Bradford Park Avenue have parted company with manager Martin Drury, replacing him with former Barrow boss Darren Edmonson.

Edmonson, 44, led Barrow to the Conference North title last year, and will take up his duties as caretaker manager immediately, starting with Wednesday’s home match with Chorley.

He takes over from first team manager Drury and his assistant, Jamie Price, who have been in charge since last April and who are stepping down by mutual agreement.

Owner Gareth Roberts said: “The board would like to thank Martin and Jamie for their undeniable hard work and dedication.

“Football management is a difficult and frustrating occupation and we have agreed that a fresh outlook is needed at the club at this time.”

Fans and management had high hopes of a successful season after investment in the team and work on the pitch at the ground in south Bradford.

Sadly, the results have not come and the club currently sit 18th in the league, a similar position to a year ago and just a few points above the National League North relegation zone.BradfordPA

Avenue Chairman John Dean said: “Martin and Jamie are very popular in our club community and there will be genuine sadness that we have to part company with them for now.

“Despite their excellent coaching and superb work ethic, they’ve simply been unable to produce consistent results on the pitch so far.

“We hope very much that, in the future, when our situation is a more stable one and when they have gained more experience on the management side, we’ll perhaps have an opportunity to work together again. We are grateful for all their efforts.

“For now, we need a more experienced manager and some wins to bring safety for this season and put us in a stronger position for next season.

“We feel that Darren Edmondson has the track record to deliver that.”

Edmondson is a former professional footballer who began his career with Carlisle United as a youth player and was then part of the senior squad from 1990 to 1997, followed by three seasons with Huddersfield Town, before going on to feature for Plymouth Argyle, York City, Chester City, Barrow and Workington.

He managed Workington from 2007 to 2013 before taking over at Barrow, leaving the club last November.

When the 44-year-old joined Barrow, they sat in the relegation zone in the Conference North. A run of good form saw them rise up the table to the fringes of the play-offs, finishing mid-table.

The following season, he led them to the Conference North title and promotion to the newly-named National League. He will take on the role of Caretaker Manager immediately.

Former Bradford manager Martin Drury said: “At a meeting with the board, it was mutually agreed that we would part company with the club.

“It was not an easy decision to make but we both feel it was the right thing to do for both the football club and ourselves.

“We would like to thank Gareth Roberts, John Dean and the board for the great faith they showed in us when they asked us to take the team forward a year ago.

“We would also like to thank the supporters, who have been fully behind us this year. There aren’t many of them but they are a credit to the league and the club for their loyal support.

“Most of all, we would like to thank the players. We assembled a group that we believed in and still do.

“Although the league table doesn’t look as we’d like it to right now, the team still have games in hand over others and we feel certain that, with or without us, they will finish in a respectable position.

“We have put our hearts and souls into the club and wish them every success.”


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