Mark Bonner is appointed Cambridge United's new head coach
Mark Bonner has been appointed head coach of Cambridge United on a two-year deal.
After six weeks in temporary charge of the U's, after the sacking of Colin Calderwood in January, the former assistant head coach has been awarded a deal until the end of the 2021/22 season.
During his interim spell in charge, Bonner guided United to an unbeaten run of five games during February, which included four wins in a row.
United owner Paul Barry said: "As a club, we have always recognised Mark's great potential as a coach and it is why we fast tracked him from the academy into the first-team set-up.
"Over recent weeks he has really stepped up as a leader of our football club and impressed everybody in the way he has conducted himself, motivated everyone and galvanised the club. He is Cambridge United through and through and has genuinely earned this opportunity.
"I would like to thank the board for conducting what has been a rigorous six-week recruitment process.
"After our final decision to appoint Mark, I spent a long time with him last week at the club discussing the future. He is absolutely aligned with my and the board's thinking going forward.
"We need to be doing better on the pitch and be competing further up the table as we are all ambitious for success and to play at a higher level.
"We want to do it playing more attacking football and entertaining the fans. I made it clear to Mark that I will be making available a larger playing budget to help us do this. We want to improve the facilities and environment around the first team. We also want to develop our young players, give them more first team playing time and use the new partnership with St Neots as a genuine development opportunity.
"There is still a lot to play for this season and at the same time as trying to finish as high up the league table as possible, everyone at the club is now starting to focus on the planning for next season to give us the best possible chance of success.
"Mark is the right appointment for the club and, working in partnership with Ben Strang, can lead us forward in what we all hope will be an exciting next stage for Cambridge United."
Shaun Grady, chairman of the U's board said: "We have run a very thorough recruitment process involving Paul and every member of the board over recent weeks.
"It has been more important for all of us to get the next appointment right rather than to do it quickly.
"Mark was our unanimous choice as head coach and someone we genuinely believe we can build the future of this football club around. He is a very talented young coach and as a board we are all committed to giving him the support he needs to succeed.
"The search for his assistant is underway."
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