Gary Holt admits Norwich City offer was the only one that would have taken him out of Falkirk
Rangers FC/Kirk O'Rourke
Gary Holt had always planned to return to Norwich this summer – but it was supposed to be for a holiday.
Instead, he received the only call that would have persuaded him to leave his role as manager at Scottish First Division side Falkirk. And so the former City player of the season, Division One title winner and academy coach is back at the Canaries as a first-team coach under Neil Adams.
“It’s a bit surreal because me and the wife were coming down for a holiday and for my sons to see their old friends from school,” said Holt. “And then I got a phone call from Neil offering me a job, we came down this week and it seems like we’ve never been away again.
“You know Kilmarnock is my club and will always be. That’s just me. I’m not a glory hunter. But I was probably more successful here than Neil was as a player, so I’ll say this is my club more than it is his,” added Holt, with a glint in his eye.
“Three of my kids were born and grew up here, my eldest loves it and still supports Norwich. I was getting texts every week from him about Norwich last season. So it’s ingrained in us. And it was a tough decision to leave my job at Falkirk, but it wasn’t a tough decision to come back.”
The difficulty leaving may have come in stepping away from management, after taking the Bairns to the bring of Championship promotion north of the border.
“Don’t get me wrong, management is something maybe in the future I’ll want to get back into,” added Holt. “I loved it. Falkirk is a great club with good people behind it. But as soon as Neil phoned me and offered me the job, the role, I had to think about it – but I trust him. And that’s a big thing for me; for it to be someone you trust and believe in, that you work well with.
“Some people will say, is it a step back from management or a step up to the Championship and a massive club? I see it as a step up and another chapter in the book of Holt.”
And stepping out of the manager’s chair does have its benefits.
“Well there’s less pressure,” smiled the 41-year-old. “I’ll have fewer problems to deal with but it was a great learning curve – and it’s a heavy heart I leave Falkirk. I wouldn’t have left for anyone else if I’m being honest. Hypothetically if Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal come calling then you obviously take that. But the role I was doing, the enjoyment I was getting and how the season went, it was a big decision. I’ve taken it, and it’s one I’ll grasp and hopefully enjoy with every day that comes from now on.”