Gary Bowyer on his time at Blackpool, Wembley play-off final and future plans

Former Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer says he wants to carry on managing 'a bit longer' and hasn't ruled out coaching abroad.

Monday, 5th November 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 4:44 pm
Gary Bowyer lifting the League Two play-off final trophy at Wembley in May 2017

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Gary Bowyer resigns as Blackpool manager after one game of new season

The 47-year-old, who resigned as manager of Blackpool in August of this year, just one game into the new season, currently remains out of work.

The man who led the Seasiders back to League One at the first attempt via the play-offs, before defying the odds to consolidate the club in the third tier, has been linked with several jobs since leaving Blackpool, including Notts County and Bradford City.

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But, in an interview with Training Ground Guru, Bowyer says managing in a different country is something that certainly interests him.

Bowyer arrived at Bloomfield Road in June 2016, just weeks after the Seasiders had been relegated for the second straight season.

But he turned the ship around, guiding Blackpool to a seventh-placed finish before overcoming the fancied Luton Town in the semi-finals thanks to a thrilling 6-5 aggregate win.

Bowyer completed the job at Wembley, guiding the Tangerines to a 2-1 win over Exeter City thanks to goals from Brad Potts and Mark Cullen.

“I’d had such fantastic experiences as a kid going to watch my dad at Wembley and it was always a burning ambition to lead my team out there as a manager.

“To have your family with you there and to win at Wembley is just brilliant.”

Despite enjoying the day as a spectacle, Bowyer admits the day was overshadowed a little by the continued protests against the Oystons, with just 5,000 fans attending the game.

He added: “We knew we could have filled our 30,000 allocation quite easily and Exeter had 12,500.

“That overshadowed the achievement a little bit and I felt sorry for the players and the staff. The amount of work that had gone into it, they deserved the headlines.

"I never had a grudge with any of the fans, but it meant we were ultimately doing it for ourselves.

"There was a special bond between the players and the staff and you have to concentrate on what you can control.”

Bowyer’s experiences of Wembley as a youngster were down to his father Ian Bowyer, who played for Nottingham Forest during their pomp under the management of Brian Clough.

The former Pool boss says Clough had a huge influence on his own management style.

“Brian Clough was way ahead of his time,” Bowyer added.

“In management, there are scenarios and situations in which I think ‘I know where I got that from’.

“Little things that make a big difference, like sending flowers to the wives of the staff. I always remember my mum receiving a bunch of flowers on her birthday and it was Brian Clough who made sure that happened.”

This is something Bowyer repeated at both Blackpool and at his previous club Blackburn Rovers, where he managed from 2013 to 2015.

“I did that with my own staff, just to say thank you at the end of the season,” he said.

“We take a lot of the staff’s time away from their families, so it's a little bit of recognition.

“It’s how you try and treat people. We used to take everyone out, so the girls on reception or in the laundry were mixing with the players in a social environment. The impact on that back at work is massive.

“These were lessons learned from Brian Clough: how he made you feel and what you were prepared to do for him.”

One of the most pleasing aspects of managements for Bowyer is overseeing the development of young players, which he has done with the likes of Clark Robertson, Sean Longstaff and Kyle Vassell.

The latter left Blackpool during the summer, signing for Championship outfit Rotherham United. He has since been called up by Northern Ireland.

“League Two to international football in two seasons, not bad,” Bowyer said.

“You look and think, 'we helped in that' and it gives an enormous amount of satisfaction.”

Bowyer continues to study for his Master of Sporting Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

But the former Pool man insists management is still his main focus.

“I want to go and carry on managing for a bit longer,” he said. “Not necessarily just in this country, either. I’d go abroad to experience a different culture.”