Names in the frame! Speculation about new Boston United manager mounts, but expect the unexpected from David Newton - opinion

The search for Craig Elliott's replacement continues

Ian Culverhouse is among the names being mentioned for the vacant Boston job. Photo: Getty Images
Ian Culverhouse is among the names being mentioned for the vacant Boston job. Photo: Getty Images

Boston United's search for a new manager is underway, with no shortage of names already being put forward.

But - while many extremely successful and well-qualified gaffers have been linked with the Jakemans Community Stadium dug-out - are we actually anywhere closer to correctly guessing who will be replacing Craig Elliott?

History would suggest not. David Newton runs a very tight ship and while there has always been no shortage of speculation when the Pilgrims chairman is searching for a new manager, most of it has landed way off the mark.

Remember the summer of 2009 when United fans packed into the Pilgrim Lounge ready - if online chatter and confident proclamations in the room were anything to go by - for the anointing of Colin Walker?

Give or take the pang of a few jaws hitting the floor, there was a deathly silence as Rob Scott and Paul Hurst walked into the room.

But let's be honest, this isn't the only time a new manager announcement was met in a similar fashion - or by a swift trip to Google.

Tommy Taylor, Jason Lee and Lee Canoville, Adam Murray and Elliott himself were all introduced as the new club manager with miniscule, if any, speculation surrounding their names.

The only real exceptions to the rule were Graham Drury, whose name had come up along with others after the departure of Lee and - immediately afterwards - Dennis Greene, the obvious choice to take over after his predecessor's 10-week reign ended.

At another Pilgrim Lounge unveiling Newton had stated Drury just got the nod in a close two-horse race, while the former Wycombe Wanderers striker - still looking for a job at the time - had wished Boston well on Twitter after missing out.

So, anyway. On to the usual and unusual suspects.

Kevin Wilkin, Josh Gowling, Curtis Woodhouse, Ian Culverhouse, Billy Heath, Paul Cox, Paul Green and Steve Evans are among the names being thrown into the mix so far this time by various sources.

Wilkin, top of the National League North with Brackley Town and having recently secured a 3-1 win at the Jakemans Community Stadium, may well be wishful thinking.

Culverhouse's name has been linked to the Boston job even before he left King's Lynn, whom he helped to two promotions, including a National League North PPG title win in 2020.

The fact he and his assistant Paul Bastock - United's all-time record appearance holder - have both been spotted at the JCS this season will only heighten speculation.

Curtis Woodhouse, the former Gainsborough Trinity manager and former pro boxer, is a vocal figure on social media, and this upfront persona has appealed to a number of Boston fans.

He and Gowling, cutting his teeth with league rivals Hereford but still living in Lincolnshire, have both said kind words about the Pilgrims, but no flags have been nailed to masts.

Cox and Heath are hardened campaigners at this level and above, whose names seem to be linked every time there's a vacancy at Boston, while talk of Evans returning is mostly a tongue-in-cheek jibe as the disgraced former boss is looking for work at the same time his old club are looking for a manager.

Green, currently taking the team on an interim basis, has made it clear he wants a career in management and has the perfect opportunity to win the chairman over if he can build on Saturday's draw and all-important clean sheet at Gloucester City. It's understood his attention to detail has already impressed down Pilgrim Way.

While it's easy to pick out a name from the ether, Newton faces a tougher task as he tries to pick the right person for the job from his list of applicants, those on the list once again a closely guarded secret.

A name from the above list may well be the next Pilgrims manager. It may be someone from leftfield once again.

The only certainty is that it won't be some lad who's done ok on Football Manager. And that's the only CV guaranteed to have been sent.

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