Like father, like son as Ferguson takes reins at Posh aiming to keep success in the family

Darren Ferguson is Peterborough's new player-manager and will hope to inherit some managerial magic
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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has nurtured a procession of young talent at Manchester United and may now have instigated a family dynasty in football management after his son, Darren, accepted the invitation to become the new player-manager of Peterborough United this weekend.

Ferguson Jnr has enjoyed the most successful playing career of the United manager's sons and, having graduated through the ranks at Old Trafford before enjoying more than seven years with Wrexham, he is to follow in formidable Glaswegian footsteps by moving behind the desk at London Road.

The midfielder experienced the size of the task ahead on Saturday as he watched the Posh suffer a seventh successive defeat at home to Stockport but, while his contacts and perhaps his DNA are enviable commodities, the Peterborough chairman, Darragh Macanthony, insisted that the appointment was based purely on sound, Ferguson-like, professionalism.

"I'm very excited but Sir Alex Ferguson's name never came into it," said Macanthony. "It was a brilliant interview, we were very impressed with him, he was the most enthusiastic person we interviewed and his ideas and his vision were a blueprint for what we want."

The Posh chairman added: "My father was a great businessman and when I was growing up I always wanted to emulate him. I presume it's the same for someone like Darren. I'm sure he will take advice from Sir Alex but his job is to manage Peterborough and he's very excited about doing that. I'm sure everyone will love a father-son match to come up in the FA Cup or League Cup so we will look forward to the draws next season, but I'm sure there would be no sentiment there - Darren would want to win."

Despite Peterborough's recent poor run, which resulted in the departure of the former manager Keith Alexander, the 34-year-old inherits a club lying 10th in League Two and has no immediate plans to bring his playing career to a close.

Macanthony added: "I don't think it's a gamble. The season was getting away from us, we need to get back on track and we feel Darren has the attributes on the field and off the field to get the players together and drive them on - whether it's from the midfield or the sidelines."

The club's director of football, Barry Fry, added: "Darren's experience at this level is seen as a huge asset in our attempt to get promoted."

Sir Alex brought Darren through the youth ranks at United, where he made 27 first-team appearances over four years, though he failed to score. Never really covering himself in glory at Old Trafford, he was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1994 for £250,000. He spent half a season at Molineux before being loaned to Chelsea for six months, but was rarely used at Stamford Bridge.

He made 117 League appearances at Wolves before falling out of favour in 1999. He was briefly loaned abroad, helping Sparta Rotterdam to avoid relegation, before moving to Wrexham on a free transfer later that year. He went on to play 300 games for them, winning a promotion medal from the Third Division in 2002 and a winner's medal from the LDV Vans Trophy in 2005.

He has been a loyal servant to the Welsh club, staying on despite the club going into administration and threats that the Racecourse Ground would be sold by the club's chairman, Alex Hamilton.

At Peterborough, Kevin Russell has been appointed assistant manager, while Tommy Taylor will remain first-team coach, giving Ferguson some continuity as he continues the club's campaign for promotion from League Two.

Name game: Other fathers and sons who have managed in Football League

* BILL DODGIN SNR (1909-99): Southampton, Fulham, Brentford, Sampdoria, Bristol Rovers. Bill Dodgin Jnr (1931-2000): QPR, Fulham, Northampton Town (twice), Brentford, Woking.

* ALAN BALL SNR (1924-82): Halifax Town, Preston North End. Alan Ball Jnr (1945-): Portsmouth (twice), Colchester, Stoke, Exeter, South-ampton, Manchester City.

* JOHN BOND (1932-): Bournemouth, Norwich, Manchester City, Burnley, Swansea, Birmingham City, Shrewsbury. Kevin Bond (1957-): Stafford Rangers, Bournemouth.

* BRIAN CLOUGH (1935-2004): Hartlepools, Derby, Brighton & Hove A, Leeds, Nottingham Forest. Nigel Clough (1966-): Burton Albion.

* DON MEGSON (1936-): Bristol Rovers, Bourne-mouth. Gary Megson (1959-): Norwich, Blackpool, Stockport County, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Nottingham Forest.

* LES ALLEN (1937-): QPR, Swindon, Salonika. Martin Allen (1965-): Reading, Barnet, Brentford, MK Dons.

* FRANK CASPER (1944-): Burnley. Chris Casper (1975-): Bury.

* TERRY COOPER (1944-): Bristol Rovers, Bristol City, Exeter (twice), Birmingham City. Mark Cooper (1968-): Tamworth Rovers.

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