Simon Davies (footballer, born 1974)
|Full name||Simon Ithel Davies|
|Date of birth||23 April 1974|
|Place of birth||Winsford, Cheshire, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1993–1994||→ Exeter City (loan)||6||(1)|
|1996||→ Huddersfield Town (loan)||3||(0)|
|2003–2004||Total Network Solutions||18||(0)|
|2007||Chester City (caretaker)|
|2013–2015||Manchester City EDS (assistant)|
|2016–2018||Manchester City EDS|
|2019||Anderlecht (Head coach)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Simon Ithel Davies (born 23 April 1974) is a former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He is currently part of the coaching set-up at Anderlecht, briefly managing the club in 2019.
He began his playing career with Manchester United, where he was a member of the 1992 youth team, before leaving the club in 1997. He spent the rest of his career playing for a number of Football League and Welsh Premier League clubs. He was capped once for Wales, in a match against Switzerland.
Davies went into coaching towards the end of his career, where he was a youth team coach at Chester City. He was caretaker manager of the club in 2007 and 2008, before being given the position full-time, saving the club from relegation. Davies was sacked in late 2008, following a difficult start to the 2008–09 season, but was reappointed as a youth team coach a month later. In 2010, Davies joined Manchester City, continuing his involvement in youth football. He was assistant to Patrick Vieira during the Frenchman's time as EDS manager, and succeeded him in the role in 2016, after he joined New York City. Davies was then Head of Academy Coaching for the 2018–19 season, before following City captain Vincent Kompany to Anderlecht in his dual role as player-manager. When Kompany stepped down from managerial duties, Davies took the reins at the Belgian club, but only managed to get four points from a possible fifteen, and was replaced in the role by Franky Vercauteren.
During his career he played for a few English clubs in the 1990s, after starting out at Manchester United. He scored the opening goal in a 4–0 Champions League win against Galatasaray and played 20 first team games for the club, although he failed to add any more goals. He was part of an acclaimed batch of youngsters to come through the United ranks in this period, after winning the FA Youth Cup in 1992, with his colleagues who lifted the trophy including David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville.
Although born in England, Davies was capped for the Welsh national team against Switzerland in 1996. After leaving Manchester United for Luton Town in a £150,000 deal in August 1997, Davies struggled to recapture his early promise and his league career was to end with spells with Macclesfield Town and Rochdale. He then crossed the Welsh border, becoming Peter Davenport's first signing at Bangor City in the Welsh Premier League in 2001. He was named as the Welsh Premier League's player of the season in 2002–03. He also played for Rhyl and Total Network Solutions and would briefly join Airbus UK.
Coaching and management
In 2006, Davies joined the coaching staff at Chester City, predominantly as part of the youth set-up. In April 2007, he was appointed as the club's caretaker manager after the departure of Mark Wright. He took charge for the final game of the season, as Chester lost 2–0 at Lincoln City.
Despite the loss, Davies was offered an interview for the job on a permanent basis but Bobby Williamson was subsequently appointed, although Davies remained at the club as youth team manager. The following March, Davies was again appointed as Chester's caretaker manager following Williamson's sacking. Despite losing his two games in caretaker charge, Davies was named manager until the end of the season on 11 March 2008. His first win followed in a 2–1 success against Darlington on 22 March and Chester went on to clinch survival in their penultimate match of the season with a 0–0 draw against Stockport County. A few days earlier, Davies celebrated his 34th birthday with a new two-year contract at the club.
Davies endured a difficult start to the 2008–09 season, with Chester conceding six to both Dagenham & Redbridge and Rochdale in the first three months of the season and making early exits from all three cup competitions. He was sacked on 10 November 2008. Exactly a month later, it was announced Davies had returned to Chester as youth team manager.
In 2010, Davies joined Manchester City as part of their youth coaching programme. From 2013 to 2015, he was assistant to EDS manager Patrick Vieira. In January 2016, Davies succeeded Vieira as manager, when the Frenchman left the club to join New York City. He left the position in 2018 to become Head of Academy Coaching, with specific focus on the younger age groups.
In July 2019, Davies joined Vincent Kompany as part of the coaching set-up at Anderlecht. On 22 August, Davies became the head coach, since Kompany decided to step down from managerial duties on the pitch, to focus primarily on being a player. His first match in charge was a 1–0 loss to Genk, and his second brought Anderlecht their first win of the season, with a 1–0 win over Standard Liège. However, in his next three games, Davies could only manage a goalless draw against Waasland-Beveren. On 3 October, Davies was demoted back to assistant manager, with the club appointing former manager Franky Vercauteren. According to journalist Kristof Terreur, Davies was seen as a "yes man who does what he thinks is right for the team". His reputation in press conferences was considered boring, since Kompany was not involved. Terreur also noted that it had gotten to the point that there was just one journalist at his press conference because everyone had given up listening to him.
- FA Youth Cup: 1991–92
- Welsh Premier League Player of the Season: 2002–03
- "Simon Davies". mufcinfo.com. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Manchester United's class of '92". The Independent. Retrieved 25 October 2008.[dead link]
- "Davies joins ambitious Bangor". BBC Sport. 6 August 2001. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Simon Davies (TNS profile)". Saints-Alive. Archived from the original on 15 September 2003. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Williamson departs the Deva". Chester City FC. 2 March 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2007.[permanent dead link]
- "Chester appoint Davies as manager". BBC Sport. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
- "Chester City 0-0 Stockport County". The Standard. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Simon Davies is new Chester boss". Liverpool Echo. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Manager Simon Davies sacked". chester-city.co.uk. 10 November 2008. Archived from the original on 8 November 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- "Sacked Chester City manager returns - as youth team boss". Liverpool Daily Post. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
- "Simon Davies appointed Head of City EDS". Manchester City F.C. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "Simon Davies joins Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht". Manchester City F.C. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "Vincent Kompany: Anderlecht boss gives up managerial duties on match days". BBC Sport. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "Genk 1–0 Anderlecht". BBC Sport. 23 August 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "Anderlecht 0–0 Waasland-Beveren". BBC Sport. 29 September 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "Vincent Kompany: Anderlecht appoint former manager Frank Vercauteren as head coach". BBC Sport. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.