Whilst names such as Dino Maamria, Marcus Bignot and Justin Edinburgh are in the running for the vacant Chester manager’s position, one name you may not know is also in serious contention; Matt Higgins.
With odds as short as 6/1, Higgins is the the bookie’s joint second favourite for the job, alongside Gary Brabin and behind 5/4 shot Marcus Bignot. Whilst Bignot is the likeliest option for the position, Higgins believes he boasts the experience to take the club back to the Football League.
“My immediate aims would be stability and getting the squad firing on all cylinders”, he told me, “The players just need a philosophy to make our city proud again.”
“I’m ready. As soon as the position was advertised, I knew I had to get my CV over to the club and use all of my experience from playing and coaching.”
Higgins put emphasis on how his playing career has been a huge aid to his coaching and he believes that this could help Chester. Whilst at Macclesfield Town, Higgins played with names such as Boaz Myhill and Rickie Lambert, both of whom went on to play in the Premier League.
“I feel like playing with the likes of Boaz Myhill, Rickie Lambert and being around coaches such as Kevin Keen and John Askey, who have done wonders in their coaching careers, will not only help me but Chester also.”
“I’ll bring a very attacking philosophy, we’ll get the ball down on the floor, be strong at set pieces and entertain the fans”, he said, “I want my players to wear the shirt with passion and pride.”
Higgins also spent two years with Chester City legend, now Swindon Town manager, David Flitcroft. He told me, if successful, he would be leaning to his old team-mate for a few favours.
“Flicca is a great coach, he worked wonders at Barnsley, and of course is a Chester legend. He owes me a few favours, so maybe we can get a good relationship going with Swindon!”, Higgins told me.
As well as providing a positive impact for the players on the pitch, Higgins told me that he will do the same for the fans.
“I’m privileged and honoured by the support. The Chester faithful want the good times back, they want the stands filled, I am very interested in bringing this back to the city.”
Higgins also believes that his links in the English game will allow the club access to the best group of young players possible, despite that limited amount of resources that the club operates with now.
“I have worked with limited resources before and feel that, with my connections in the game, this won’t be a problem”, he told me, “I plan to use these connections to get the best young talent available to me.”
“My knowledge of the league is very good, with a lot of contacts in the league above. It’s a tough league and you have to be organised, relentless and prepared for every game.”
From my time spent talking to Matt, I can safely say that he is very passionate about the football club and has the talent and experience as a coach to aid this football club, whether it be as a manager or as a member of the coaching staff.
Although passion seemed to not get previous manager Jon McCarthy very far with the club, Higgins’ claims to play fast, attacking football which is a farcry from the Chester of the last nine months.
Higgins is one of several names who have expressed their interest in the Chester job. Former Solihull and Grimsby boss Marcus Bignot has already applied for the position, alongside former Newport County assistant manager Dino Maamria.
Gary Brabin and Tom Shaw have both ruled themselves out of taking the full-time position.
It remains to be seen whether Higgins will upset the odds and be appointed the new Chester boss. The only thing that Higgins lacks in the English game is experience, which may push some fans away, but he certainly believes that this shouldn’t affect his chances when the club ultimately pick a successor to Jon McCarthy.
Who should be appointed Chester fans? Let us know in the comments below!