Former Middlesbrough Boss Makes Surprising EFL Return

Former Middlesbrough, Swansea City and Leeds United head coach Garry Monk has made a surprise return to management for the first time since November 2020.

The 44-year-old has been announced as the new manager of Cambridge United, succeeding Neil Harris in the dugout after the latter left to replace Joe Edwards at Millwall. Monk has penned a two-year deal, keeping him at the Abbey Stadium until 2026.

Monk’s first-ever job as a gaffer came in 2014 when he was announced as the new boss of Swansea, who were in the Premier League at the time. He had a relatively successful spell in Wales as the former centre-back managed to pick up the top-flight Manager of the Month award for August 2014.

After his stint with the Swans, Monk joined several clubs in the Championship, most recently as part of the revolving door at Sheffield Wednesday and has been out of work ever since, before his appointment at Cambridge was announced.

The ex-Middlesbrough manager has a wealth of experience in the EFL but has never coached below the second tier. Meanwhile, the U’s find themselves four points above the drop zone, having lost four consecutive league games.

Speaking to club media, majority owner Paul Barry revealed that the decision to appoint Monk was unanimous across the board:

“We are very pleased to welcome Garry as our next head coach. This follows a thorough process and three separate interviews with owners, board and senior staff from across the club last week where Garry emerged as our unanimous choice.

“He is a coach of high pedigree, has managed at the top level and impressed us all with his leadership skills, clarity of thinking and his analysis of Cambridge United – both the squad and the club.”

Writer’s View

Apart from perhaps his stints with Leeds and Middlesbrough, Monk was always at clubs who were punching above their weight in their respective divisions. However, helping Swansea to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League nine years ago was undoubtedly his greatest feat in management thus far. The Welsh side also did the double over Manchester United that same season.

Nevertheless, following some rather unsuccessful spells after leaving the Swans, Monk strangely never went back into management from 2020 until now but his coaching history alone is quite impressive for a club like Cambridge.


About Adam Scully 784 Articles
Deputy Head of Writing

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