English Managers Abroad: From Robbie Fowler At Brisbane Roar To Pune City’s Phil Brown

English Managers Abroad: From Robbie Fowler At Brisbane Roar To Pune City’s Phil Brown
19:30, 23 Apr 2019

Robbie Fowler has jetted Down Under to become the manager of Australian outfit Brisbane Roar, his first post since a stint at Thai side Muangthong United seven years ago.

The former England and Liverpool striker follows in the footsteps of fellow Englishman Warren Joyce, the manager of Melbourne City.

Here at The Sportsman, Fowler’s appointment has stoked our interest in other English managers who are working abroad. As it turns out a fair few have ventured off our island in pursuit of success on foreign soil, in fact you may be surprised to hear that there’s currently more English national team managers than permanent English bosses working in the Premier League. Or maybe there isn’t much of a surprise.

Below we pluck out a selection of some of those English managers plying their trade abroad.

National Teams

Stuart Baxter - South Africa

When it comes to managing teams outside of England, it’s the CV of Stuart Baxter that steals the spotlight. The Anglo-Scot tactician, 65, is currently in his second spell in charge of the South Africa national team, and previously Finland, while at club level he’s managed extensively in Sweden, and ticked off teams in Norway, Portugal, Japan, Turkey, and South Africa - his only spell in England was with the U19s.

Baxter has won league championships, cups, promotions, and managed in both the Champions League and UEFA Cup, and this summer he will be attempting to lead Bafana to 2019 Africa Cup of Nations glory for the first time since 1996, which remains the country’s only success.

John Herdman - Canada

After spells in charge of the New Zealand and Canada women’s teams, John Herman became the head coach of the Canadian men's team last year. It’s been good going so far with five wins out of five but the real challenge lies ahead at the inaugural CONCACEF Nations League with the group stages kicking off in September - Canada face rivals United States and Cuba in Group A (League A). Herdman has even set his sights on a first World Cup since 1986.

Scott Cooper - Philippines

Scott Cooper has enjoyed quite the journey in the managerial arena since landing his coaching position as assistant manager of Chester at the end of last century. Cooper has managed the Anguilla and Montserrat national teams, Buriram United, Muangthong United, Ubon United and Police Tero in Thailand, Indonesian outfit Mitra Kukar, and last year stepped up from an advisory role to succeed at Terry Butcher at the Philippines.

Jamie Day - Bangladesh

Former Arsenal trainee Jamie Day spent the early stages of his managerial career learning the ropes at non-league level, before swapping his assistant manager post at Barrow for the Bangladesh national team last summer.

Other gaffers worth mentioning include Louis Lancaster, manager of Chinese Taipei, and England born Kevin Fallon who is overseeing the Cook Islands.


John Gregory - Chennaiyin

John Gregory gave us one of the best sports pictures in recent memory - see below - after he led Chennaiyin to Indian Super League glory last year, in his first season in charge. The 2011 Intertoto Cup winner then failed to work his magic for a second time, with his troops finishing rock-bottom last month, although he has a Super Cup semi-final clash to look forward to.

Gregory, who will leave his post in the summer, has also previously managed in Kazakhstan and Israel.

Steve Coppell - ATK

Another familiar face plying his trade in India is Steve Coppell, the former Manchester City, Crystal Palace, and Brighton boss. Coppell ventured over to the Indian Super League in 2016 with the Kerala Blasters, then after losing the Final he took over at Jamshedpur, and since 2018 has been at ATK who finished 6th in 2018/19.

Phil Brown - Pune City

India is proving to be quite the hotbed for English managers. Phil Brown joined John Gregory and Steve Coppell back in December after taking over at Pune City. Brown, who led Hull into the Premier League 11 years ago, had never previously managed outside of his homeland but after overseeing the final six games of the Indian Premier League season and then signing a two-year deal, he will be looking to make a real impact next term.


Adrian Heath - Minnesota United

Adrian Heath began his managerial career back in 1996 with Burnley. He then moved to Sheffield United, before joining Coventry as caretaker, but has been working across the pond since 2008. His first post was at Austin Ztez, before the team relocated to Florida where they became Orlando City, with whom he would steer to a couple of USL regular season titles, and a league championship. Since 2016 Heath has been in charge of Minnesota United, where he’s in his third season.

Anthony Hudson - Colorado Rapids

The States is also home to Anthony Hudson, manager of Colorado Rapids since 2017. Hudson, now 38, learned the ropes at Real Maryland aged just 27, he then coached at Tottenham, had a stint at Newport, Bahrain, and notably New Zealand, whom he led to OFC Nations Cup glory, took part in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and just missed out on a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

USL Championship

Other English managers in the US include Steve Cooke (Oklahoma City), Gary Smith (Nashville), Darren Powell (San Antonio), Adam Smith (Fresno), Martin Rennie (Indy Eleven) who are all working in the USL Championship.


There’s a catalogue of other Englishman plying their trade abroad, ranging from Black Leopards (South Africa) gaffer Dylan Kerr, to Graham Potter’s successor Ian Burchnall at Ostersund, and Jonathan Hill at Tromsdalen. As previously mentioned Warren Joyce is in Australia at Melbourne City, and across the Tasman Sea you’ll find Brett Angell at Hawke’s Bay, while Sean Sainsbury is managing Bangkok FC, and Gary White is at the helm of Tokyo Verdy.