Club moves swiftly to appoint Club Captain Gary Caldwell as the new manager of Wigan Athletic.
- Gary Caldwell appointed Wigan Athletic Manager.
- Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell will be assisted by Graham Barrow.
- "Gary knows the club and the football philosophy we expect at Wigan Athletic" – Chairman, David Sharpe.
Wigan Athletic are delighted to announce that club captain Gary Caldwell has been appointed as the new manager of the club on a permanent contract.
Following a day of discussions at the DW Stadium today, Tuesday 7 April, 32 year-old Caldwell, who turns 33 on Sunday, will be formally presented to the media at a press conference on Wednesday morning, where it will also be confirmed that Graham Barrow will continue as Assistant Manager, alongside Eric Black as First Team Coach and Mike Pollitt as Goalkeeping Coach.
Voted Wigan Athletic Player of The Year in 2012 by the Wigan Athletic supporters, Caldwell wore the armband for the majority of the 111 matches he played for the club between 2010 and 2014, before a persistent hip injury this season effectively called a halt on a career which saw him lift the FA Cup with Latics and win two SPL titles, the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup at Celtic - as well as earning 55 caps for his country, many of them as captain.
He made over 400 appearances in all competitions in a career that as well as Latics and Celtic, also included spells with Hibernian, Coventry City and Derby County - after coming through the ranks at Newcastle United, and he cites managers Sir Bobby Robson, Gordon Strachan and Roberto Martinez as three major influences.
Caldwell has combined his playing career with the development of his coaching for the past few seasons, working with the first team as well as the Latics Academy and he is relishing the challenge ahead of him:
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I wanted to move into management when the time was right,” he says.
“I didn’t expect that to come along as quickly as this but, in football, you need to take opportunities when they arise and I am honoured and excited in equal measures to take charge at the Latics, where I have shared such incredible memories over the past five years.
“We are in a really tough place at the moment, but we will approach the next five games with only one thing in mind, to win. After that, we will assess where we are and move on.”
David Sharpe, Wigan Athletic Chairman, said: “After a meeting with him on Monday and discussions all day Tuesday, Gary was the only candidate we considered because we are so convinced of his qualities.
“He knows who we are as a football club and shares the same football philosophy.
“He is a natural leader who commands respect from everyone around him.
“People will talk about his lack of experience, but every young coach is in the same place, there are many examples of young coaches being given opportunities and being successful.
“For me the timing was important; we will look to get a reaction in the next five games and this period crucially gives Gary a chance to look at the players in his way until the end of the season. Plus it enables us to start working now with a manager we know will be in place next season.
“The immediate goal is clearly to do everything we can to survive in this division, starting at Fulham on Friday. It’s going to be a huge task but, with Gary, Graham, Eric and Mike at the helm, we have the right team in place.
“But this is an appointment for the long-term.
“Gary, assisted by Graham, will spearhead the club moving forwards, whatever division we find ourselves in. We have a new recruitment team in place, and an emphasis on developing our own players through the Wigan Athletic Academy.
“Everyone associated with Wigan Athletic is feeling pain at the moment, but we have now taken measures to address the situation and the most important thing is that we have a definite blueprint for the future.”