Gloucester City appoint former West Ham United, Birmingham City and Aldershot coach James Rowe as new manager
Gloucester City have appointed James Rowe as their new manager – one year after the first attempt.
The former West Ham and Birmingham City academy coach has signed a deal until the end of the 2021-22 season, becoming the club’s first full-time boss after Gloucestershire Live revealed on Monday that he emerged as the frontrunner for the job.
Rowe will be based at Meadow Park and oversee the football department ahead of their return home with the new stadium planned to be in place for next season.
The 36-year-old was first interviewed for the Tigers managerial role when Marc Richards left the club to join Hereford and was the first choice candidate but they could not come to a compensation agreement with Aldershot, where he was assistant manager at the time.
While Gloucester ended up giving the job to Chris Todd before turning to Mike Cook in January when they were in serious relegation trouble in National League North, Rowe left Aldershot not long after due to a budget cut.
Following on from the shock sacking of Cook on Saturday, Gloucester quickly identified Rowe as the man they wanted to take over.
Rowe told Gloucestershire Live: “I had two-and-a-half fantastic years at Aldershot and when I came to see Alex in 2018 I was really impressed with his vision and the potential here is huge coming back to the city.
“I’m really proud that I’m hopefully going to be part of leading the team back out at Meadow Park.”
Rowe becomes Gloucester’s fourth manager in 13 months but co-chairman Alex Petheram insists he is looking long-term with the appointment.
He said: “We first interviewed James, probably a year ago. We were keen on James at the time.
“Twelve months have moved on and here we are again, so we eventually got the guy we tried to sign.
“If you look in our league the clubs that are naturally at the top of the pecking order and looking to push for promotion from our league are the ones that have got a different model to us.
“Since I’ve been involved in the club we’ve been looking to go about things a bit differently and be more professional. We see James as the first part of that.
“We see him very much as the missing piece of the puzzle for the long-term. James is a young manager so different styles, different types of thinking, different types of management.
“The key thing for us was someone who’s used to full-time football and gone through the transition of part-time to full-time, someone that’s been involved in the highest level of English football in some form of capacity and James has got that from his days at Birmingham and West Ham.
“The Premier League link for us is huge because it means we can grow our community programme. He’s the first manager to be based at Meadow Park ever full-time and he’s the first manager to be at Meadow Park in 12 years.
“The whole reason James has got an office at Meadow Park is because this is going to be his home. It’s going to be a bit noisy, especially after Christmas.”
Rowe was set to meet the Gloucester squad for the first time at training tonight and has spent the last two days watching videos of games.
“As soon as I knew about the role I’ve done a lot of work in the last 48 hours,” said Rowe.
“I’ve got a platform called Wyscout and also Hudl as well so I’ve seen a lot of games in the last 48 hours.
“At the moment everyone gets an opportunity that’s in the squad. It’s a completely clean slate. It’s not just for now, it’s, ‘okay do you want to be part of something going forward here’, coming back to Meadow Park especially for the city and the club’? So there’s something to play for, for everybody.”
Rowe will appoint the rest of his coaching staff this week and take charge of Gloucester City for the first time when they face Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Trophy at the Jubilee Stadium in Evesham on Sunday.