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Next AFC Wimbledon Manager Odds: Who will lead the club in League Two?

Mark Bowen has left Plough Lane after his interim manager spell ended
Mark Bowen has left Plough Lane after his interim manager spell ended

AFC Wimbledon have joined a long list of Football League clubs in the summer search for a new manager.

The Dons will be exploring the managerial marshlands and coaching circles in the hope that they can pluck out a gem to lift the club following the doom and gloom of the 2021/22 season.

We now know that it won't be Mark Bowen after the interim first-team manager ruled himself out of contention for the permanent position.

Bowen was placed in charge of the club in late March after the departure of Mark Robinson, but was unable to win any of his seven matches in charge as Wimbledon suffered relegation down to League Two.

“It's no surprise Mark has now been appointed to a level of football we simply can’t currently compete against financially,” Wimbledon revealed in a statement over the weekend.

“The position of permanent first-team manager, therefore, remains open and we will conduct a proper interview process to select the best-possible candidate for this role.

“We would like to reassure all our loyal fans that filling this vacancy is our top priority and we will keep you informed of any developments as soon as we possibly can."

Below we take a closer look at the early contenders in the betting to replace Bowen, who himself could reportedly be set to return to Reading in some capacity...

It really was a rotten season for AFC Wimbledon who failed to win any of their last 28 league and cup games dating all the way back to December. As a result they must now prepare for fourth-tier football for the first time since 2015/16.

The club can at least draw confidence from the 2021/22 League Two showings of Bristol Rovers (3rd), Northampton (4th), and Swindon (6th), all of whom were relegated from League One last year: Bristol Rovers dramatically sealed automatic promotion on the final day - courtesy of a stunning 7-0 win - while Northampton or Swindon could join them back in League One after making the play-offs.

Appointing talented rookie managers has been all the rage in League Two of late. A number of clubs have recruited excellently, including Forest Green Rovers (Rob Edwards), Exeter (Matt Taylor), Cambridge (Mark Bonner), and Cheltenham (Michael Duff), who have all won promotion up to League One over the last two seasons.

Could AFC Wimbledon follow a similar managerial path with Steven Reid?

The Nottingham Forest coach has emerged as the early favourite in the next AFC Wimbledon Manager Odds at 3/1 with BetVitor.

Reid briefly oversaw the Reds on a caretaker basis back in September after the departure of Chris Hughton - beating Huddersfield 2-0 - and has since played a pivotal role under manager Steve Cooper, who has propelled the club into the Championship play-offs where they’ll face Sheffield United.

Reid, 41, previously held coaching spells at Reading, Crystal Palace, West Brom, and the Scottish national team while he’s no stranger to AFC Wimbledon having briefly coached at the club during the 2018/19 season when Simon Bassey was caretaker.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens at Forest. Should they win promotion to the Premier League it’s difficult to see Reid leaving his position as assistant manager, while he could still remain on even if they stay in the Championship. However, should he be interested in flying solo then the Plough Lane position could well be of interest.

Why Luke Garrard would be the perfect fit for next season and beyond

The aforementioned Simon Bassey also features high up in the betting at 4/1. The 46-year-old previously played and coached at the club as well as having a couple of stints as caretaker manager. Since leaving in 2019 he’s managed Barnet (interim) in the National League and is currently assistant coach at Portsmouth.

Last week AFC Wimbledon revealed that some of the names they were targeting for the role were “still in their playing seasons and don’t wish to be distracted just yet.”

Former Colchester manager John McGreal, who is now U23s boss at Ipswich, could therefore be one to keep an eye on at 8/1. Ex-Don Luke Garrard has been linked in the past - you can read more about him in the link above - although he's a 25/1 shot this time around given that he's just penned a new deal at Boreham Wood, while fellow National League manager Andy Woodman (Bromley) can be backed at 12/1.

Johnnie Jackson is available after leaving Charlton
Johnnie Jackson is available after leaving Charlton

Elsewhere, the news that South London neighbours Charlton have surprisingly parted ways with Johnnie Jackson could alert the Plough Lane hierarchy.

Jackson, 8/1, replaced Nigel Adkins after an excellent period as caretaker, only for the club to then sack their former captain last week; five months after handing him the permanent position. After getting a taste for life in the hot-seat the 39-year-old will no doubt be keen to throw himself into another job ASAP with the young boss currently the leading contender in our next AFC Wimbledon manager poll.

Elsewhere, the experienced out-of-work duo of Paul Tisdale and Kenny Jackett (both 16/1), as can Jonathan Woodgate who has been linked with numerous jobs through the course of the season.

20/1 outsiders in the betting include Chris Powell, Darren Ferguson, and Micheal Appleton. Full odds below...

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