Tony Cousins linked with vacant Bray Wanderers post

Article by Kieran Burke - @KieranBTS  

 

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Unseen in the League of Ireland since his humiliating departure from Longford Town in August of last year, Tony Cousins is today being linked with a sensational return to the domestic game with crisis club Bray Wanderers.

According to the Irish Mirror, should the Dubliner, who is a taxi-driver by trade, take up the vacant Premier Division post he will be assisted by another former Longford employee in Gary Cronin. Having only announced his own City Calling Stadium exit just over a week ago, Cronin served as Cousins number two during that troubled 2016 campaign which eventually saw "De Town" relegated following a winless run of over twenty-games prior to Cousins resignation after a crushing 2-0 defeat away to relegation rivals Wexford.

However, the appointment of Cousins is far from set in stone according to the Irish Mirror who have stated former Northern Ireland international Steve Lomas is also linked with the position left vacant following Harry Kenny's resignation at the conclusion of last season. Lomas, who has managed Milwall and St.Johnstone in the past would be faced with a major rebuilding job should he be the man selected to take the reigns at the county Wicklow club.

Having featured regularly in the headlines for off-field issues last season, uncertainty continues to mount over Wanderers playing staff who are on two-year deals at the Carlise Grounds. Already this off-season key midfielder Ryan Brennan has left for St.Pat's while star man Aaron Greene has been touted with a move to a host of top LOI clubs.

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With no new signings announced by the side who missed out on European qualification last season following a poor second half to the season which was of course dominated by uncertainty over the clubs ownership, perhaps the option of former Galway and Longford chief Cousins would be the more suitable given his relatively substantial LOI experience and knowledge of the playing pool domestically. Cousins once stood as the leagues longest serving manager ahead of St.Pat's legendary boss Liam Buckley thanks to a seven-year stint with Longford Town FC where Cousins famously lifted the First Division title in 2014. Guiding an experienced Town team to a top six finish in the top flight twelve months later, many critics see Cousins decision to show the likes of veteran midfielders Stephen Rice and long standing Longford captain Mark Salmon the exit door as a key factor in the clubs disastrous 2016 form with former Bray boss Alan Mathews unable to save the club he guided to back to back FAI cup success in the early two-thousands from the dreaded drop.

Tony Cousins only other spell in top-flight management saw the Dubliner sacked by the old Galway United in March 2008. With the "Tribesmen" sitting second bottom in the Eircom League Premier Division as it was then known, Cousins was shown the door following a 2-0 defeat against Shamrock Rovers, a club where the former striker is held in legendary status. Cousins took charge of 66 games as manager of the Galway, winning 23, losing 21 and drawing 22.