BREAKING: Ilkeston FC appoint ex-Mansfield Town, Chesterfield and Sheffield United man as new head coach

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Paul Holland has been appointed the new head coach of Ilkeston FC.

Holland, who made more than 300 appearances in the Football League in a playing career cut short through injury, has been involved with Ilkeston FC since the birth of the club in 2010.

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Paul Holland

07-1606-21 Paul Holland

The 42-year-old has most recently held the position of academy director at the New Manor Ground and has been selected as the man to succeed Andy Watson, who left the club last month.

On his appointment, Holland said: “I’ve been at the club for five years now and seen things from behind the scenes. Kevin Wilson came in and set the club up from nothing and did a great job, Gavin Strachan and Andy Watson carried on that tradition.

“The first team at any club is always the most important team and it’s important to the fans that they have a successful first team as well as a successful academy.”

Ilkeston FC CEO Nigel Harrop added: “These are exciting times for Ilkeston as Paul brings a wealth of football knowledge to the first team. He knows the club inside out having been involved with the academy scholars since his arrival at the club.

Sue Draper (left) and Ann Richards of Ilkeston Methodist Church visit Nigel Harrop Manager of Ilkeston FC to promote their upcoming special Christmas truce event to remember WWI.

Sue Draper (left) and Ann Richards of Ilkeston Methodist Church visit Nigel Harrop Manager of Ilkeston FC to promote their upcoming special Christmas truce event to remember WWI.

“Being able to promote from within shows the quality we have at the club.

“When the head coach position became vacant, Paul came to me with his own strong ideas of how to take the club forward, using a mixture of experienced players and academy scholars.”

Holland began his career at Mansfield Town, notching up more than 150 games for the Stags between 1991-95, before moving to Sheffield United.

He spent a season at Bramall Lane before Chesterfield came calling for his services. He would go on to make more than 100 appearances for the Spireites.

And was part of Chesterfield’s historic run to the FA Cup semi-final in the 1996/97 season, including both the semi-final and the replay against Middlesbrough.

His playing career, which also brought two England U21s caps - where he played alongside David Beckham and Robbie Fowler, was cut short in 2000 at the age of 27, when he suffered a serious knee injury whilst playing for Bristol City.

It prompted a move back to Mansfield Town as youth team coach and then as assistant manager, first to Peter Shirtliff and then to Billy Dearden. He would take over as manager from Dearden for the last few months of the 2007/08 season.

Holland has been involved with Ilkeston FC since 2010, first as a tutor and coach then as academy director since 2015 and has overseen the successful runs in the FA Youth Cup. He was also a coach to the first team during the promotion season of 2011/12.