Father succeeds son at Plain Ham

Former Bristol Rovers star Phil Bater has succeeded his son Geraint as the manager of EVO-STIK League Southern Larkhall Athletic.

Former Clevedon Town and Mangotsfield United boss Bater senior, pictured, will take charge of the Larks for the first time on Saturday at home to Winchester City in EVO-STIK League Southern Division One South & West following his appointment on Monday night.

Appointed in October as the successor to the long-serving manager Wayne Thorne at Plain Ham after stepping up from assistant manager, the Larks say Geraint Bater called time on his reign for personal and family reasons.

In a statement on the club's website, Larkhall Athletic chairman Phil Rankin said: “The first team have a new manager following Geraint Bater's decision to step back from the frontline for personal and family reasons. The club is very pleased to announce that Phil Bater has been appointed as first team manager with immediate effect. The rest of Phil's management team will be confirmed shortly.

"Phil has enjoyed a tremendous playing career at higher levels and he has been a successful manager and coach at a number of clubs, including Bristol Rovers. He possesses an immense knowledge of local football and contacts which will benefit the club. His experience will be invaluable to the club as we continue to consolidate and build for the future."

He added: "Thanks go to Geraint and Arnie for the great job they have done this season and the commitment and effort they have shown to the club."

Originally from Cardiff, Bater senior kicked off his career as an apprentice with Bristol Rovers in 1973 before ending his career at Gloucester City. Now 61 and a former Welsh U21 defender, he made 310 league appearances in two spells at Rovers and also played for Wrexham, Brentford and Cardiff City.

Bater, who was also a coach at Rovers, as well as caretaker boss, takes over a Larks side that has won just one of their last 12 games to slip to 15th in the table following a 4-3 defeat at Barnstaple Town on Saturday.

Image courtesy of www.bathchronicle.co.uk.

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