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Coughlan 'honoured' by Bristol job


Graham Coughlan

Graham Coughlan

Graham Coughlan

Dubliner Graham Coughlan says he's honoured to have been given the chance to take over at League One side Bristol Rovers on a permanent basis.

The former Cherry Orchard man had been working as carertaker boss for a month. And having picked up three wins and a draw from the last four games, Rovers have opted to make the appointment permanent, as Coughlan is now the only Irish-born coach to take charge of a league club in England.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club since arriving in the summer and have felt honoured to be in interim charge of such a big football club for the past five games," said Coughlan.

"I have made it no secret of my desire to take over on a permanent basis and I am thrilled to be the man the club have trusted to take us forward."

Clondalkin lad Coughlan (44) learned his trade as a player with Cherry Orchard, after a brief GAA career with Round Towers, and was spotted playing for Bray Wanderers, earning a move to Blackburn Rovers in 1995 at the age of 20 after a brief spell with Bray.

"I didn't really want to leave, I felt I had missed the boat, I was too old and I took a lot of persuasion to go," he said.

Coughlan left Ewood Park for Livingston in 1999, without making an appearance for Blackburn, but had his best spell with Plymouth Argyle (2001-05), later lining out for Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Shrewsbury and Southend.

He began his coaching career with Southend upon retirement from playing in 2013 and but Bristol Rovers is his first job as manager.

With the departure of John Sheridan from League Two side Carlisle United last week, Coughlan joins Chris Hughton (Brighton) on the very short list of Irishmen managing league clubs in England.

The side's recent run under Coughlan has seen them move out of the relegation zone in League One.