Barnstaple Town hero Aaron Harper-Penman has been named the club’s new manager.

Harper-Penman, a former centre-back and captain for Barum, takes over immediately from Kevin Darch and Dave Griffiths, who stood down as co-managers after defeat to Cirencester Town on Saturday.

His first match in charge is a trip to Cinderford Town this Saturday before Boxing Day’s North Devon derby against Bideford.

After making his debut for the club as a 16-year-old, Harper-Penman went on to appear 336 times for Barnstaple either side of a spell at Bideford, scoring 25 goals.

Harper-Penman said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be given the chance to manage my home town club.

“Obviously the task ahead will be a tough one, but one I firmly believe we can turn things around.

“It’s been a club close to my heart for many years and has some great people involved in. I will take great pleasure in working with everyone to push this club forward.”

“We have fixtures coming thick and fast over the coming weeks and your support would be very welcome.

“Every fixture is a massive game for us now being in position we are in, and I understand there are no easy games at this level, so Cinderford Town away will be a tough one on Saturday, and then obviously there is the big Boxing Day derby against Bideford to follow.

“I will look forward to the challenge ahead and we will do our very best to climb the league table from now and to the end of the season.”