Question of the WeekWho will win the National League?
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By: Rob Sedgwick
PAUL Hurst has rejoined Grimsby Town four years after departing Blundell Park for Shrewsbury. The 46-year-old is joined by his long-term assistant Chris "Deputy" Doig. The pair have signed 18-month contracts which will revert to 12-month rolling contracts when the season ends.
Hurst guided Town to the play-offs four years running between 2013 and 2016, finally getting the much-coveted promotion in the 3-1 win over Forest Green 4.5 years ago. Since then he had a brilliant start at Shrewsbury, where the Shrews were the surprise package of League One, losing in the play-offs in 2018. After a big-money move to the Championship, Hurst's career took a dip and he lasted less than a year at Ipswich and then in his next job at Scunthorpe.
Hurst is well equipped for League Two football and knows the level well, unlike his predecessor Ian Holloway. Hurst though will inherit Holloway's squad but will have the whole of the January window to add to it. He has four years experience under his belt in the Football League since his first season at this level, when he left Blundell Park in October just a few games into the season.
The Mariners, in truth, have never replaced Hurst and every manager since has basically failed.
Current caretaker boss Ben Davies, who was in charge last night during a solid defensive display when Grimsby picked up a point in a dour 0-0 draw with Oldham at Blundell Park, is in discussions about his future.
The prospective new owners of the club are supportive of the new appointments, but the existing board are still running the club until the ownership is transferred and rubber-stamped by the EFL in the next few weeks.
Hurst is the third manager to rejoin the Mariners, following Alan Buckley and Russell Slade in having multiple spells at Blundell Park.
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