Bower Is Back For Good As He Hunts For More Success

Mark Bower tells league sponsors Vanarama his return to Bradford (Park Avenue) isn't a fleeting visit - he's back for good.

The script is usually written for a football manager who goes back to a club for a second crack of the whip. Some managers just love the thrill of it all as they put their neck on the line and risk past success to do it all again.

Bradford (Park Avenue) fans have a familiar name back in the Horsfall dugout - popular boss Mark Bower.

Bower spent three successful seasons at his hometown team which led to two play-off campaigns against all the odds.

Something feels the same this time around too. The club are struggling beyond their wildest nightmares, beleaguered, bottom and written off.

But he's has heard it all before.

"I came in two years ago in a similar position when everyone said we were doomed and going down," said Bower who returned following an 8-0 thumping to Brackley last month.

"Slowly but surely, we turned it around and got ourselves safe that season and built some strong foundations to have two very successful seasons following that – that’s what we’ve got to try and do again.

"Confidence was very low when I came in. We had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by a lower league team and then been beaten 8-0 so the dressing room was very low.

"We’re not just down there," he continued. "We’ve had some heavy defeats and look well short of the mark at times. If we can stay up this season, it will give us a bit of a clean slate to start again and build again from next summer."

Bower is the Avenue's third manager of the season - following short spells from Garry Thompson and then Marcus Law.

So is he back for good? Or is he simply playing the knight in shining armour role? Both, actually.

"There’s a lot of work to do and we need all the help we can get. But I've never been one to shy away from a challenge and I won't start now," he said.

“I want to do my best for the club for as long as that lasts for. If you do the job well then, you’re more likely to stay around so obviously that’s what I’m trying to do.

“We’ve had a really good reaction to us coming back but I’m more interested to what people will think when we’ve finished the job. Hopefully people will think well of us when it comes to an end.”


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Donate by texting "MAN £10", "MAN £5" or "MAN £3" (depending on the amount you want to donate) to 70004 & help stop prostate cancer from being a killer. Texts costs £10, £5 or £3 plus network charge. Prostate Cancer UK receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Customer care 0800 082 1616. Charity No 100554


To say thank you to the incredible fans and clubs of The National League for supporting our MANarama campaign in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, we're giving a FREE minibus away to one club.
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