Former Celtic winger Shaun Maloney has been appointed as the manager of EFL Championship side Wigan Athletic. Maloney, who turned 40 last week, has been out of work since leaving Hibs last year. Now, he has been confirmed as the replacement for another ex-Celt Kolo Toure, who was sacked on Thursday.
Wigan confirmed the announcement in a statement this afternoon as Maloney returns to the DW Stadium on a three-and-a-half year deal. He is joined at the club by Assistant Manager Graham Barrow and coach Max Rogers.
Speaking to the club, Maloney was hoping to galvanise his connection with the club to spur the team on to avoid the drop.
“I’m very proud to be back. I have amazing memories here and created some fabulous moments with teams and with fans, and I’m excited to get started.
🙌🏼 We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Shaun Maloney as the Club's First Team Manager.#wafc 🔵⚪️ #BELIEVE
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) January 28, 2023
“The feeling that I have from those times as a player is a big factor for me. I have been here previously and have always felt a great warmth from the supporters.
“I want the fans to see a team that is giving absolutely everything, fighting to get better and the supporters need to feel that. The connection is there, we just need to reawaken it.
“We needed that support 10/11 years ago, and they were incredible for the team that I played in, and we’re going to need that again.
“It’s a really big challenge but I believe that we can turn this around. A massive amount of work needs to be done, but I can’t wait to get started.”
The highly-rated Maloney made 215 appearances for The Hoops across two spells and even started his coaching career with the club. Clearly someone dedicated to continued professional development, Maloney completed a Masters degree while coaching with Belgium under Roberto Martinez.
In what was perceived as being a bold appointment, Hibs moved for Maloney in what was his first job as a manager. However, he was given just four months to turnaround their ailing fortunes before being sacked. Curiously, his successor Lee Johnson faces a win-or-bust match against Aberdeen today.
Good luck to Maloney in his new role.