Micky Adams has been named as the Nationwide League Division Three manager of the year in the League Managers Association’s Annual Awards.
The manager of Brighton and Hove Albion managed to mark the massive turnaround in the Sussex club’s fortunes since their trouble-plagued period in the late 1990s when the very existence of the club was under threat.
Adams’ motivated squad managed to win automatic promotion with Bobby Zamora becoming one of the revelations of the season. Adams brought him in from Bristol Rovers, with the £100,000 he spent on Zamora’s signing standing as the only money he spent on players for the 2000-2001 campaign.
The inspired signing paid off in a big way, with the striker bagging 28 goals in a league campaign that saw the Albion win 28 games, half the total in the club’s league programme. The club’s goal difference was, ironically, 38 more goals scored than were conceded.
The Albion went on to win the division by a ten-point margin despite the last two matches of the season bringing only one point. The team’s performances at Withdean were a particular source of pride for Adams, as only ten points were lost all season at the club’s adopted home.
The runners up for the award were Chris Turner, whose Hartlepool side were defeated in the play-off semi finals after finishing the season fourth in the table and missing out on the play-off finals after being pipped by Blackpool at the penultimate hurdle.
The efforts of Rochdale’s Steve Parkin, whose gallant attempts to reach the play-offs were just two points from denying fellow Lancastrians Blackpool their spot. The majority of the campaign was spent in the promotion positions, a feat far in excess of the pre-season expectations for ’Dale.