David Artell confirmed as new Head Coach

The Mariners are delighted to confirm the appointment of David Artell as our new Head Coach on a contract until the end of the 2025/26 season.

We’re also pleased to announce that Shaun Pearson will become our Assistant Head Coach after a five-match unbeaten run as Interim Co-Head Coach alongside Ben Davies.

42-year-old Artell had a playing career spanning almost 500 matches, the majority in the Football League with clubs including Morecambe, Crewe Alexandra and Mansfield Town. He also made seven international appearances for Gibraltar and, after retiring as a player, went into management with Crewe in January 2017 after impressing their board with his work in the Academy.

Joining midway through the 2016/17 season, he steered the Railwaymen clear of relegation, in no small part thanks to a run of four wins in five matches that March – a run that earned him the League Two Manager of the Month award.

After finishing 17th, he continued the upward trajectory the following season and gained plaudits for selecting a starting eleven in May 2018 who were all Crewe Academy graduates against Cheltenham Town – a match his side would win 2-1.

Three seasons of steady progress led into the 2019/20 campaign and Artell was able to steer Crewe to promotion with his side sitting top of the table when the season was ended in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These exploits earned him the League Two Manager of the Year in the League Managers Association Awards, the first time a Crewe manager had even won such accolade.

On taking on the role of Head Coach at the Mariners, Artell said: “It’s an exciting time to be part of this football club.

“I’ve been thoroughly impressed by what Andrew and Jason have said and the plans that they have got going forwards and I think there’s a lot of hard work ahead, both on and off the pitch, but it’s a challenge that I’m excited about and that I can certainly get on board with.

“I think it’s been well documented now that I’ve turned down a few jobs in League Two, I turned down one last week, and I turned down Assistant Coach at Standard Liege in Belgium before that.

“The key thing is that there’s a plan. Jason and Andrew have been absolutely explicit in the detail of where they want this club to go and I went ‘that’ll do.’

“Quite a lot of other clubs think that I’m the plan and I understand that but, at the same time, it’s not just that. I’ve been mightily impressed by Jason and Andrew and what they have said.”

On appointing Artell as our new Head Coach, Chair Jason Stockwood said: “What really stood out to us when we looked at David’s record is the impact his coaching had on the performance and quality of football played by his teams.

“We’ve spoken before about playing attractive football in the ‘Grimsby way,’ and we believe that we have secured a Head Coach who can work to produce that for our fans.

“David’s teams play attacking, possession-based football, and work hard when out of possession, and we’re confident that he will be able to bring the same approach to the Mariners.

“He also has a strong track record in supporting young players and has worked closely with Academy players during his time at Crewe to help them make an impact in their first team.

“We’re really proud of our Academy; they are having a great season, and we’re eager to see David help bring some of those players into our First Team in the coming years.

“Finally, it was rare among all the applicants we had to find someone with an academic track record like David’s and a genuine curiosity to develop and learn more about not just the game but the world as well.

“As a board, we’re delighted to have secured him until the summer of 2026, and I’d like to encourage all of our supporters to offer him their full support.”

Artell’s first match will be tomorrow’s trip to take on MK Dons – let’s be sure to give him a great Mariners welcome on the road!

Welcome to the Mariners, David!



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