RICHARD Pears is delighted to be back at Exmouth Town after being installed as the club's new player-manager.
The former Tiverton Town striker played for the Southern Road outfit when they were in the Western League and returned as player-manager in 2007 after they won promotion from the Devon & Exeter League.
But Pears left a year later to become joint-manager of Cullompton Rangers alongside Lee Annunziata.
After one season at Speeds Meadow he took charge of Exeter Civil Service, only to quit that role eight months later and take the chance to re-join the Yellows as a player.
In June 2010 he became Royal Marines' manager but left in March 2011 and returned to Cully as joint-manager last summer, only to step down for personal reasons in January.
Now Pears is pleased to return to the club where his managerial career started.
"I'm really excited," said Pears. "I've had quite a few clubs recently as a manager or player – a lot of people must think I've had more clubs than Nick Faldo.
"I regret leaving Exmouth in 2008 and to have the chance to go back is fantastic.
"It's a great club with great people behind the scenes and I'm there for the long term.
"I've known the chairman, Bob Chamberlain, for a long time through football and I'm excited to be back at the club that gave me my first chance as a manager.
"You improve as a manager by learning from your mistakes and the mistake I made at Exmouth was leaving."
Exmouth finished fifth under Jody Bolt last term, having been in the running to finish as runners-up behind Liverton United until a dip in form in the last few weeks of the season.
Pears hopes to keep the majority of that squad together as he puts plans in place for the next campaign.
"I'm going through pre-season plans now and I will be speaking to all the players individually and getting to know the club again as it's been a while since I was there," he said.
"I'll be looking to retain most of the squad from last year as they finished fifth."