Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke is set to return to the club after a leave of absence following a close personal bereavement.
The Valiants boss will undergo a phased return after taking leave earlier in February this year.
Andy Crosby has been at the helm as interim manager since then, and Clarke will assist Crosby and his team for the rest of the season before taking charge again in the summer.
Clarke said: “From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the owners of the football club, my team, club staff and all Port Vale supporters – as well as everyone from the wider football industry and community, including all the clubs I have been at and the League Managers Association – for the incredible support shown to me and my family during what remains an unimaginably difficult time.
“I’m humbled and so thankful for the outpouring of concern, love and kindness. This support has been invaluable, continues to give me strength, and is something that I will never forget.
“I genuinely feel part of a very special family and community here at Port Vale and I am delighted to be back.”
Clarke will also be working alongside Vale’s director of football David Flitcroft on a range of projects at the club, including player retention and pre-season planning.
Flitcroft told the club website: “I know I speak for everyone at Port Vale when I say we are absolutely delighted to have Darrell back at the club and to be able to benefit again from his expertise, vast experience and the energy he brings.
“The structures we build are tested through adversity and, as a board, we are extremely proud of the way Andy Crosby, Dean Whitehead and the first team have built on the foundations Darrell laid, adapted to very significant challenges and put us in a fantastic position with eight regular season league games remaining.”
The Valiants are fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table with four wins from their last five games.
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