Club legend Kevin Maher returns to Southend United as new head coach

Kevin Maher.
Kevin Maher. Credit: PA

Southend United have appointed club legend Kevin Maher as their new head coach.

The 45-year-old made more than 450 appearances for the club as a player and captained them to two promotions.

He has now returned to Roots Hall on a contract until the end of the 2023/24 season after leaving his job as first team coach at League Two side Bristol Rovers.

Maher will be assisted by former Barnet manager Darren Currie and Maher's former teammate Mark Bentley.

Ex-Shrimpers striker Stan Collymore helped select Maher as the club's new boss, alongside owner Ron Martin and chief executive Tom Lawrence.

Maher will inherit a Southend squad who are currently 20th in the National League.

"I’m absolutely delighted. Walking back in and the familiar surroundings that I’ve been so used to throughout my playing career and also coaching career, I’m delighted to be back and can’t wait to get started and hopefully help the club move in the right direction," Maher said.

"While it’s brilliant to have the connections as a player, what I’ve learnt throughout my career has been a massive part of that and we had some brilliant times, we want to bring them back.

"It’s going to take time. It’s been a difficult time for the club in the last few years, but everyone is now pulling in the direction that we want to bring success back to this football club."

Chief executive Tom Lawrence added: "The coaching team we have appointed meet the success criteria and will help us achieve our objectives. They will, together, help create a high performing culture …. something that has been absent for several years.  

"Of the exceptional candidates we interviewed to lead the coaching team, Kevin stood out. His plan for the future is aligned with the Club’s vision and his passion to help us get back to the EFL shone through. With the support of Darren and Mark, who both have exceptional CVs (and bring a lot to the table), we will now move forward positively."