The Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Jolley as the new First Team Manager of Barrow AFC.
Jolley has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Club, which includes a summer break clause, and he is set to meet the players for the first time on Thursday morning when he visits the Egerton training ground.
The Sheffield-born 43-year-old was most recently in charge at Grimsby Town, where he spent time in the dugout between March 2018 and November 2019.
Upon his appointment at Blundell Park, Jolley was able to arrest a run of 20 games without a win and engineer a remarkable upturn in form which saw The Mariners clear of relegation danger with a game to spare.
Jolley then built on that survival during his first full season in charge at Grimsby, winning League Two’s Manager of the Month prize for December 2018 and guiding the club to the Third Round of the FA Cup.
A Cambridge University graduate with a degree in Economics, Jolley’s extensive football experience began working in the Academies at Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest before taking a coaching role at Falkirk.
After a spell as Head Coach of Stirling University, he moved back in to professional football in 2011 when he was appointed First Team Coach at Lincoln City before being asked to join Crewe Alexandra where he coached the club’s youngsters and helped shape their Academy structure.
In the summer of 2014, he was named Under-23s Head Coach at Burnley where he helped develop the Club’s next generation of talent, whilst also taking the opportunity to be mentored by Clarets boss Sean Dyche
Jolley broadened his experience with a stint at the helm of Swedish Premier League new boys AFC Eskilstuna in 2017/18 where he was able to drive an upturn in form and oversee historic victories over Malmo and Gothenburg.
“I am absolutely delighted that Michael has agreed to be our next Manager and we all welcome him to the Club,” said Chairman, Paul Hornby.
“The calibre of the candidates for this role was extremely high but Michael hugely impressed us during two rigorous interviews.
“He also comes with a number of excellent references from people within football and, therefore, it was a unanimous decision by all the owners that he was the man for the job.
“Michael not only has all the relevant experience to help move us up the League Two table but his blueprint for the future will make it a fantastic time to be a Bluebird.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rob and all the backroom staff for looking after affairs in the interim and say that I am delighted they will be staying on to work alongside Michael.”
Rob Kelly is to continue in his role as Assistant Manager and, having overseen planning for the Boxing Day game against Port Vale, he will remain in temporary charge at Vale Park this weekend.