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Crawley Town appoint Barker as new boss

League One newcomers Crawley Town have appointed former Brighton & Hove Albion player Richie Barker as their new manager.

He succeeds Sean O'Driscoll, who left last month to take the vacant position at Championship club Nottingham Forest.

Barker leaves Bury behind after guiding the club to a respectable 14th place in the League One table last season. This is his only previous managerial position.

Compensation between the two clubs has been agreed, with the 37-year-old signing a two-year contract at Broadfield Stadium.

Taking up the challenge 

Director of Football Steve Coppell (pictured with Barker) said: "The club had to take stock after Sean O'Driscoll's departure. We are about to start our first season in League One and needed a manager with experience at this level and someone with the right credentials and an ambition which matched that of Crawley Town.

"We are delighted Richie has agreed to take up the challenge. We are at a relatively young stage of our development as a Football League club and Richie is an excellent fit for this football club."

Barker's club career spanned over 16 seasons, playing for ten different clubs in that period, including Sheffield Wednesday, Macclesfield Town and Mansfield Town.

His best spell came at Brighton, where he played 96 times for the Seagulls, between 1997 and 1999.

He moved into management in July 2010 at Gigg Lane and was appointed reserve team boss at Bury, becoming caretaker manager in April 2011 and after steering the side to promotion took the job on a permanent basis last summer.

Fantastic opportunity 

Barker said: "It was certainly not a hard decision to come to Crawley, although it was difficult to leave Bury because I built up quite an affinity with the people there and they are a smashing club.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for me. Crawley Town are a club on the up, as their success in the last two years shows.

"There is only a week to go before the season starts, so we have to hit the ground running but I am looking forward to working with the players and staff."

At his former club, Peter Shirtliff has been placed in temporary charge until a permanent successor to Barker is found.

Barker's first game in charge of his new club will be a pre-season friendly with one of his former playing sides, Brighton on Friday, August 10.

Crawley's season begins with a trip to Millwall in the first round of the Capital One Cup. Their first match at a higher level is a home game with Scunthorpe United on August 18.

By Simon Wright - Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

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