AFC Darwen have appointed former Blackburn Rovers and Burnley winger Peter Devine as their new manager as they bid to build on their double-winning campaign.

Caretaker boss Nick Lloyd, who led Darwen to North West Counties League First Division play-off and cup final glory last season, will resume his role as assistant manager. Kevin Gallacher, another ex-Rovers star, will continue his role as director of football.


Matt Pilkington is promoted from reserve-team manager to first-team coach.

Darwen chairman Wayne Wild said: “We are delighted to announce Peter’s appointment as our new manager.

“He has a wealth of experience in the non-league game as well as in the Football League, is tremendously well respected and we believe he is the ideal man to continue to move the club forward on the pitch.

“We believe we have assembled a dynamic management team that will help us meet the challenges of the Premier Division following promotion and will enable us to push for further success.

“Nick did exceptionally well in his time as caretaker manager and remains an important part of the team, along with Kevin Gallacher, whose input since he arrived here has been invaluable.

“Their continued involvement and enthusiasm for the task ahead is a great boost for everyone at the club.”

As well as Rovers and Burnley, Devine had spells at Bristol City and Vancouver Whitecaps during his playing career.

TThe non-league clubs on his CV include Lancaster City, Morecambe, Chorley and Clitheroe. He is also a former community development officer at Wigan Athletic.

The 55-year-old, who works for a local plastics company and counts England boss Roy Hodgson among the managers he has worked under, said: “I am extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to manage AFC Darwen and I’m relishing the challenge. I hope this is the start of a long and successful relationship.

“The club has strong foundations and the team did incredibly well last season. The aim now is to build on that, to keep the momentum going and to continue to develop the squad.”

Darwen continue their preparations for the new season when host Accrington Stanley on Tuesday (7.45pm).