Grimsby Town: Best players & manager profile for FA Cup underdogs

Grimsby Town knocked Southampton out of the FA Cup in the fifth round
Grimsby Town knocked Southampton out of the FA Cup in the fifth round / Alex Davidson/GettyImages

The FA Cup is beginning to reach its business end as the draw for the quarter-finals have been made. The lowest-ranked team left in the tournament is Grimsby Town, who sit in the bottom half of League Two, the fourth tier of English football.

The FA Cup is famed for its underdog stories and Grimsby look like they could feasibly become the next instalment in that rich history. They knocked Premier League side Southampton out in the fifth round to set up another trip to the south coast, this time a quarter-final against Brighton. They are one win away from a trip to Wembley.

Here is everything you need to know about Grimsby ahead of the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Who are Grimsby Town's best players?

The cup hero in the fifth round against Southampton was Gavan Holohan. The Irish attacking midfielder scored both of the Mariners' penalties against the Saints and has got three FA Cup goals in total this season alongside another four in League Two.

Luke Waterfall is the leader at the back. The 32-year-old has been a constant presence in defence, making 36 appearances this season already across all competitions.

23-year-old forward John McAtee is on loan at Grimsby from Luton an has become an important part of the team. He's got three goals and four assists in 15 League Two appearances this season. They could turn to him for inspiration when they take on Brighton.

Who is Grimsby Town's manager?

Paul Hurst

Paul Hurst
Hurst after Grimsby's victory at Southampton / Alex Davidson/GettyImages

Grimsby Town are currently coached by English manager Paul Hurst who took charge in 2020. Having spent almost his entire playing career at Rotherham United, Hurst moved into management as joint coach of Ilkeston Town, Boston United and Grimsby Town.

In 2013 he became full manager of Grimsby and in the 2015/16 season he took them to promotion from the National League to League Two via the play-offs. That was when he moved on to Shrewsbury Town. He kept the Shropshire team in League One against the odds and then the following season, he took them to the League One play-off final and the EFL Trophy.

Poor spells at Ipswich Town and Scunthorpe United led to him returning to Grimsby for a second spell. He took the job halfway through the season but couldn't stop relegation from the football league. He led them back into the football league at the first time of asking, though.

How is Grimsby Town's season going?

Grimsby will be happy with how their first season back in League Two is going under Hurst as they are currently 16th and not in imminent danger of relegation. They are 12 points away from the first relegation spot which is occupied by Crawley Town.

They were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the second round by Nottingham Forest. They were also beaten in the second round of the EFL Trophy. Providing they stay up, it will certainly be a successful season for Grimsby, especially with the FA Cup run.

Grimsby in the 2022/23 FA Cup

Grimsby's FA Cup campaign began in November and they made the best start possible by smashing Plymouth 5-1 at Blundell Park.

Narrower victories came against Cambridge United and Burton before they upset the odds against Championship side Luton. After a 2-2 draw in the first game, Grimsby ran away with the replay 3-0 as Harry Clifton, Danilo Orsi and Danny Amos all netted.

That set up their crowning moment so far this season. Holohan's two spot kicks gave Grimsby a two-goal lead and while Duje Caleta-Car pulled one back for Southampton, it wasn't enough to prevent a classic cupset.





First round

Grimsby 5-1 Plymouth


Second round

Cambridge United 1-2 Grimsby


Third round

Grimsby 1-0 Burton


Fourth round

Luton 2-2 Grimsby


Fourth round replay

Grimsby 3-0 Luton


Fifth round

Southampton 1-2 Grimsby


Quarter finals

Brighton vs Grimsby