Former Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City and Wrexham man returns to management

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The Gas legend had two spells as a player at Eastville Stadium

Former Bristol Rovers defender Phil Bater has returned to football management at the age of 67-years-old. Bater, who had two spells with the Gas is the new manager of Mangotsfield United.

Bater returns to Cossham Street for the second time after a three-year spell between 2009 and 2012. He led the Mangos to the play-offs in 2012 and got them to within one round of the FA Cup proper but left and had a five-year break from the dugout. He succeeds John Allen who had only taken up the role in July, who departed earlier this week by saying it was an honour to manage one of Bristol's most 'prestigious' clubs.

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Mangotsfield, who were relegated from the Southern League last season, have endured a poor start in the Hellenic League Premier Division and are currently 18th with just one win all season. Nearby Cribbs FC, based in South Gloucestershire lead the division whilst other Bristol club Roman Glass St George, managed by ex-Gas right-back Andy Gurney are eighth.

Mangotsfield are now hoping that the return of their popular manager will install the confidence in to the players to get them out of their relegation fight. Back-to-back promotions for a club that has competed in the Southern League would be a major blow for the non-league Bristol club.

Born in Cardiff, Bater began his career at Bristol Rovers in 1973 and went on to make 212 league appearances in a seven-year spell. He later departed for Welsh club Wrexham in 1981 but returned two years later and added another 98 appearances to his name for Rovers, which gave a total of 310 league games for the Gas.

After retiring as a player in 1990 after a short-spell with Gloucester City, he took up several roles at Rovers, mainly as a youth team coach. He even took charge as caretaker manager in both 2002 and 2004, standing in after Gary Thompson's departure before Ray Graydon took over and then after when he departed.

Bater's first game in charge will be against Tuffley Rovers, who are a place below them in 19th. A point separates the two sides but Tuffley have a game in hand over Mangotsfield.

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