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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Kidderminster's Mark Yates appointed Cheltenham manager

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates
Yates spent nearly four years in charge at Kidderminster

Cheltenham Town have appointed Kidderminster Harriers boss Mark Yates as their new manager.

The 39-year-old, who spent five years as player with the Robins between 1999 and 2004, moves to Whaddon Road following Martin Allen's departure.

Kidderminster assistant manager Neil Howarth also joins the League Two side as first-team coach.

John Schofield, who was in caretaker charge while Allen was on gardening leave, reverts to assistant manager.

Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Kidderminster to welcome Mark and Neil back.

"I wish them every success in their new roles. The board has no doubt that they are up for the challenge and I know they cannot wait to get started.

The board has no doubt that they are up for the challenge and I know they cannot wait to get started

Paul Baker

"Despite their absence they have remained good friends of the club," added Baker.

"Clearly they have very strong associations with us and some fond memories too."

Yates was Cheltenham captain under Steve Cotterill when they beat Rushden & Diamonds in the League Two play-off final in 2002.

After leaving Whaddon Road in 2004 he returned to Kidderminster briefly before becoming Cotterill's first-team coach at Burnley.

Yates joined Harriers in January 2006 and steered them clear of the relegation places in his first season in charge.

He has since transformed the club into play-off contenders while they were also FA Trophy finalists in 2007, when they lost out to Stevenage Borough in the first competitive cup final at the new Wembley.

BBC Sport's Damian Derrick

Howarth, who also played for the Robins between between 1999 and 2003, was Yates' assistant at Kidderminster, arriving with him at the Blue Square Premier side.

Kidderminster chairman Barry Norgrove said the pair would leave Aggborough with his best wishes.

"We are sorry to see them go as they have done extremely well for us but they are keen to progress up the managerial ladder," he said.

"We wish them every success at Cheltenham and they and us both look to move forward."

Yates will take training for the first time on Wednesday in preparation for his first match as the Cheltenham boss against Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

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