Why John Askey is a great appointment by Shrewsbury Town
Shrewsbury Town has appointed John Askey as manager on a three-year deal. The League One side had been in the hunt for a new boss after Paul Hurst left to join Championship outfit Ipswich Town.
Shrewsbury have now found their man in Askey, who left newly promoted Football League side Macclesfield Town to join them. It's certainly an exciting time for the Shrews fans, despite missing out on promotion to the second tier this season after a play-off final defeat to Rotherham United at Wembley.
On the whole, the club looks to be on the up after appointing Askey, who'll no doubt bring some excitement to New Meadow. In a sense, the decision to bring in the 53-year-old is similar to their capture of Paul Hurst back in 2016. He too had just won a National League title, as Grimsby Town manager.
Askey's career so far
The Stoke-on-Trent born manager is very much a one-club man. He played for Port Vale and Milton United as a youngster before moving to Macclesfield Town in 1984. He spent 19 years as a forward for the Silkmen, playing 515 games. Askey retired in 2003 before becoming the Cheshire side's assistant manager. He was given the number one job in October 2013. However, his first stint in charge lasted just six months and he returned to work in roles as the assistant and youth team boss.
He was handed the managerial role for the second time in April 2013 and got the Silkmen to the Third Round of the FA Cup in his first full season. Despite having a very small budget at Macclesfield throughout his five years, the former forward managed to have them competing in the top half of the National League during his whole spell in charge.
Askey guided Macclesfield to the FA Trophy final in 2017, but they lost to York City at Wembley. Nevertheless, his side bounced back from that disappointment and won the National League title last season against all odds. The Silkmen had arguably the smallest budget in the division but still somehow managed to pull off one of the most surprising title-winning campaigns in non-league history. They are back in the Football League after a six-year absence. However, they are now in the hunt for a new manager to help them stay there.
Askey's Macclesfield Town were defensively organised and hard to break down; hence why they were so difficult to play against last season. He also likes to use wingers and gets his team to give the ball to his wide players as much as possible to stretch the opposition.
This is likely to work well at Shrewsbury Town, as they were immensely stern when defending last season. They are used to grinding out wins. Town also have some great wide players like Shaun Whalley and Alex Rodman, who Askey will no doubt try and utilise in his newly inherited side.
Macclesfield have some excellent players who are certainly capable of making the step up to League One. The likes of Elliot Durrell and Mitch Hancox impressed for the Silkmen last season, and both could be targeted by the Shrews this summer. Askey will look to use his knowledge of the lower leagues to help bolster his squad over the coming months in preparation for another promotion push with Shrewsbury Town.