Former Chelsea man Filipe Morais could replace Harry Kewell at Barnet

Former Chelsea player Filipe Morais now in the running to replace Harry Kewell as Barnet manager following the sacking of ex-Leeds and Liverpool star

  • Morais served as caretaker manager when Kewell left Crawley in 2018
  • Former Leeds and Liverpool star was sacked by the Bees on Saturday
  • Barnet second-bottom in the National League with two points from seven games
  • Portuguese played in Jose Mourinho’s first game as Chelsea manager in 2004
  • Morais was headbutted by former Grimsby teammate Stefan Payne last season 

Former Chelsea player Filipe Morais is emerging as a contender for the vacant head coach’s job at Barnet.

The Bees are without a first-team boss following the departure of Harry Kewell and Morais is understood to be under consideration for the vacancy.

The 35-year-old is currently registered with Grimsby as a player, but Barnet want to discuss the possibility of Morais taking his next steps into coaching at the north London club.

Morais spent time as joint caretaker boss at Crawley in 2018, where he coincidentally replaced Kewell.

Filipe Morais served as caretaker manager at Crawley after Harry Kewell left the club

Barnet sacked the Australian on Saturday following a 2-0 loss away to Bromley

The former Leeds and Liverpool star was appointed as Barnet manager in June but was sacked on Saturday following a 2-0 loss at Bromley, which left the National League side second bottom with just two points from their first seven league games. 

‘It was clear how much Harry Kewell wanted to have a positive impact, but ultimately the results and the poor start to the season have dictated our decision,’ Dean Brennan, the Bees’ head of football, said.

‘The plan for this season was for Barnet FC to be challenging in the top half of the table and that is still very much our aim.’

Morais has now emerged as a potential candidate to replace Kewell at the Hive Stadium, just six months after being involved in a bizarre incident which saw his former Grimsby teammate Stefan Payne being sent off for headbutting him.

The altercation stemmed from the Portuguese midfielder berating Payne for not chasing down a pass in a 1-0 loss away at Bradford, an incident Mariners boss Paul Hurst described as ’embarrassing’.

Hurst said the duo would not play again for the remainder of the season, but while Payne was sold to Chesterfield in the summer Morais remains on Grimsby’s books. 

Morais has played for 13 clubs in England and Scotland, including Hibernian

The League Two outfit are the latest stop of a journey that has taken the Portuguese across 13 clubs in England and Scotland. 

Morais signed for Chelsea’s academy when he was 16-year-old and played in Jose Mourinho’s first ever game in charge of the Blues, making a seven-minute cameo in a pre-season friendly against Oxford United in 2004.

He penned his first professional contract a year later, before being loaned out to MK Dons in January 2006 and then signing for Millwall as a free agent at the end of the season. 

Morais began his career at Chelsea and came back to haunt his former side in 2015

The Portuguese scored Bradford’s second goal as the Bantams beat Chelsea 4-2 in the FA Cup

After moving north of the border for spells with Hibernian, Inverness and St Johnstone, Morais returned to England in 2010 and spent two seasons each with Oldham and Stevenage before joining Bradford. 

He came back to haunt Chelsea with the Bantams in 2015, scoring the equaliser as Bradford completed a stunning comeback to win 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the FA Cup after trailing 2-0.

After leaving the Yorkshire club in 2017, Morais spent 16 months at Bolton and helped the Trotters return to the Championship at the first time of asking, before signing for Crawley in the summer of 2018. 

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