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Former Birmingham City, West Brom and Aston Villa striker told he’s no longer part of National League side’s managerial plans

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Kevin Phillips, a former striker for Birmingham, West Brom, and Aston Villa, has left Hartlepool United as manager.

Three months after his January appointment, the National League team acknowledged his departure from Victoria Park in a statement on Saturday. Since then, Darren Sarll has been named by the Monkey Hangers as the 50-year-old’s replacement.

When Phillips arrived, Hartlepool had just fired John Askey and were 16th in the standings. With 26 points from his 17 games in charge, the widely-travelled former forward helped them end the season in 12th place.

“Hartlepool United can today reveal that Head Coach Kevin Phillips’ contract has come to an end,” the club said in a statement. In addition, the Club Board has decided how to proceed with the Manager appointment and will provide more information when it is ready. Under an initial contract that kept him in that role through the end of the 2023–2024 season, Kevin was named Head Coach.

“Kevin has done a wonderful job this season since coming in as Head Coach and he’s been great to work with,” Pools chairman Raj Singh continued. Upon his employment, his primary responsibility was to ensure that the team maintained its league standing, after which he was to start aiming for play-off positions.

When the previous manager left, we were in a risky league position and faced challenging circumstances. In the end, Kevin has easily assisted in ensuring that the team avoids any relegation problems, which at one point were lingering. We felt that Kevin was the ideal appointment to navigate through things.

“We would like to officially thank Kevin and wish him the best of luck as he pursues his next endeavors.” At Pools, he is always welcome.

After moving from Southampton for £1 million in June 2005, Phillips, who had previously been manager of South Shields, made 27 appearances and scored five goals for Villa.

However, he was able to display the finishing that made him a fan favorite at his former club, Sunderland, at the Hawthorns and St Andrew’s. The tiny striker scored 46 goals in 82 games at West Brom after joining for £700,000 from Villa; his 24 goals in the 2007–08 campaign helped the Baggies win the Championship.

In 2008–09, Phillips helped Birmingham return to the Premier League and won a League Cup winner’s medal with the Blues after their victory over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final. The former England striker appeared in 82 games for Birmingham and netted 22 goals.

After declaring retirement from competition in 2014, Phillips held coaching positions with Stoke, Derby, and Leicester until taking over as South Shields manager in 2022.

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