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Club News

Focus on: Bristol Rovers

9 June 2016

The Gas secured promotion on the final day of last season

Name: Bristol Rovers Football Club
Founded: 1883
Stadium: The Memorial Stadium
Capacity: 11, 916 (3,000 seated)
Manager: Darrell Clarke
Last Season: Third in League Two (Promoted)

Bristol Rovers’ promotion to League One was confirmed in dramatic circumstances on the final day of last season when they defeated Dagenham and Redbridge in the last minute at the Memorial Stadium.

With the scores level at 1-1 in injury time, Matt Taylor’s effort crashed off the post, and the rebound fell to Lee Brown who netted a 92nd minute winner to earn a back-to-back promotion for the Gas.

A first campaign in the third-tier of the English game since 2010-11 is on the horizon for the West Country side, under the management of the highly-rated Darrell Clarke.

Born in Mansfield, Clarke has held the position of manager at Bristol Rovers since March 2014, having previously been an assistant manager at the club.

As a player, Clarke could play in a midfield or wing position, and started his playing career at hometown team Mansfield Town, coming through the youth system at the Stags in 1995.

Clarke spent six-years at Mansfield, making 159 appearances before leaving for Hartlepool United in 2001.

He would go on to feature 127 times for the Pools during a prolonged stay at Victoria Park, gaining promotion from the Third Division in 2003.

Loan spells at Stockport County, Port Vale and Rochdale followed, prior to Clarke signing for non-league Sailsbury City in 2007.

And after six-years at Sailsbury, where he won two titles, he retired from the game in 2013, having been player/manager at the Wiltshire based club.

Shortly after leaving Sailsbury, Clarke was appointed John Ward’s assistant manager at Bristol Rovers in June 2013, subsequently becoming the first-team boss the following March but he couldn’t prevent relegation to the National

In his first full season in charge, Clarke led Rovers back to the Football League at the first attempt, via a victory over Grimsby in the Play-Off Final, and last term took them up for a second successive year when they pipped
Accrington Stanley to the final promotion place.

He signed a new three-year contract at the Memorial Stadium in May after speculation linking him with a move away from the club.

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