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Buckley's Seventh Heaven

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 16/06/2007

ALAN Buckley is currently sitting in 7th place in the all-time list of Grimsby managers whose spells in charge of the Mariners have lasted 31 games or more. It has been a remarkable turnaround from the nadir at Plainmoor of a 4-1 defeat back in January, their seventh consecutive defeat.

Buckley is just four points away from where he was at at the same stage in 1997, which led to the Mariners' annus mirabilis of two victorious Wembley appearances and promotion to what is now the Championship.

Buckley's first spell back in 1988 is perhaps more comparable to his current and third reign at the club however, being in the same division and with the Mariners being in a similar place in the league when he took over. Grimsby are currently 5 points ahead of where they were at the start of Buckley's first spell at Blundell Park.

The full table is shown below:

George Kerr197931176842315711
Lawrie McMenemy197131166960485412
Bill Shankly195131166957345423
Tim Ward1960311410751385213
Alan Buckley II199731139947294818
Allenby Chilton19553114314394245-3
Alan Buckley III20063113513404444-4
George Fraser192131128114341442
Ron Ashman197331101473527448
Tom Casey19753111911324142-9
Bill Harvey19683111812343941-5
Brian Laws199431118123938411
Charlie Spencer193731118125251411
David Booth198231118124745412
Alan Buckley I19883110912424739-5
Mike Lyons19853111614444839-4
Russell Slade200431109123534391
Lennie Lawrence2000319715314634-15
Wilf Gillow1924319715354534-10
Frank Womack1932318914526933-17
Johnny Newman1976319616334433-11
Bobby Kennedy19693171212263333-7
Jimmy McGuigan19643161411384932-11
Paul Groves20013171014324131-9
Billy Walsh1954318617305330-23
H N Hickson1902317816365729-21
Bobby Roberts1987318518375129-14
Tom Johnston1962316817426026-18

Last season's successes, combined with some new summer signings, should hopefully see Buckley assemble a squad more in his own mould than that which he inherited from Graham Rodger. As I showed in an earlier article, Town's league position under Alan Buckley was ninth, so the play-offs is the very minimum Town should be aiming for this season. With the names above him in the table being associated with some of the finest managers in the club's history, any further rise up the table is likely to see Town in the top few places in League Two this season.

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