Michael Jolley

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Michael Jolley
Michael Jolley.png
Jolley interview for Burnley in 2015
Personal information
Full name Michael Jolley
Date of birth (1977-03-30) 30 March 1977 (age 41)
Place of birth Sheffield, England[1]
Club information
Current team
Grimsby Town (manager)
Youth career
Years Team
1989–1993 Barnsley
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1998 Cambridge University AFC
Teams managed
Years Team
2008–2009 Stirling University
2008–2009 Scotland Universities Team
2014–2017 Burnley (U23s)
2017–2018 AFC Eskilstuna
2018– Grimsby Town

Michael Jolley (born 30 March 1977) is an English professional football coach and football manager. He is the manager of League Two club Grimsby Town.

Jolley is a Cambridge University graduate with an MA in Economics from Downing College and Postgraduate Diploma PGDip/MSc in Sports Coaching at the University of Stirling. Jolley holds a UEFA Pro Licence, the highest-level managerial qualification in association football in Europe.

He started coaching in 2004. He has previously held coaching positions at five professional clubs, including Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Lincoln City and Crewe Alexandra. He was most recently the manager of AFC Eskilstuna. Jolley joined the last-placed Allsvenskan club on 13 June 2017 and parted ways with the club after the end of the season, which saw the club relegated to Superettan. He had joined the club from Burnley where he spent three years in the role of U23 head coach. In March 2018, Jolley became manager at League Two club Grimsby Town.

Early life[edit]

Born in Sheffield, Jolley was a youth player with Barnsley between 1989 and 1993.[1] Between 1995 and 1998 Jolley attended Downing College at Cambridge University where he won three 'Blues' for representing Cambridge against Oxford University in the Varsity Football match.[citation needed] During his time at Cambridge Jolley gained a bachelor's degree in economics, which was subsequently converted to a master's degree.[2]

From 1999 to 2005, Jolley was a fixed-income trader, first in London, then in New York; he worked near the World Trade Center at the time of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.[3] In 2002, Jolley returned to England to be nearer to his family, while continuing his work in banking he also moved into football coaching when he joined Crystal Palace in 2004.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Jolley's first coaching position was at Crystal Palace Academy, commencing in 2004, spending three years at Palace, during which time the academy produced players such as Victor Moses and John Bostock.[4] In 2007 Jolley left to take up a position with the academy of Nottingham Forest.[4] After just over one year with Forest, Jolley was appointed high-performance football coach in August 2008 at Stirling University Football Club.[5][6] Jolley coached and recruited players to the University's football scholarship program.[citation needed] Stirling also won the Queen's Park Shield in Jolley's first season.[7] Jolley also joined Falkirk as an academy coach.[4] Jolley was also appointed head coach of the Scotland Universities Team in 2008–09.[8] Jolley gained a Postgraduate Diploma PGDip/MSc in Sports Coaching during his time at the University of Stirling.[9] Jolley left his roles at Stirling & Falkirk in 2009.

In 2011 Jolley was selected as one of 16 coaches to participate in the inaugural FA Elite Coaches Award.[10] He then be had a brief role as First Team Coach at Lincoln City of the Conference Premier in 2012.[4] In November 2012, he joined League One side Crewe Alexandra as an Academy Coach.[1] In July 2013 Michael Jolley completed the FA Elite Coaches Award, one of 16 coaches globally to hold the award at that present time.[11]

Jolley was appointed Senior Professional Development Coach of the Burnley Under-23 Team on 7 July 2014.[8][10] Burnley would spend two of the next three seasons in the Premier League (see List of Burnley F.C. seasons ([1])) His Development squad won the Final Third Development League Cup final with a 2–1 victory over Stoke City U23's in the 2015–16 season.[12] Jolley spent three years in the role, during which time he played a role in the development of Cameron Dummigan, Tom Anderson, Luke Conlan, Luke Hendrie, Ntumba Massanka, Josh Ginnelly, Dan Agyei, Alex Whitmore, and Aiden O'Neill.[13][14][15][16] In 2015, Jolley gained the League Managers Association Diploma in Football Management, which covered Influencing & Negotiation, Mental Toughness & Resilience, Football Finance, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion, Sport Science and Performance Analytics and focused on leadership, personal development and wellbeing.[17] In 2016, Jolley gained his UEFA Pro Licence, from the English Football Association.[18]

Managerial career[edit]

AFC Eskilstuna[edit]

