Pic: Edmund Boyden
FORMER Guiseley boss Mark Bower has made a swift return to management, taking over at National League North outfit Bradford Park Avenue.
The former Bradford City defender, 36, replaces Alex Meechan who was relieved of his duties earlier this week following eight straight defeats.
Bower has been out of the game since being sacked by National League side Guiseley last month following a slow start to the season which saw the club lose all five of their opening matches.
He knows all about taking charge of clubs in trouble – Avenue are bottom of the National League North – as Guiseley had just eight points after eight games when he replaced Steve Kittrick in September 2013.
Despite the club’s poor star, he led the Lions to a fifth-place finish in the Conference North and they only missed out on promotion to a last-minute Altrincham goal in the play-off final.
Another fifth place finish was achieved the season after and, following a stirring fightback in the final against Chorley, Guiseley won promotion through the play-offs.
The Lions just about retained their spot in Non-League’s top flight last season, finishing one point and one place above the relegation zone before Bower departed Nethermoor at the start of this campaign.
The ex-York, Luton and Darlington defender’s first game in charge of the Avenue will be Saturday’s trip to FC Halifax Town.
A club statement read: “Bradford Park Avenue have moved to appoint Mark Bower as their new first team manager.
“Bower has spent the last three years in charge at Avenue’s neighbours Guiseley, defeating all the odds to not only gain promotion to the National League, but also to avoid relegation from Non-League’s top flight.
“Amongst the Avenue ranks are Ryan Toulson, Liam Dickinson, Nicky Boshell and Emile Sinclair, all of whom featured under the new manager during his time at Guiseley.”