The Rundown

Top 12 British managers in obscure lands

The Rundown

View photo

.
As Aston Villa hunt for a new manager, the man who has the club's best Premier League winning percentage of all - John Gregory - has just accepted a new job in Kazakhstan (No Borat jokes please).

Gregory, who also managed the likes of Derby County and Queens Park Rangers, has just been named the new boss of FC Kairat from the country's largest city Almaty.

He has been away from England for a while and actually spent the last two seasons coaching in Israel.

Gregory's globetrotting adventures have inspired us to look at some other British managers who have ended up in obscure places.

You won't find Bobby Robson at Barcelona or Roy Hodgson at Inter Milan on this list - we wanted to dig out the more unusual places where British managers have found employment.

If you've come across a British coach with even more impressive passport stamps than the ones below - then let us know in the comment box.

Tony Adams - currently with Gabala of Azerbaijan

The Arsenal legend somehow managed to bag the managerial position at Premier League side Portsmouth in 2008 despite having previously being a flop at Wycombe. However, he was promptly sacked from Pompey after just 16 games in charge in February 2009. It was unlikely that an English club would touch the former England captain so where did he go? Azerbaijan of course. In May 2010 Adams took over Gabala FC, where he still manages and was charged with the job of building the club up from scratch. You might recognise their current strike-force too with ex-Derby, Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday striker Deon Burton currently partnering former Fulham ace Collins John up front.

Iffy Onoura - formerly of Ethiopia (sacked for comments made about cows)

Former Swindon boss Iffy Onoura decided to broaden his managerial horizons in 2010 by taking the national team job at Ethiopia but was then sacked after less than a year over remarks he reportedly made about cows on a training pitch. It had been generally accepted that Onoura had done a decent job on the pitch but he was instead relieved from his position on "disciplinary grounds". Ethiopian Football Federation spokesman Melaku Ayele said at the time: "He was telling the newspapers that he had to clear a herd of cows off a pitch in order for the team to train. I'm not aware of a single pitch that the team trains in where you can find cows."

Danny McLennan - Formerly of Iran AND Iraq and many, many others.

You thought Alex McLeish going from Birmingham to Aston Villa was bad? Well how about Danny McLennan, who coached both Iraq and Iran in his career. The Scot is credited with revolutionising football in the Middle East during the 70s in a simply astonishingly varied coaching career. He started at Berwick and Worcester before going on an amazing globetrotting adventure. He went on to coach the national teams of the Philippines, Mauritius, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Iran, Bahrain, Iraq, Malawi, Jordan, Fiji and Libya. What's more he also had spells coaching club sides in Norway, Tanzania and India. Simply put - his passport should be in a museum. McLennan died in 2004 aged 79.

Stephen Constantine - Currently of Nea Salamis in Cyprus, formerly manager of the Nepal, India, Malawi and Sudan national teams.

Constantine is half-Cypriot so there is no surprise to see him currently coaching there, but he has also had spells in more eclectic places. His first national team job was with Nepal in 1999 and he was so successful (winning a silver medal in the South Asian Games) that he was awarded the "Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Baahu" - which is sort of like a Nepali knighthood for foreigners. Such success did not go unnoticed either as he was then offered the highly glamorous job of ... assistant director of the centre of excellence of Bournemouth. The wanderlust soon returned though, as he managed India, then went back to become a coach at Millwall, before picking up the suitcase again for spells coaching Malawi and Sudan.

Terry Fenwick - San Juan Jabloteh, Trinidad and Tobago.

Fenwick, who won 20 caps for England, didn't have much success in England as coach at either Portsmouth or Northampton but things have gone much better for him as coach of San Juan Jabloteh in Trinidad & Tobago. He won the treble with the club in 2008 and has been touted as a potential future coach of the Trinidad & Tobago national team.

Matthew Green - Turks and Caicos national team

After taking a teaching job in the Bahamas, Matthew Green decided to set a football programme at his school. His next football job? Coaching in the World Cup! Green has been in charge of the Turks and Caicos Islands national team since 2004. In 2008 he led the team to their first ever World Cup qualification win - a famous 2-1 victory over the mighty Saint Lucia. In case you're wondering, the Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies. They are currently 193 in the FIFA world rankings but were as high as 168 after their win over Saint Lucia.

Simon McMenemy - coach of Dong Tam Long An in Vietnam, formerly of the Philippines

Still only 33, McMenemy was thought to be the youngest international manager in the world when he swapped his job as Worthing assistant manager to become coach of the Philippines national team last year. It was through Chris Greatwich, one of his former players at Lewes and a former Philippines international, that he heard about the vacant job and McMenemy was offered the job on a probationary basis after conducting a phone interview. After a strong performance in the Long Teng Cup, McMenemy was given the job full-time and then at the AFF Suzuki Cup a shock win over Vietnam was named one of the "Top 10 soccer stories of 2010" by Sports Illustrated magazine. Not surprisingly the Vietnamese remembered him and V-League 'giants' Dong Tam Long An appointed him as coach earlier this year.

Graham Roberts - coach of Nepal, formerly of Pakistan

Another former England international joins our list - ex-Tottenham, Rangers and Chelsea defender Graham Roberts, who is currently managing the Nepal national team. Roberts was last seen managing in these parts back in 2006 when he was sacked as manager of Scottish club Clyde after allegations he made racist remarks (he later won £32,000 for unfair dismissal). In late 2010 though he became a consultant for, and then briefly coach of, Pakistan before swiftly moving on to Nepal. He has got off to a good start too - helping the side to progress through the group stages of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup and later this month he gets the country's 2014 World Cup campaign started with a clash against Timor-Leste in Kathmandu.

Bob Houghton - formerly of India, Uzbekistan and China

Another man with a simply mammoth CV. Houghton left as coach of India earlier this year after having led the country to the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup and two Nehru Cups. He has also managed the national teams of Uzbekistan and China and has had club roles in Sweden, Greece, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, USA and China. He has genuine pedigree too having guided Malmo to the 1979 European Cup final, where they lost to Nottingham Forest.

Mike Adams - coach of Grenada

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is currently on at the moment and England has a representative in the competition in the form of Mike Adams, who was made coach of the "Spice Boyz" for the second time earlier this year after having been involved in the set-up since 2004. Adams was a former Chelsea prospect but had to retire due to serious injury when he was aged just 21. Adams has helped build-up Grenada's pool of talent by identifying British-born players with Grenadian roots to follow the lead of national hero Jason Roberts and play for the national team. Familiar lower-league names such as Delroy Facey, Craig Rocastle, Byron Bubb, Leon Johnson, Bradley Bubb, Anthony Straker, David Cyrus and Andray Baptiste have all declared for Grenada. The island country, with a population of just 110,000 people, are now 98th in the world rankings, putting them a full 16 places ahead of Wales.

Kenny Dyer - Montserrat

Finally a mention to former Dover Athletic, Dagenham & Redbridge and Slough Town player Kenny Dyer whose Montserrat side open the 2014 World Cup with a match against Belize on Wednesday. Join us on World of Sport on Thursday to see how he and his team got on.

View Comments