Mark Yates heads back to Kidderminster Harriers
Former captain and manager Mark Yates has joined Kidderminster Harriers for a fourth time after taking charge of the club’s new under-23 team.
Yates had two spells at Aggborough as a player and also guided the club to the FA Trophy final at Wembley during a three-year stint as manager between 2006 and 2009.
The vastly experienced boss, who also spent five years in charge at Cheltenham in League Two, has been appointed to a full-time role with the club’s under-23 side, where players combine daily training with work on a higher education programme.
Regular friendly matches have been arranged up and down the country, with the team closely monitored by first-team management duo John Eustace and Matt Gardiner.
The latest return of Yates is quite the coup for Kidderminster. The 47-year-old most recently managed at Crawley Town in League Two during the 2015-16 season.
A tough-tackling midfielder, Yates began his playing career at Birmingham, where he was a team-mate of Harriers chairman Colin Gordon, before spells at Burnley and Doncaster.
He first joined Harriers in 1994 when the club were pushing for promotion at the top of the Football Conference, going on to make more than 250 appearances in a five-year stay.
Yates left for Cheltenham in 1999 but returned for a brief spell at Aggborough in 2004 as the club battled the drop from League Two.
A brief coaching spell at Burnley followed before he was appointed Harriers boss in 2006, taking the club to Wembley in his first season in charge.
Harriers have, meanwhile, gone a long way to solving their goalkeeper conundrum with the signing of former England C shot-stopper Brandon Hall.
Sourcing a keeper had been a top priority for Eustace following the loss of Sam Hornby, who spent last season on loan at Aggborough from Burton.
Hall, who featured as a trialist in last week’s friendly against Villa, arrives with an impressive pedigree having playing in National League South for Ebbsfleet, before spending last season with Woking in the National League Premier.
A product of Charlton Athletic’s academy, he has signed a one-year deal at Aggborough.