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Club News


28 March 2014

Darrell Clarke takes the role of First Team Manager

From today John Ward will take up the role of Director of Football at Bristol Rovers Football Club.

This clears the way for Darrell Clarke to step in to the position of First Team Manager with immediate effect. 

Darrell will now take control of the first team, while John will have wider responsibilities, including; scouting, the youth department and preparing the footballing side of the club for the move to the new UWE Stadium.

Chairman Nick Higgs said: “This is something we have had planned for a while, with discussions taking place as far back as last season.

“We believe this is now the right time to make the switch, as we have to plan for next season and try to progress the club forward.

“This gives Darrell time to prepare for the pre-season and think about recruitment for next season.

“Darrell is an enthusiastic and ambitious young man, and he wants to achieve success here.

“We are 100% behind him in his new role, and are confident that he and John will continue to work extremely well together.”

Darrell joined Rovers as assistant manager last summer leaving behind his post as manager of Salisbury City.

He joined Salisbury as a player in 2007, becoming player-manager in 2010.

During his first season in charge, the club won promotion from the Southern League Premier Division, via the play offs.

His second season saw Salisbury progress through to the third round of the FA Cup, for the first time in the club’s history.

And last season, Clarke led the club to Conference football, after again gaining promotion through the play offs.

John Ward joined Rovers for his second spell as manager in December 2012, and guided the relegation threatened club to safety.

He was previously in charge between 1993 and 1996. He was appointed manager in March 1993, too late to stop Rovers being relegated to Division Two. 

During the 1994/95 season Ward led Rovers to Wembley, where they lost 2-1 in the play off finals to Huddersfield. 

Throughout his three year spell in charge he won 64 out of 149 league matches, led the club to the Southern Final of the Auto Windscreen Shield and reached that play off final.

Interviews with both John and Darrell will be available on the official website later this afternoon.

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