Jolley was presented as new manager for AFC Eskilstuna on On 13 June 2017 in the Swedish Premier Division, Allsvenskan.[19] Having being personally recommended by Sean Dyche.[20]

When Jolley took over the team were winless, had 4 points from the opening 12 matches and were firmly rooted to the bottom of the league table.[21] Under his coaching they took 15 points from the next 16 games.[22] However, they were eventually relegated to Superettan on 23 October 2017 following a spirited fight when Jönköpings Södra IF defeated Kalmar FF 2–0, meaning AFC Eskilstuna could no longer reach the qualifying position.[23]

Prior to Jolley's arrival, AFC had taken a paltry 0.33 points per game leaving them well adrift at the foot of the table. Despite gaining their historic first ever Allsvenskan win on 15 July 2017, a 2–1 victory against Kalmar FF in Jolley's first home game in charge.[24] He found himself with little scope or time to improve AFC's weak squad and poor levels of fitness. In spite of this, AFC embarked on a remarkable run of results from August onwards under Jolley gaining 12 points from the next 8 games at a rate of 1.5 points per game including eye catching wins against the likes of IFK Göteborg and a 3–1 win against runaway Champions Malmö FF.[25] The victory over Malmö FF in particular provided the biggest shock of the season in Allsvenskan and showcased Jolley's innovative tactical thinking as well as his ability to upset the odds with an inferior group of players, and the tactical approach used by Jolley has been the subject of considerable analysis within the coaching community.[26]

Although they were able to edge their way off the foot of the table with over a month of the season to go.[27] A combination of injuries and suspensions cost AFC dearly in the last four games and a wounding late defeat, 3–2 to IF Elfsborg, in their penultimate home game.[28] Followed by a 1–1 draw away to Halmstads BK as their relegation was confirmed. Jolley parted ways with AFC Eskilstuna on 9 January 2018 by mutual consent, after being unable to agree on the future direction of the club.[29]

Grimsby Town[edit]

On 2 March 2018, Jolley was appointed as the new First Team Manager of EFL League Two side Grimsby Town on an undisclosed rolling contract.[30] His main task for the remainder of the season was to prevent the club from bring relegated, to maintain their League Two status; he worked alongside Paul Wilkinson, who continued his previous role as assistant manager.[31] Jolley's first game in charge was a 1–1 draw at home to Port Vale on 10 March 2018.[32]

Jolley succeeded in turning around Grimsby's fortunes, ultimately securing their League status on 28 April 2018 with a 2–1 victory at home to Notts County.[33] Of the ten games left of the season when Jolley took over, Grimsby picked up 15 points, winning four of these games and drawing three, despite the team being on a winless run of over 20 games when he took charge.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Jolley places an emphasis on football being a part of the community and the role he takes in supporting local schools, events and causes, which made him particularly popular with Grimsby Town fans.[35][36][37][38] He is married to Lizzie since 2013.[2]

Jolley was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl after a night out at a Stirling nightclub with friends in 2009.[39] Jolley admitted to having sex with the girl and was sentenced to a year on probation and put on the sex offenders' register for 12 months, the minimum available term under sentencing guidelines. It was established in court that the girl and her friends that accompanied her to the nightclub had lied to Jolley about her true age, telling him that she was 19. The court overwhelmingly accepted, and emphasised in judgement, that Jolley would not have had sex with the girl had he not been deceived over her age. Following their own investigations both the English Football Association and the Scottish Football Association cleared him to continue working with youngsters.[40][41] In 2018 following complaints to IPSO both the Daily Record and Daily Mail altered their reporting of the incident with MailOnline adding an apology to their article reporting his appointment at Grimsby Town.[42][43]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 16 February 2019
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
AFC Eskilstuna 1 July 2017 9 January 2018 18 4 4 10 022.2 [34]
Grimsby Town 5 March 2018 Present 50 21 7 22 042.0 [34]
Total 68 25 11 32 036.8



