Paul Buckle: Cheltenham appoint ex-Bristol Rovers and Luton boss

Cheltenham top of my list - Buckle

Cheltenham have appointed ex-Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle as their new manager on a 12-month rolling deal.

The 43-year-old replaces Mark Yates, who was sacked on Tuesday after five years in charge at the League Two club.

Yates, a former Robins captain, led the club to two play-off campaigns but they are currently 18th in the table after four straight defeats.

Buckle has been working as a technical director in the United States since quitting as Luton boss last year.

He flew back to England on Wednesday to be unveiled by Cheltenham and said on his arrival: "It's been a whirlwind 24 hours, that's for sure.

"Things have moved very quickly. I had other offers in the States, when I made my mind up to go back into management, but after speaking to the chairman this job moved right to the top of the list.

"I knew in my gut that this was right."

Buckle's first full-time managerial appointment came at Torquay in 2007 and he guided the club back to the Football League in 2008-09 before taking them to the League Two play-off final two years later.

Paul Buckle: Club-by-club
ClubPeriod Form
TorquayJune 2007 - May 2011 226 games; 104 wins, 58 draws, 64 defeats
Bristol Rovers May 2011 - January 201229 games; eights wins; six draws; 15 defeats
LutonApril 2012 - February 201352 games; 26 wins, 10 draws, 16 defeats

Two days after their defeat by Stevenage at Wembley, he left the Gulls to join Bristol Rovers, but his tenure at the Memorial Stadium lasted only eight months before he was sacked.

Buckle replaced Gary Brabin as Luton boss in April 2012 and, after a losing the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final against York, took them to the last 16 of the FA Cup the following season.

But his reign at Kenilworth Road ended in February 2013 when he quit for personal reasons.

Mark Yates
Mark Yates was the third longest-serving manager in English football's five divisions prior to his sacking by Cheltenham

Speaking about Buckle on Tuesday, Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker told BBC Points West: "A lot of things in life are about timing. We became aware this person was available to us.

"He's somebody we like. We like the way he plays and he's got a good track record. I think he'll do a very good job for us."