Rob joins ex-PNE men in management

Rob Edwards is Tranmere's new boss

Rob Edwards is Tranmere's new boss

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Six former Preston players are now managing in the top four tiers of English football.

Rob Edwards is the latest to join that group, having been appointed as Tranmere’s new boss yesterday.

He made 197 appearances in a PNE shirt during a 
five-year stay at Deepdale between 1999 and 2004.

Edwards, 41, was the surprise choice for the Prenton Park post but Rovers noted the work he had done as assistant to Paul Tisdale at Exeter City – a job he left earlier in the month.

Kendal-born Edwards took up coaching full time in 2011 after finishing his playing career with the Devon club.

The other five ex-North Enders managing in the Premier League and Football League are Sam Allardyce, David Flitcroft, Gareth Ainsworth, Graham Alexander and Russ Wilcox.

Allardyce was last week given the green light to carry on as West Ham boss after a detailed review of his position by the Hammers board.

Big Sam spent three years with the Lilywhites as a player, and was a key member of the 1986/87 Fourth Division promotion side.

He was later youth team coach at Deepdale and had a stint as caretaker manager, between the sacking of Les Chapman and John Beck’s appointment.

Flitcroft, who took the Bury job last season, came through the youth system as a player at North End.

The midfielder made 10 first-team appearances, scoring on his debut against Reading in 1992 and then a superb solo effort in a 4-2 win at Chester City.

Bury are the second club which Flitcroft has managed, having previously been in charge at Barnsley.

Ainsworth, who had three spells as a player with Preston, just about managed to keep Wycombe in the league last season – it needed a final-day win at Torquay to save them.

Wilcox and Alexander will be facing North End on the touchline in 2014/15 after guiding their respective clubs to promotion from League Two.

Centre-half Wilcox was in PNE’s 1995/96 Third Division title-winning side.

He became Scunthorpe’s caretaker boss last November and landed the job permanently on Christmas Eve. The Iron were unbeaten for the first 28 games of Wilcox’s stewardship and clinched automatic promotion as League Two runners-up.

Fleetwood followed them up in Monday’s play-off final, Alexander having guided them to a fourth-place finish.

Grezza played 421 times for Preston in two spells, finishing in style by scoring a stoppage-time free-kick against Charlton in April 2012.

A seventh ex-North End player currently holds a temporary managerial post in the Football League.

Gary Brazil has been caretaker boss of Nottingham Forest since the sacking of Billy Davies in March. He will hold the fort until July 1 when Stuart Pearce takes over.