One of football’s good guys with a really exciting career as a manager ahead of him – Mike Williamson
When Mike Williamson was appointed manager of Gateshead in June 2019 he had a massive job on his hands.
Serious financial instability had left the club on the brink of extinction and the role represented a real baptism of fire for Williamson’s first assignment in the dugout.
Four years on and there is no doubt that the former Newcastle United centre back has been a huge success in his management career so far.
He led Gateshead to the National League North title in 2021/22 and kept them in the National League the following season. while also taking them to the FA Trophy Final and the first round of the FA Cup.
Working on a limited budget, Williamson was also adept at giving young players an opportunity and revitalising careers of players who had fallen down the leagues.
Take Adam Campbell as a prime example. After disappointing spells in League Two he found himself playing in the sixth-tier of English football with Darlington.
With the guidance of Williamson, Campbell enjoyed two superb seasons at Gateshead, winning the National League North and reaching the final of the FA Trophy, scoring 28 goals along the way.
This prompted a move to League Two and Crawley Town where he has enjoyed a very encouraging first few months.
Williamson’s Gateshead side also played a very entertaining, possession-based game that had his Gateshead side in contention for promotion from the National League.
Given his considerable success, it was only a matter of time before bigger clubs came knocking and in October he was appointed manager of MK Dons, who were looking to bounce back into League One after suffering relegation last season.
Mike Williamson has made an excellent start to his time in the job, winning eight of his 14 games in charge.
He has recently led them to four league victories on the bounce, a run of form that saw Williamson awarded League Two Manager of the Month for December 2023.
While Williamson will be focused entirely on achieving promotion, the award is recognition of the job he has done to get MK Dons firmly back into promotion contention. This Saturday morning, they are currently in eighth spot, only outside the play-offs on goal difference and at least one game in hand on all the clubs above them.
Although he had his limitations as a player, I always respected Mike Williamson when he was turning out for Newcastle United. His commitment to the cause could never be questioned and he seemed to genuinely care about the club, in an era when that couldn’t be said for every member of the playing staff.
One of football’s good guys with a really exciting career as a manager ahead of him.
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