Mangotsfield go for Thompson as new manager
FORMER Almondsbury Town boss Richard Thompson has been appointed to succeed Phil Bater as manager of Mangotsfield United.
A former player at Cossham Street, Thompson will be reunited with vice-chairman Bob Jenkins and recently-appointed director Pete Crowley when he officially takes over on Monday.
The three men masterminded Almondsbury's rise from the Hellenic League to the Southern League two years ago.
Thompson has been on a self-imposed brea k from the game after Almondsbury disbanded last year. He will be tasked with moving Mangotsfield forward after stringent budget cuts prompted Bater to hand in his resignation three weeks ago.
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"The calibre of all the candidates we interviewed was excellent," said chairman Mike Richardson. "We just felt Richard was the right man to take the club forward at this time.
"He did fantastic jobs at both Almondsbury Town and Yate and has a number of years of experience managing at Southern League level. He's also worked with Bob and Pete during their time together at Almondsbury and they have done nothing except sing his praises."
Meanwhile, Geraint Bater, the previous manager's son, has praised Mangotsfield's players for their efforts during what has been a successful short spell in caretaker control in tandem with central defender Scott Hendy.
The duo step out for the last time in tomorrow's Division One (South & West) match at Stourport Swifts, and Bater said: "Myself and Scott have enjoyed the experience immensely.
"We've had some cracking results against a couple of promotion-chasing sides, so it has been a tremendous effort from everybody involved."
Assistant manager Michael Meaker hopes that Yate Town boss Rob Cousins will be offered a chance to implement a two-year plan for the club to be challenging at the top-end of the Premier Division.
Meaker has been working alongside Cousins during a remarkable transformation that saw the team put aside their early-season woes to mount an unlikely pursuit of a play-off spot.
"The performances and effort in general from the boys over the season has been fantastic," said Meaker.
"We were bottom-of-the-table at one stage, so to even get to within a sniff off the play-offs was remarkable. There is a very good feeling about what we are doing here and everyone is buzzing about our potential to achieve something very special next season.
"The board has backed us all the way and we'll all sit down after our final game of the season and discuss our two-year plan to take this club forward.
"With this strong group of players in place, I really feel that promotion next season is a realistic target. "
Yate complete their campaign by hosting Sholing at Lodge Road tomorrow. Defender Scott Thomas is suspended, but midfielder Mark Badman returns.
Clevedon Town boss Mickey Bell, meanwhile, reckons his young squad also have the ability to be a force at the other end of the table next season – but only if they add consistency to their potential.
The Seasiders will be attempting to lift themselves away from second-from-bottom place in their final game, against Cinderford Town at the Hand Stadium.
Bell, however, is optimistic about his players' chances of making a real impact on the league next season
Clevedon have already beaten Southern League Premier Division opposition on the way to winning the Red Insure League Cup and will be attempting to complete a trophy double when they take on neighbouring Blue Square South club Weston-super-Mare in the Somerset Premier Cup final at the Hand Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
"We've had a successful season on the whole when you consider we've got to two cup finals," said Bell.
"Our efforts in the cup competitions shows that we are a match for most teams on any given day, but we have lacked a level of consistency."