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Mark Bower is back at Bradford Park Avenue for second spell

Bradford PA boss Mark Bower

Mark Bower is back at National League North Bradford Park Avenue for a second spell as manager less than six months after departing.

After leaving at the end of last season in May, the former Bradford City defender returned to the Horsfall on Monday night with his number two Danny Boshell to retake the reins.

His successors – Garry Thompson and Shaun Gardner – left after just two matches into the new season.

In a club statement announcing Bower’s return, caretaker boss Marcus Law and his assistant Lee Fowler were thanked for their services since the duo’s departure in August.

Bradford PA chairman Gareth Roberts said: “The club has endured a difficult time this year on and off the field but these issues have been dealt with and the club is ready to get back to winning ways. We obviously have a lot of confidence in Mark and Danny.

“I would also like to recognise and thank the interim management team of Marcus Law and Lee Fowler for stepping in at short notice and helping us out.”

The 39-year-old Bower, who led the Avenue to two successive National League North play-off places, returns at the start of a lull in league action with the first team not due to take to the field until they host Hereford on Saturday 12 October.

Bower, pictured on the touchline during his first spell as Bradford boss, said: “I’m really pleased to be coming back. There’s no denying its a big job. We are where we are and have to be realistic, there’s no magic wand. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to turn it around.

“I’ve spoken to Gareth, and off the pitch the club is going the right way and getting into a much better shape. To get it right on the pitch we need everyone pulling in the right direction, young players need supporting, lead by a core of experience.

“It wont be easy. We will have some dark days but can’t dwell on those. We have to get everyone together, and work to get out of the bottom Two. The target is to stay up.”

Bower, who’s also managed Guiseley, also had a message for Avenue supporters, adding: “We need your support more than ever.

“We’ve had some great times as a club over the past few years, with good wins and hard fought points, often times that been down to the ‘Twelfth Man’ effect. But now we need everyone to come together and fight for the Avenue, both on the pitch and in the stands.”

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