Mark Cooper: Forest Green Rovers name new manager

Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper was appointed as Notts County's boss as recently as 20 March

Forest Green Rovers have appointed former Swindon Town boss Mark Cooper as their manager for next season.

Cooper left Notts County on Saturday after their 5-0 home loss to Carlisle - his 10th game in charge - and watched Forest Green's play-off win over Dover.

The National League club parted company with Ady Pennock on 27 April to "boost the club's chances in the play-offs".

A Forest Green statement said caretaker boss Scott Bartlett will lead the side against Grimsby at Wembley on 15 May.

"This is a very exciting appointment for the club and the start of the next phase of our development," owner Dale Vince said.

"Mark is a talented manager with a great track record, an adherent of total football, and has Forest Green in his blood, being a former captain of the club."

Cooper, who left third tier Swindon in October after more than two years with the Wiltshire outfit and having guided them to the 2015 League One play-off final, has also previously managed Kettering Town, Peterborough United and Darlington.

The 47-year-old former Birmingham City midfielder spent one season with Forest Green in a lengthy playing career which included a five-year spell at Tamworth.

He was appointed at Notts on a short-term deal in March and was given a points target, which the Magpies' owner Ray Trew said would trigger a permanent deal if it was met.

Forest Green's statement added: "He hit his points target and was offered the (Notts) role permanently, however he declined the post in favour of joining Forest Green."

Cooper told the club website: "I'm excited to be joining a club with a clear aim and strategy on where it wants to go and how it wants to get there.

"There are not many opportunities to join a club that has that foresight - a lot of clubs are run day-to-day and don't plan for the future."

Notts won three and drew two of Cooper's 10 games in charge of the Meadow Lane club, finishing 17th in League Two.

Pennock had led Forest Green to their highest-ever league finish, second in the National League, and victory over Grimsby on Sunday would see the club climb into the Football League for first time.

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