Former Mansfield Town and Eastwood Town boss Paul Cox back in the game as manager of Kettering Town

Paul Cox in his Mansfield Town days.
Paul Cox in his Mansfield Town days.

Former Mansfield Town and Eastwood Town manager Paul Cox is back in football after today being confirmed as manager at his former club Kettering Town.

Cox, who had three spells as a player with Kettering, had said he was keen to get back into management after a break following stints at Torquay and Guiseley that came after his huge success in getting Mansfield back into the Football League.

Cox’s appointment comes exactly 30 days after the Poppies sacked Nicky Eaden following their humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of Sutton Coldfield Town, which added to a poor start to the Vanarama National League North campaign.

Having conducted a thorough application and interview process, Kettering have opted for the experience of Cox who holds a pretty impressive CV in management.

The 47-year-old former Kettering player enjoyed a successful stint at Eastwood Town during which he took them to the third round of the FA Cup in the 2008-09 where they were, ironically, knocked out by the Poppies who went on to host Fulham in the fourth round.

Having won the Northern Premier League title with Eastwood, Cox was appointed as manager of Mansfield Town and led them back into the Football League as National League champions in 2013.

After a short stay at Torquay United, he went on to have a 22-month long stint as manager at Barrow while his last role at Guiseley lasted only five months.

Kettering chairman David Mahoney said: “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.”

Cox is no stranger to the Poppies, having made over 100 appearances for the club as a player.

His first game for the club was actually during the 1991-92 season before he had further stints at Rockingham Road in 1995-96 and between 1997 and 2001.

A no-nonsense centre-half in his playing days, he proved a popular figure with the supporters and was named player-of-the-year in the 1998-99 campaign when Kettering finished as runners-up behind Conference champions Cheltenham Town.

Despite having taken charge of over 300 games as a manager, Cox has been out of the managerial game since February last year when his spell at Guiseley came to an end.

And he is walking into a tough job at Latimer Park with the Poppies currently sitting bottom of the table after 13 matches while they face a crucial clash at fellow strugglers Curzon Ashton on Saturday.