Former Leeds United and Preston North End striker, and current manager of Linfield, David Healy has emerged as a contender for the vacant manager’s job at Grimsby Town, according to reports.
An update from EFL journalist Pete O’Rourke said that Healy is “in the frame” for the position, with the Mariners still outlining their shortlist of potential candidates and beginning to conduct interviews in what is set to be a long recruitment process.
A well-travelled forward in his playing days, the 44-year-old has been in charge of Linfield in his native Northern Ireland since 2015. He has led the club to five league titles, as well as two Irish Cup victories and a further two Irish League Cup triumphs.
Healy has been highly successful in what is his only managerial job to date, managing one of the biggest clubs in Northern Ireland with sustained success. He recently reached eight years at Linfield as a manager and spoke about what it means to be in his current position.
“It’s a privilege,” he said recently. “It’s a demanding job as everybody is probably aware of. I’ve spoken to people in football around the country, and it’s the second biggest job in the country after Michael O’Neill’s with Northern Ireland with the complications that come with managing a club of this size.
“I learned in the role, I learned on the job, and I continue to learn. Nights like [against Cliftonville] when you see supporters in joyous form is pleasing. I’m honoured and have a brilliant staff around me.
“I’ve a strong family at home who support me night in, night out and week in, week out when we play. I’m blessed to be the manager.”
Healy has averaged 2.17 points per league game (266 games) and won 229 of his 366 matches in all competitions as Linfield boss, with his teams scoring 754 goals in those games, which shows just how dominant and used to winning he has become as a coach.
That is an ethos that a team like Town need at this moment, with the players struggling for confidence and belief that they can go out and win games while dominating teams with the quality they possess.
Healy’s success in his native Northern Ireland has no doubt attracted some interest from England over the years, with long-serving Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew touching on this subject last year after winning a fourth-straight league title.
“I’m surprised it hasn’t already happened, in terms of clubs across the water showing an interest in David,” Mulgrew said in May 2022.
“For our sake, we hope it doesn’t happen and he stays at the club. We have been reaping the rewards since he joined the club six years ago, but I suppose that’s football. If that were to happen, the club would appoint someone else, and we all move forward.
“Under David’s managerial reign, we’ve been very successful. He possibly doesn’t get the credit he deserves, along with his backroom staff and also, Willie McKeown, who brought me to the club. Everyone has a fantastic work ethic – that’s what makes us successful.”
Healy no doubt has a great winning pedigree as a manager, and pulling him from a different country would open Town up to a different market of players in Northern Ireland that the manager could attract over, with his reputation in that region.
If the reports are genuine about the Mariners’ interest, then they should be going all in for Healy – who has a great reputation as both a player and a manager – and could bring a winning mentality over to Grimsby.
Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/