BARNSTAPLE Town have unveiled the man they hope will rescue them from their Western League quagmire. Former Plymouth Argyle, Yeovil Town and Hereford United striker Owen Pickard, 38, from Barnstaple, was set to be announced before kick off at last night's

BARNSTAPLE Town have unveiled the man they hope will rescue them from their Western League quagmire.Former Plymouth Argyle, Yeovil Town and Hereford United striker Owen Pickard, 38, from Barnstaple, was set to be announced before kick off at last night's (Tuesday's) home game against Wellington.Speaking to the Gazette yesterday lunchtime, Pickard who has been playing for North Devon Premier League side Boca Seniors this season, said he was "honoured" to be given his first job in senior football management."I'm looking forward to the challenge of taking Barnstaple off the bottom of the table," he said."There was a lot of interest in this job and I feel privileged to be given the opportunity."This is not like going into a club where they are top of the league and things are running smoothly; this is going to be a huge challenge."We need to turn things around quickly. It's a team of new faces to me and I'll be getting to know the players over the next few weeks. "I'll be looking at the players we've got and working out what they're about and what they need to change things here."Pickard, who has played at the highest level of English football outside the Premiership, said although he had trained and turned out for Boca a couple of times this season, he would now be committing his time to the job at Barnstaple Town.Also speaking to the Gazette yesterday lunchtime, club chairman Steve James said the decision to appoint the new manager had been approved by the club's committee at a meeting on Monday night.He said Pickard would be "observing" last night's game from the sidelines, while caretaker boss Eddie Cameron steered the side for his forth and final game in charge."Owen will get the chance to look at the players tonight," he said. "We then have a 12-day break in which he will be able to get in a few training sessions before our next game at Sherborne Town on November 15."Mr James said he had carried out interviews with eight hopefuls towards the end of last week before he made his decision."Owen is a Barnstaple boy with strong links to the town and the club. He has played professional football at a very high level and has a lot of good connections in the game," he said."I felt that if I could bring in someone local it would suit the club better; he has the right links to bring more talent to this club."Mr James said he and Pickard would be getting together during the next week-or-so to discuss the possibility of bringing in an assistant. He also thanked stand-in boss Eddie Cameron for stepping in to steer the side following Pete Buckingham's resignation on October 18."Eddie has done a great job during the last few games and I'd like to thank him - and Darren Gough and Ian Patchett - for helping the club to get a team together and for getting us out on the pitch."On Saturday, Barum eventually slipped to a 3-0 defeat away at second-placed Bristol Manor Farm.Town held on bravely for 73 minutes until Farm finally managed to fracture the defence and fire past keeper James Wotten.The floodgates began to creak open five minutes later as the home side doubled the lead. They added the third a minute from the end.*****************Bideford got back to winning ways on Saturday much-needed victory against Welton Rovers. Goalkeeper Ryan Draper - in for the injured Kenny Griffiths - made his return to the club after a brief spell at Dawlish.Also in the squad picked for the game was new midfield signing Matt Andrew, who has made the switch to the club from Launceston.And it was the new man's late goal that sealed all three points in a hard-fought victory.All the talk at half time was of Bideford making more of their chances to win the game. But despite enjoying more of the possession, they were lucky not to go behind 12 minutes after the restart when new keeper Draper saw a shot fly past his left post by the smallest of margins.The Robins then hit the post but came closer still with Andrew's shot five minutes from time. The goal moved them into seventh place in the table.Last night, they were at home to Chard Town before another league fixture away to Corsham Town on Saturday.*****************Meanwhile at Marlborough Park, Ilfracombe Town fans holding their breath for the club's first home win this season are beginning to turn blue.The Bluebirds shipped three without reply on Saturday at the hands of Melksham Town.They squandered a hatful of chances while succumbing to goals on 15, 25 and 63 minutes.Former Barnstaple defender/ midfielder Darren Parish is expected to sign for 'Combe this week ahead of the Bluebirds' trip to Bitton on Saturday.Last night they were set to play league-leaders Dawlish Town at home.www.northdevon.gov.uk