The former midfielder has made no secret of his managerial aspirations, working towards his UEFA ‘A’ licence, while also completing a Football Management course at Napier University.
A couple of years ago he also revealed that he has been collating his “black book of coaching” since he was 24, jotting down things he learned from past managers and sessions he has experienced or seen on TV or YouTube and he shared his belief that he can go on to manage at the highest level.
The former Hibs favourite and 2016 Scottish Cup winner took on the assistant manager role at the West Lothian club in May but, according to sources from south of the border, he is now a strong contender to move up the career ladder and replace Chris Beech at Brunton Park.
Former Carlisle captain Danny Grainger, who is currently on the coaching staff at Falkirk, following two seasons as manager of non-league Workington, has also been listed among the favourites, while the bookies are still offering odds on Carlisle’s current caretaker boss and former Kilmarnock and Gretna midfielder Gavin Skelton. He has taken charge of the team for this weekend’s match against Tranmere.
But, flying under the radar, Bartley has reportedly moved up the pecking order, ahead of former Colchester and Swindon manager John McGreal who had been touted as the English League Two club’s primary target.
Beech was sacked at the weekend after a poor start to the season and on the back of the side’s fourth defeat in the last five games.