Danny Cowley

Last updated

Danny Cowley
Personal information
Date of birth (1978-10-22) 22 October 1978 (age 42) [1]
Place of birth Havering, London, England
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Portsmouth (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Dagenham & Redbridge 0 (0)
0000–2004 Harlow Town
2004–2005 Boreham Wood
2004–2005Romford (loan) 18 (1)
2005–2007 Hornchurch
2007 Brentwood Town
2007 Concord Rangers
Teams managed
2007–2008 Concord Rangers (assistant)
2008–2015 Concord Rangers
2015–2016 Braintree Town
2016–2019 Lincoln City
2019–2020 Huddersfield Town
2021– Portsmouth
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 19 July 2020 (UTC)

Danny Cowley (born 22 October 1978) is an English professional football coach and former semi-professional player, who played as a midfielder and is the current manager of EFL League One side Portsmouth. He has previously managed Concord Rangers, Braintree Town, Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town.


Early life

Cowley was born in Havering, London. [2] He was involved with the youth set-up with Wimbledon [3] from the under-10s to under-16s but was not offered a scholarship having suffered from Osgood–Schlatter disease. [4]

Playing career

Playing as a midfielder he also spent time with non-League clubs, including Barking, [5] Romford, [6] AFC Hornchurch and Brentwood Town, before his career was ended by injury in 2007. Shortly after that, he was offered the assistant manager's job at Concord Rangers. [7]

Managerial career

Concord Rangers

When he took over at Concord Rangers (first as assistant and then as joint manager with Danny Scopes [8] ), the club was playing in the Essex Senior Football League, in front of crowds of around 50 people. In his first season the club was promoted to the Isthmian League Division One North, and narrowly missed out on a second successive promotion the following year, before being promoted a year later. After two seasons of consolidation, Cowley won his third promotion with the club, this time to the National League South. In his last season in charge, Concord reached the first round proper of the FA Cup, while narrowly missing out on a play-off spot. [7]

Braintree Town

On 30 April 2015, Cowley became manager of Braintree Town. [9] That season Braintree secured their highest-ever finish of third place in the National League, and qualified for the play-offs. [10] In the play-off semi-finals, they won the first leg at Grimsby Town, defeating them 1–0, [11] before losing the second leg 2–0 at home, failing to qualify for the final as his side lost 2–1 on aggregate. [12]

Lincoln City

After just one season in charge of Braintree Town, Cowley moved on again, this time to Lincoln City on 13 May 2016. [13]

During Cowley's first season in charge of Lincoln, he oversaw the club's promotion back to the Football League – doing so by winning the National League title with two games to spare. [14] This, after a six-year absence since relegation in 2011.

In the same season Lincoln became the first non-league club to reach the quarter-final of the FA Cup in over a century, knocking out Championship sides Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion, followed by Premier League side Burnley, in the process. [15] Lincoln eventually lost 5–0 to Arsenal in the quarter-finals. [16] In April 2018, with their contracts due to end in 2021, Cowley and his brother signed contract extensions lasting until 2022. [17]

On 8 April 2018, he led his team to the EFL Trophy final against Shrewsbury Town at Wembley Stadium which they won 1–0 owing to a goal by Elliott Whitehouse. It was Lincoln's first ever game at Wembley. [18]

In Lincoln's first season back in the league (2017–18) they finished the season seventh in League Two. [19] The following season, Cowley guided Lincoln to promotion to League One, returning to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1999. [20] On 22 April 2019, Cowley led Lincoln as champions to League One after a 0–0 draw at home to Tranmere Rovers. [21]

Huddersfield Town

On 9 September 2019, Cowley left Lincoln to become the new Huddersfield Town manager. He and his assistant Nicky signed three-year contracts. [22] After a successful run of six games unbeaten throughout the month, Cowley won the EFL Championship Manager of the Month award for October 2019. [23] Despite defeating promotion seeking West Bromwich Albion 2–1 to ensure that the club would remain in the Championship, Cowley was sacked two days later on 19 July 2020. Chairman Phil Hodgkinson outlined the need for a "different vision" going forward as the reason for relieving Cowley of the role. [24]


On 19 March 2021, Danny Cowley was appointed as head coach of Portsmouth on a contract until the end of the 2020–21 season, with his brother Nicky once again joining as his assistant. [25] In his first game in charge at the club, Portsmouth would come from behind to beat Ipswich Town 2–1. [26] On 11 May 2021, after overseeing 6 wins in 12 matches in charge, Cowley signed a new "long term" deal with the club. [27]

Personal life

Growing up, Cowley was a West Ham United supporter. [28] During his spells as manager of Concord Rangers and Braintree Town, Cowley combined his management role with teaching Physical Education at FitzWimarc School in Rayleigh, Essex. [29] Cowley has a brother, Nicky, who played alongside him at Romford and has been his assistant manager at Concord Rangers, Braintree Town, Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town. [2]

Cowley graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2002, obtaining a bachelor's degree in Physical Education. [30]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 9 May 2021
Managerial record by team and tenure
Concord Rangers 27 June 200830 April 201538120176104052.8 [8] [31]
Braintree Town 30 April 201513 May 201653261314049.1 [9] [13] [32]
Lincoln City 13 May 20169 September 2019184984838053.3 [13] [33]
Huddersfield Town 9 September 201919 July 202040131116032.5
Portsmouth 19 March 2021present12624050.0


As a manager

Lincoln City

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  2. 1 2 "It was only matter of time before Danny and Nicky Cowley made national news and Arsenal should beware". Romford Recorder. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. Khan, Danyal (26 October 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley talks about devastating end to his playing career". The Linc. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. "Danny Cowley recalls his years on the books of Wimbledon during the Crazy Gang era". Lincolnshire Echo. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  5. "Archive Season 1998/99". Barking F.C. Official Website. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
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  8. 1 2 Marshall, Dick (27 June 2008). "Cowley and Scopes head up Concord team". echo-news. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  9. 1 2 "Danny Cowley: Braintree Town appoint Concord Rangers boss". BBC Sport. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
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  11. "Grimsby Town 0–1 Braintree Town". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  12. "National League: Braintree Town 0–2 Grimsby Town (A.E.T) – (1–2 agg.)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  13. 1 2 3 "Danny Cowley: Lincoln City name new manager after Braintree Town resignation". BBC Sport. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  14. "Lincoln City sealed their return to the English Football League after a six-year absence, thanks to Terry Hawkridge's brace against Macclesfield". BBC. 22 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  15. "Burnley 0–1 Lincoln City". BBC Sport. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
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  17. "Lincoln City 1–0 Shrewsbury Town". BBC Sport. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  18. "Lincoln City 1–1 Yeovil Town". BBC Sport. 5 May 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
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  20. "Lincoln City 0–0 Tranmere Rovers". BBC Sport. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  21. "Danny Cowley: Huddersfield Town appoint Lincoln City boss as manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  22. "Sky bet championship manager of the month".
  23. "CLUB STATEMENT: DANNY COWLEY". htafc.com. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  24. "Portsmouth appoint Cowley as head coach". BBC Sport. 19 March 2021.
  25. "Portsmouth 2 – 1 Ipswich Town". BBC Sport. 20 March 2021.
  26. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/57058662
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  29. "Greenwich to FA Cup glory: Danny Cowley, Lincoln City manager". University of Greenwich. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  30. "Football Club History Database – Concord Rangers". fchd.info. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  31. "Braintree: Results: 2015/16". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  32. "Lincoln: Results: 2016/17". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2019. Individual seasons accessed via dropdown menu.