan Pardew.

Credentials: Has 250 first team games under his belt but certainly doesn’t feel like an ‘old school’ appointment. Came close to the Bolton job in 2016 when Ken Anderson was interviewing for the vacant post eventually filled by Phil Parkinson.

Down side: With all signs pointing to a younger head coach, would he completely fit the criteria that Football Ventures are looking for?

The Bolton News: Sam Ricketts' Shrewsbury held Liverpool on Sunday


Currently Shrewsbury Town boss who also had success with Wrexham – the Wales international is well-known to Bolton fans, spending four years with the club between 2009 and 2013.

Credentials: Has developed a good reputation in the lower leagues, cuts a very professional figure – which will appeal to the club’s owners – and knows the club.

Down side: Actually in a job, which brings up the thorny prospect of compensation. Also, his club will be playing League One football next season.

The Bolton News: Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt makes his point during the National League game between Maidstone United and Barrow played at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone, on Sat Aug 18, 2018


Ex-Blackpool and Chesterfield defender who has made a fine start to management with Barrow, leading them to top spot in the National League this season.

Credentials: His success in Cumbria has been built on a progressive 3-4-1-2 formation, which made his side good to watch as they romped to the title.

Down side: A lack of football league experience potentially counts against him – otherwise it’s the fact he still has a couple of years left on his contract at Holker Street.

The Bolton News: Burnley manager Michael Jolley


Former Grimsby Town boss whose name has cropped up recently in discussions about Keith Hill’s replacement.

Credentials: Has a rich coaching CV at the likes of Burnley, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Crewe and has also managed in Sweden. Won plaudits at Grimsby for his work in the community – which is bound to impress the Bolton ownership.

Down side: His time at Blundell Park didn’t end well – a major fall-out with the local media ended up casting quite a cloud over his exit.

The Bolton News: Southend United manager Phil Brown shouting orders to his players during the Sky Bet League One match between Southend United and Blackburn Rovers at Roots Hall on August 5th 2017 in Southend-on-Sea, England. (Photo by Arron Gent/phcimages.com)


Started off in management as a caretaker at Bolton – and built up a varied resume at the likes of Hull City, Southend United and Swindon Town.

Credentials: Available, knows the club inside out and would be warmly welcomed by many fans for his associations with happier times at Wanderers.

Down side: Has his chance passed? Get the feeling that this coaching restructure will not involve any degree of sentiment.

The Bolton News:


Ex-Blackburn, Blackpool and Bradford boss with nearly 300 games in the dugout. Left Valley Parade in February.

Credentials: Lots of experience and a good knowledge of the game at this level, which could come in handy. Led Blackpool out of League Two a couple of years back.

Down side: Struggled to turn things around at Bradford, and the signs are that Wanderers could be looking at younger options.

The Bolton News: Sol Campbell's Macclesfield have avoided a winding-up order


Ex-Arsenal, Spurs and England defender who is currently manager of Southend United.

Credentials: Handled a difficult situation at Southend well this season despite their relegation and did the same at Macclesfield – where he was a close contact of Tobias Phoenix.

Down side: His contract at Roots Hall might be prohibitive and you couldn’t see Ron Martin giving him up without a fight.

The Bolton News:


Current Swindon boss who now has a League Two promotion on his CV after last week’s vote.

Credentials: Native North-Westerner who knows this level of football well after a couple of years at Swindon and a short stint at Oldham Athletic. Highly rated as a coach, too.

Down side: Has just escaped the bottom tier with Swindon so hard to see him stepping back down. Also contracted – which presents an issue for Bolton.

The Bolton News:


Former Republic of Ireland international who moved into coaching with Manchester City, Wolves and Ipswich Town. Now in charge at Macclesfield.

Credentials: Another young buck who should have the contacts to make an impact, and though Macc have struggled for all sorts of reasons this season, his coaching has not been one of them. Also well known to Tobias Phoenix from their time at Moss Rose.

Down side: Under contract and relatively inexperienced at first team level. Would be a huge call.

The Bolton News: Nigel Clough has left Burton


Recently stepped down as Burton Albion’s boss and also managed some fair-sized clubs in Sheffield United and Derby County.

Credentials: Built and re-built Burton a couple of times on a shoestring budget and has close-on 600 games to show on his CV.

Down side: Will Bolton favour an experienced head as part of the coaching restructure? And would Clough come out of the Midlands comfort zone?

The Bolton News:


Out of work since February when he left a disappointing spell in League One with Blackpool – Grayson is looking for a win after a few high-profile misses.

Credentials: Built a fine reputation over more than a decade with the likes of Preston and Leeds United and has plenty of experience around the lower leagues. Nearly 700 games under his belt as a manager.

Down side: Really did hit a wall after accepting the poisoned chalice at Sunderland. Will surely return to management soon but might not be what Wanderers are looking for.

The Bolton News: PALACE ROLE: Andy Hughes, left, with Under-21s coach Iain Brunskill during his time at Wanderers


Highly-rated coach who worked at Bolton before spells at Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United.

Credentials: Has enhanced his reputation since working with Iain Brunskill in Bolton's Under-23s a few years back - and recently revealed he had left Bramall Lane.

Down side: Took one game as caretaker boss at Bolton - but has little experience of doing the job on his own.