Ian Holloway takes great pride in seeing former Blackpool players managing at Bolton Wanderers, Fleetwood Town and Forest Green
Ian Holloway admits he’s taking great pride in seeing three members of his promotion-winning Blackpool squad managing in the Football League.
Stephen Crainey, Ian Evatt and Rob Edwards were all part of Holloway’s 2009/10 side that reached the Premier League against all the odds.
Blackpool and Sunderland named among host of clubs linked with Manchester United's ex-Rangers winger
Michael Appleton warns Blackpool fans not to take Josh Bowler for granted
Referee involved in weekend controversy to take charge of Blackpool's televised clash against QPR
Michael Appleton on Blackpool’s win at QPR, injury concerns and ‘brilliant’ travelling fans
Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino handed first league start in Blackpool's trip to QPR
In the fourth tier, meanwhile, Edwards’ Forest Green Rovers are on the cusp of promotion as they currently boast an eight-point gap at the top of League Two.
The likes of Keith Southern, Billy Clark and Gary Taylor-Fletcher have also turned their hand to coaching since hanging up their boots.
Speaking on YouTube channel Golf Life, which is hosted by Soccer AM presenter ‘Tubes’, Holloway said seeing his former players take the next steps in their career gives him a great deal of satisfaction.
“It was all about them as a human being, being a better person first and then bringing that change, don’t be so selfish, look after your family…you have to realise why you’re doing it all,” Holloway said, when asked about the most rewarding part of management.
“I’d like to think I’ve affected some people in the long term and what makes me proud now is seeing the three lads from my Blackpool side turning into League managers.
“Maybe, I don’t know, maybe I affected them. But they certainly affected me and my life so that’s what I enjoy the most.
“The best thing about management is getting a group of people to believe in the same thing and then go to work and deal with whatever happens, because you can’t always say it will go well.
“But when they all grow and build personalities, you all start to feel like one, like I had with Blackpool. It’s quite incredible.
“It doesn’t always go right in football, does it? But I’ve never tried to change who I am.”
Holloway, who has been out of work since leaving Grimsby Town in December 2020, has previously hinted he may look to call it a day in management.
But the 59-year-old admits he couldn’t rule out a return if the right club came along.
“I realise I’ve been very, very lucky. I’m enjoying the next generation of managers having a go,” he said.
“If it’s there, it’s the right one and it feels right, I’ll do it. If not, I won’t.
“I miss certain parts of it, I’ve got to be honest - the banter, the lads, the training and the challenge of the matches.
“I’m 18 short of 1,000 games but towards the end I didn’t like the Covid thing, I didn’t feel safe going out meeting whoever I was meeting because my wife is vulnerable, so it just didn’t feel right.
“It is what it is. I’ve had a good innings, I’ve had a lovely time. But now I’ve got seven grandchildren so it’s wonderful being around them.”