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Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 13:01 UK

Mariner set for Plymouth return


Mariner relishing Argyle return

Former England and Ipswich striker Paul Mariner is to return to Plymouth, the club where he began his league career, as the Pilgrims' new head coach.

The 56-year-old, who has spent the last two decades in North American football, resigned as assistant coach with the New England Revolution on Saturday.

And Argyle chairman Sir Roy Gardner has confirmed that Mariner will work alongside current boss Paul Sturrock.

"He will support the development of the football side with Paul," said Gardner.

"Paul Sturrock is already charged with working to complete the review of all aspects of the football side of the club.

Sturrock comfortable with Mariner's arrival

"He will now be supported in this work by Paul Mariner."

The first change came on Friday when Sturrock's former assistant manager Kevin Summerfield left his post, having been told his contract would not be renewed.

But, although lying just one place off the foot of the Championship table, Argyle insist that Sturrock's own job is not under threat.

Speaking to BBC Radio Devon on Saturday, Argyle director Keith Todd was keen to stress that Mariner's arrival would not come at Sturrock's expense.

Paul Sturrock is very firmly the football manager

Plymouth director Keith Todd

"Paul Sturrock is very firmly the football manager," said Todd.

"Paul's done a great job for the club, is still doing it and he's the team manager.

"There's always plenty of things that could happen that will change the situation.

"But certainly, in all the work that we're doing at the moment, we're working through all of the details with him."

Lancashire-born Mariner made 135 appearances for the Pilgrims after being signed from non-league Chorley in 1973.

He scored 56 goals before getting his big break when Bobby Robson signed him for Ipswich in 1976, after which he moved on to Arsenal before finishing his career at Portsmouth in 1988.


Although it is 33 years since he left Home Park, he is still revered by many Argyle fans as one of the club's all-time greats. And he admits that this chance of returning to the club is a fantastic opportunity.

"In football, there is not much sentiment," Mariner told the New England Revolution club website.

"But, if sentiment is involved in this scenario, then they gave me my very first chance as a player so I grabbed it with both hands.

"Plymouth Argyle are in my blood. Obviously the teams you're associated with are the ones you look for every week, and when they came knocking on my door asking me to be employed there, I was delighted."

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see also
Plymouth show interest in Mariner
17 Oct 09 |  Plymouth
Blackpool 2-0 Plymouth
17 Oct 09 |  Championship
Mariner keen on managerial role
10 Oct 09 |  Plymouth
Seip available for Plymouth game
07 Oct 09 |  Plymouth
Director Todd backing Argyle boss
15 Sep 09 |  Plymouth

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