Part of me wants to stick a boot in Football Ventures, because I don’t want to be one of those people who are completely unquestioning of a new owner. After all, we’ve been through a lot of rubbish in the last few years and a bit of oversight isn’t a bad thing.
But having impressed everyone since coming in on Wednesday, they seem to have made a good impression with their first big football decision. Cheap tickets for a fairly unimportant competition is one thing, but picking a manager is another, and to get Keith Hill in quickly, before the transfer window closes, isn’t a bad move at all.
Firstly, for those who don’t know much about Hill – he is a Boltonian, and will be assisted by another in David Flitcroft, whose last job in football was to take Mansfield to the League Two playoffs, before losing to Newport on penalties. Only a last day defeat at MK Dons prevented them from achieving automatic promotion.
Anyway, back to Hill. His season and a half at Barnsley wasn’t amazing, just staying up in his full season before leaving halfway through the second, but his work in two spells at Rochdale is what will have got him the job with us. Hill, oddly enough, replaced Steve Parkin, who was Phil Parkinson’s number two. Hill managed promotions from League Two in each of those two spells, which to be honest may be very relevant considering where we could well be in 12 months time.
He has also developed the likes of Matty Lund and Callum Camps while at Spotland, and for those who think it’s the be all and end all, he likes to try and play ‘Good Football’ where possible, once attacking half of League Two for playing a rubbish style of play.
For what’s it worth, Kevin Nolan would have been an equally acceptable appointment, a reasonable CV considering he managed two poorly run clubs, a mixture of his experience in adversity and former Wanderers connections will have worked.
But Hill has got the nod, and for the appointment to happen quickly is another early tick in Football Ventures’ box. His first game in charge will be Tuesday Whetever It’s Called This Week Trophy game against Bradford.