Southport have confirmed the appointment of Liam Watson as manager.
Watson needs little introduction to Southport fans, being the most successful manager during the club’s non-league era. He returns for his third spell as manager having managed the club to the National League North title in both 2004/5 and 2009/10 together with achieving a 7th place finish in the National League in 2011/12, breaking the club’s consecutive away wins record in the process.
Watson has won the National League North as manager three times in total having also successfully managed AFC Telford United to the title in 2013/14. Following his spell on the Board of Directors during the 2016/17 season he has most recently been carrying out a scouting role for Scunthorpe United.
On the appointment, James Treadwell said on behalf of the Board of Directors: “We all welcome Liam back to the Club and look forward to working with him to achieve our primary target, being promotion back to the National League. As soon as we were able to speak to Liam, following agreement by his current employers, Liam’s interest in the job became apparent, and we then moved quickly to discuss the role with him.
“His managerial pedigree at this level is clear and we are confident that in Liam and Jon McCarthy we have the management team with the knowledge, experience and expertise to achieve our goals. This will be an exciting summer as we put together a strong squad capable of winning promotion together with the improvements to the ground. Our early season ticket sales have been encouraging, and we look forward to welcoming all fans, both old and new when we return for pre-season.”
Liam Watson said: “It is great to be back, and I am looking forward to the challenge. We have the nucleus of a squad capable of winning promotion and we have already identified targets to strengthen.
“We have the budget available to put together a squad which can play an attractive, attacking style of football and I can’t wait to get started working with Jon McCarthy on that. My desire to manage again has stemmed from watching Accrington Stanley and, my friend, John Coleman, win League Two this season. I was at the game when they clinched the title and the ‘butterflies’ returned. I want that experience again myself.
“It’s important to me that the club now has the ambition to match my own, and I believe that I can now achieve all of my managerial dreams here at Southport, something I’ve not been able to achieve previously.”