First Team Manager Mark Bower

eng England

Sponsored by: Ben Harvey

Mark, 36, was appointed Avenue manager in September 2016, and after an incredible turnaround which led to the club’s National League North safety, he was awarded with a new 18 month deal at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Bower had spent the last three years in charge at Avenue’s neighbours Guiseley, defeating all the odds to not only gain promotion to the National League, but also to avoid relegation from non-league’s top flight.

Born in Bradford, the former centre-back spent the vast majority of his playing days across the city at Valley Parade, making a total of 254 appearances for Bradford City over his 12 years at the club.

He also had spells at York City, playing under Terry Dolan, Luton Town, Darlington, Halifax Town and then Guiseley, where he was appointed manager in 2013.

Taking over the role with Guiseley on just eight points after eight games, Bower steered the Lions to a fifth placed finish, losing in the play-off final to a last-minute Altrincham goal.

Another fifth placed finish followed, Bower’s Guiseley travelling to Chorley for the final this time round. Going in at the break 2-0 down, his side somehow turned it around to win 3-2 and gain promotion to the National League, the club’s highest ever standing.