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Forest Green Rovers appoint Mark Cooper as their new manager

AS revealed in Sunday’s Non-League Paper, Forest Green Rovers have appointed Mark Cooper as their new manager.

Cooper left Notts County after their 5-0 loss to Carlisle United on Saturday and then watched on as Forest Green made it to Wembley after beating Dover Athletic 2-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-final.

The 47-year-old former Tamworth, Kettering, Peterborough, Darlington and Swindon boss replaces Ady Pennock, who was sacked on April 27.

Owner Dale Vince said the controversial move to dismiss Pennock was made to give Rovers the “best possible chance in the play-offs” and caretaker Scott Bartlett oversaw the semi-final victory over Dover.

Rovers have confirmed Bartlett will remain in charge for Sunday’s promotion final against Grimsby Town at Wembley with Cooper, who represented Forest Green as a player, assisting in the dugout.

Cooper joined Notts County in March and was given a points total target that, if achieved, would have automatically triggered a longer deal. However, he told chiefs he would not be taking up the job permanently even if he hit the target in favour of moving to Forest Green.

He said: “I’m excited to be joining a club with a clear aim and strategy on where it wants to go and how it wants to get there.

“There are not many opportunities to join a club that has that foresight – a lot of clubs are run day to day and don’t plan for the future.

“These clubs may be bigger clubs in stature, but this is a big club in the way it is looking forward.”

Vince added: “Mark is a talented manager with a great track record, an adherent of Total Football – and has FGR in his blood – being a former captain of the club.

“Mark and Scotty know each other well and we’ll see a strong link between our first team and academy as a result. It’s a great pleasure to welcome Mark back to Forest Green.”

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