Stirling University

Burnley Under-23's

Grimsby Town


  1. ^ a b c Green, Trevor; Findlater, James (2 March 2018). "From Wall Street to Blundell Park via Scandinavia - who is Michael Jolley, Grimsby Town's new manager?". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Burn, Chris (27 March 2018). "From Manhattan to football management: Ex-investment banker's unlikely journey to becoming Grimsby Town boss". The Yorkshire Post. Leeds. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  3. ^ Squires, Neil (22 March 2018). "New manager Michael Jolley on how 9/11 attacks changed his life". Sunday Express. London. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Michael Jolley Interview". Careers in Football. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  5. ^ "University to open against Hawick on Saturday". University of Stirling. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ Morton, Donald (13 August 2008). "Hawick for Stirling University". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b Forbes, Calum (12 December 2008). "Students' late strikes clinch national title". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Clarets Appoint Jolley As U21 Manager". Burnley F.C. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  9. ^ Robertson, Gregor (12 March 2018). "The former investment banker who beat Sol Campbell to become Grimsby manager". The Times. London. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Michael Jolley - Senior Professional Development Phase Coach". Burnley F.C. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  11. ^ Morse, Peter (24 July 2013). "Crewe Alex: Trio of coaches are handpicked to lead the next generation". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b Lee, Ellis (19 August 2016). "Jolley's Pride At Cup Final Victory". Burnley F.C. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Jolley: "We Played In the Burnley Way"". Burnley F.C. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Jolley Delight As Youngsters Showcase Talent". Burnley F.C. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  15. ^ Marshall, Tyrone (12 September 2016). "Michael Jolley praises Burnley youngsters off the ball work in Watford win". Lancashire Telegraph. Blackburn. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  16. ^ Marshall, Tyrone (14 September 2016). "Michael Jolley: Aiden O'Neill is flying the flag for youngsters at Burnley". Lancashire Telegraph. Blackburn. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  17. ^ "LMA Diploma in Football Management Graduation". League Managers Association. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Coach Jolley Completes Pro Licence". Burnley F.C. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  19. ^ Dale, James (13 June 2017). "Michael Jolley leaves Burnley to become AFC Eskilstuna boss". Sky Sports. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Jolley: "Must start winning now"". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Malmo, Sweden. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  21. ^ "AFC Eskilstuna 2017: Table: Round 12". worldfootball.net. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017.
  22. ^ "AFC Eskilstuna 2017: Table: Round 28". worldfootball.net. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018.
  23. ^ Kjellmer, Jakob Runevad (23 October 2017). "Jönköpings Södra IF 2–0 Kalmar FF" (in Swedish). SVT Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  24. ^ Söderlund, Robin (15 July 2017). "AFC Eskilstuna 2–1 Kalmar FF" (in Swedish). SVT Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  25. ^ Tynander, Rasmus (19 August 2017). "AFC Eskilstuna 3–1 Malmö FF" (in Swedish). SVT Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Masterclass Michael Jolley". The Coaches’ Voice. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  27. ^ "AFC Eskilstuna 2017: Table: Round 24". worldfootball.net. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018.
  28. ^ Karlsson, Kristopher (21 October 2017). "AFC Eskilstuna 2–3 IF Elfsborg" (in Swedish). SVT Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  29. ^ Mattsson, Sebastian (9 January 2018). "The coach leaves: "Big disappointment"". Expressen (in Swedish). Stockholm, Sweden. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  30. ^ Findlater, James (2 March 2018). "Grimsby Town appoint Michael Jolley as their new manager". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Statement: GTFC Appoint Michael Jolley - Message from The Board". Grimsby Town F.C. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Grimsby 1–1 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 10 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  33. ^ "Grimsby 2–1 Notts County". BBC Sport. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  34. ^ a b c "Managers: Michael Jolley". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  35. ^ Wood, Liam (16 March 2018). "Let's hope Michael Jolley doesn't have to replace James McKeown between the sticks!". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  36. ^ Findlater, James (30 May 2018). "Grimsby Town sell £30k-plus of season tickets in one day thanks to Michael Jolley!". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  37. ^ Wood, Liam (31 May 2018). "Grimsby Town to swap boots for cricket pads in charity match with Grimsby Town CC". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  38. ^ Findlater, James (11 June 2018). "Grimsby Town fan gets surprise home visit from manager Michael Jolley". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  39. ^ Archibald, Ben (11 October 2009). "SPL coach quits after underage sex shame". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  40. ^ Jolley, Michael (16 May 2010). "Michael Jolley Football Coach Statement: Setting the Record Straight". wordpress.com. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  41. ^ "Police hunting bottle attack girl". BBC News. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  42. ^ "Resolution Statement 02287-18 Jolley v Daily Record". Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). 28 June 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  43. ^ "Resolution Statement 02288-18 Jolley v Mail Online". Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). 4 June 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  44. ^ "Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month: December winner". EFL. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.

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