On this day in 2017, Danny and Nicky Cowley were preparing Lincoln City for their biggest game in the club’s history, a FA Cup quarter final with Premier League giants Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Nobody expected them to reach the third round of the competition, never mind the quarter finals. Not even the club’s supporters who had been subjected to years of hurt. But the Cowley brothers were different, so different from the men that came before them in the Sincil Bank dugout. They had ambition and drive to take Lincoln City to the very top.
Danny and Nicky had not only guided the club to a historic cup run which captured the hearts of the nation, but also to a promotion that looked a million miles away just a year before. Their stock in the game was rising, many Imps supporters were worried of losing the one of the best young and upcoming managers the game had to offer.
Two years and two more trophies later, the Cowley’s left Lincoln City, not because they were sacked or unwanted by the supporters, but because of their ambition. Huddersfield Town were a side that were rubbing shoulders with Manchester United and Liverpool in the season previous and the Terriers board had been so impressed with the duo that they headhunted them to guide the Yorkshire club back into the Premier League, albeit with an initial aim of stopping Town slipping into League One.
The club can see the potential that Danny and Nicky have which is clearly matched by the board and the supporters of Huddersfield. The Terriers will never have seen anything like the Cowley brothers, they are serial winners. They guided Concord Rangers to promotion after promotion before taking over at part-time Braintree Town and guiding them to a finish in the National League play-offs.
Players of the various Cowley regimes both past and present have spoken about how impressive they are, not only as managers of a football club, but as people. Their background in sports science and teaching has created a perfect blend for them to take like a duck to water in the professional game. Every single detail is covered, no stone shall remain unturned with the Cowley’s and their intense outlook on football, stick to that and you shall enjoy more good days than bad.
In Danny, you have someone who will always put the football club ahead of himself. A wonderful man manager who knows exactly how to treat his squad. His background allows him to understand all the complexities of the beautiful game, whether that’s injuries or tactics. A real crowd pleaser.
Nicky Cowley, the hardest grafter at the football club. You will normally find Nicky putting in the hours behind the scenes, when everyone else has gone home. He is relentless, watching every single game of the opposition to find a weakness that his side can exploit. Although he gets given the tag of ‘assistant manager’, he has the importance of the main man himself.
It is this unique and special bond that the brothers have that will take these two to the very top of the English game. The game has never seen anything like these two, often management duos will have one more in charge whereas the Cowley brothers are completely equal. They believe that the fact they are brothers helps them in disagreements as they are more open and honest when it comes to making key footballing decisions.
Many people will sit there and question whether Huddersfield Town is the right fit for this duo to achieve their goals in the short term. Although the Terriers currently find themselves in a tricky situation in the Sky Bet Championship, Huddersfield fans will certainly admit that it has got much better since Danny and Nicky arrived. This is their first season managing at this level and having walked in on a club very low on confidence, the Cowley’s will be looking to turn the whole ship around in the off season.
What makes Danny and Nicky stand out from other management duos is their obsession for progression. This season they will have eyed up the Sky Bet Championship and what it takes to be successful at this level, they will go out and buy accordingly in the summer. It might not hit the ground running next season, but Terriers fans will not be looking over their shoulders at League One as they are right now.
Huddersfield is a great platform for the Cowley brothers. The Terriers are a massive football club who have had taste of top-flight football and want to return to the level. They have proved that they can sustain themselves at that level when they managed to stay in the Premier League in the 2017/2018 season, with the club having the resources and facilities to challenge for a place in the Premier League. They will be hoping that Danny and Nicky can guide them there.