Paul Heckingbottom was a huge hit at Barnsley, but spells in the Championship with Leeds United and Scotland with Hibernian are best forgotten.
Former Leeds United and Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom could be in line for an immediate return to the Football League. According to the Bristol Post, the unemployed Yorkshireman has his heart set on another spell in the dugout with League One high-flyers Bristol Rovers.
Some two years ago, Heckingbottom was making a name for himself as one of the most promising young coaches in the British game.
After winning promotion from the third tier with his boyhood club, the Barnsley-born tactician was handed what looked like his big break a few miles down the road at Elland Road.
16 games and just four wins later, however, Heckingbottom’s place in Leeds United history was secured for all the wrong reasons. He will forever be known as the man who succeeded Marcelo Bielsa, the Argentine tactician who has weaved his wand and transformed Leeds from an ugly duckling into a promotion-chasing swan.
These days, Heckingbottom finds himself stuck on the managerial carousel and, after an initially impressive spell in Scotland with Hibernian turned sour, he is desperate be given a chance to rebuild his reputation.
The departure of Graham Coughlan from Bristol Rovers leaves a door open at a club sitting just two points adrift of the automatic promotion positions in League One and, according to The Post, 42-year-old Heckingbottom is very interested in continuing the former boss’s good work at the Memorial Stadium.
Heckingbottom’s status might have taken a battering after difficult spells at Roads Elland and Easter but this is a man who has a fine track record in the third tier.
He lead a Barnsley side of Connor Hourihane, Ivan Toney and Alfie Mawson to the EFL Trophy title and promotion via the play-offs in 2015/16. And he at least deserves the chance to repeat the feat.