Jake Buxton is the kind of player that every fan wants to see representing their side. The no-nonsense central defender epitomises passion and always gave 100% regardless of the opposition. ‘Bucko’ is also the kind of captain who refuses to let his teammates rest on their laurels, and its those notable leadership skills which made him an ideal candidate to make the transition into management once he hung up his boots. However, 35-year old’s chance has come a little earlier than expected with the former Derby defender succeeding Nigel Clough at the Pirelli Stadium.
📹 Jake Buxton talks to IFollow Brewers after being named Burton Albion’s new player/manager
— Burton Albion FC (@burtonalbionfc) May 18, 2020
The announcement was fairly unexpected, although he is certainly relishing the challenge ahead. He admits that there will be a number of changes at the Staffordshire club this summer, although notwithstanding of this turnover, Buxton will look to instil ‘honesty, attitude and desire’ into his players ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. He thanked chairman Ben Robinson for the opportunity, and acknowledged that he’s lucky to work for a club who are renowned for giving managers time in the dugout. His predecessor left after four and a half years at the Pirelli, whilst Gary Rowett spent two years in charge before being poached by Championship club Birmingham City.
Buxton featured 24 times for the Brewers this season, winning 74% of his challenges, and leading by example in the heart of the defence. Although he is likely to gradually reduce his on-field responsibilities over the next twelve months, Burton fans can rest assured that the former Wigan man still has the legs to compete in the third tier. The transition from player to manager can be tough, although it’s a well-trodden path. Fellow League One boss Gareth Ainsworth was given more responsibility at Adams Park whilst still being eligible for the starting XI although the affable Lancastrian soon decided to step back in order to concentrate on his managerial duties, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Buxton follow a similar blueprint.
He’s also been keeping a keen eye on the under-23 squad and will be hoping to utilise some of the club’s prospects next season. Buxton may also opt to use his connections at Derby County in order to pick up some young talent, whilst another handful of Premier League loanees could also help bulk out the match-day squad.
The defender may look to re-sign Kieran O’Hara next season, with the loanee having impressed throughout the 2019-20 campaign. His parent club Manchester United are currently 7/4 in the football betting to finish in the top four this season, although even if they manage to secure Champions League football and are forced to rotate heavily as a result, they remain extremely well-stocked in the goalkeeping department. They will be able to call upon David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Lee Grant and the returning Dean Henderson, and as a result, the 24-year old may be tempted to return to the EFL next year in order to get some first-team football under his belt.
LISTEN: Jake Buxton is the new manager of Burton Albion.
He replaces Nigel Clough after four and a half years at the Pirelli Stadium.
He told @Ed__Dawes it has come earlier than planned.
— BBC Derby Sport (@BBCDerbySport) May 18, 2020
With the club extremely keen to cut costs next season, the new boss isn’t expecting an easy ride, although having got to know the majority of the playing and non-playing staff over the last twelve months, he should be able to hit the ground running. He will also continue to ensure his players do their bit in the community, and there will be no shortage of passion on the sidelines. On paper, Buxton looks like the ideal candidate to lead Burton towards the League One summit, and the Brewers faithful will surely get right behind their new boss.