League Two side Hartlepool United are without a manager after boss Dave Challinor walked out to take up the reins at non-league side Stockport County. Fabrizio Ravanelli has since emerged as an unlikely candidate
Middlesbrough legend Fabrizio Ravanelli has emerged as an unlikely candidate for the vacant Hartlepool job.
Dave Challinor left Pools this week under something of a cloud when he departed to take up the reins at National League side Stockport County.
Hartlepool issued a statement saying Challinor was approached “through his agent” and not via the club initially, and that permission to speak with the 46-year-old was also rejected.
Challinor then quit his role before being announced as Stockport boss shortly after.
Now, the search is on for his replacement – and Ravanelli is a surprise contender. Skybet has chalked up odds of 14/1 for the Italian to land his first job in English football.
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Ravanelli had a superb impact and scored 31 goals in his first season at the Riverside.
Despite that tally, it couldn’t prevent Bryan Robson’s side from being relegated although they did also reach the final of both domestic cup competitions.
Ravanelli departed soon after relegation and went on to play for Marseille, Lazio and Derby before hanging up his boots in 2005.
The 52-year-old’s last managerial role was back in 2018, with Ukranian side Arsenal Kyiv.
He resigned after just three months in the post following a string of poor results.
Ravanelli started his coaching career in 2011 with Juventus ‘ academy, where he stayed until 2013.
His only other job was as boss of French side Ajaccio. He lasted just five months there, with the team running into poor form. He was axed in November but it couldn’t prevent the club from finishing bottom that season.
He is now said to be keen on a return to the north-east but there are some big names said to be interested in the vacancy.
Pools, who have enjoyed a fine start on their return to the EFL following promotion via the play-offs last season, released a terse statement following Challinor’s departure.
The club said: “It is crucial that the manager of our club is 100 per cent committed. Dave had made it clear he wants to leave.
“As a club, we were disappointed the first approach did not come directly to the club. Also that this was so soon after Dave signed a new three-year contract.
“We believed we were building something special with Dave and this squad – matched by the magnificent support the team has received, home and away.”
Skybet currently has Andy Woodman, manager of National League side Bromley, as favourite. Clint Hill, Nigel Adkins and Stuart McCall all feature high on the list.
Coach Anthony Sweeney will take charge of Saturday’s FA Cup first-round clash at home to Wycombe Wanderers.