FORMER Swindon Town star Steve White has been handed the task of reversing the fortunes of beleaguered Chippenham Town.

The ex-County Ground striker was unveiled as the Bluebirds' new manager yesterday after another Dr Martens Premier Division defeat left the club marooned at the bottom of the table.

White enjoyed a distinguished playing career, making his name at the County Ground in the late 80s and early 90s.

He also played for Bristol Rovers, Luton, Hereford and Cardiff, scoring more than 200 goals in total.

White was assistant to Paul Bodin at Bath City until 2001 and is currently Academy Director of Football at Southampton.

He was tipped to return to Bath as boss following the departure of Alan Pridham earlier this month, but opted for Chippenham ahead of their local rivals.

'Chalky' watched on from the stands as Chippenham were beaten 3-1 by fellow strugglers Merthyr Tydfil at the weekend and the 44-year-old admits that reviving the Hardenhuish Park outfit will be a big task but he is relishing the challenge.

Said White: "There is a massive amount of work to be done but the thing that encourages me is that this time last year the club were second in the league and most of those players are still here.

"That is a good foundation for us to build on.

"Now it's up to the players to show they have the right attitude to take the club forward.

"It's a marvellous opportunity for me and I'm delighted to take on the challenge. I think the club has a great chance of progressing

"I've missed being involved at the sharp end and that 90 minutes of adrenaline on a Saturday afternoon."

The Chippenham executive committee chose White ahead of more than 30 other applicants, citing his professionalism as a key factor.

The board's official statement said: "Steve's selection came after the board carefully evaluated over 30 applications for the position.

"He will bring experience, professionalism, discipline and respect to the club.

"We see this appointment as a new chapter in the history of Chippenham Town Football Club and we would ask all Bluebirds fans to get behind Steve starting next Saturday when we entertain Basingstoke in the second round of the FA Trophy."

The statement also thanked caretaker Adie Mings for holding the fort following the dismissal of former boss Tommy Saunders.

"We thank Adie Mings most sincerely for the role he has played as caretaker manager for the past three weeks. Adie has acted in a very professional way under extremely difficult circumstances."

White took a look at what he was inheriting on Saturday as Town slumped in Wales.

Merthyr took a deserved lead on 18 minutes when Gary Thorne's free-kick was saved by Mark Hervin but Lee John teed up Jason Price to head home the rebound.

Cortez Belle doubled the lead 10 minutes from the break, heading home from close range after Wayne Thorne could only half clear a corner.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed two minutes into the second half when Belle added his second of the game and his fifth of the season against Chippenham following his hat-trick at Hardenhuish Park in September.

A late Chippenham rally saw some respectability in the scoreline as Thorne younger brother of Merthyr's Gary hammered home from six yards with three minutes remaining.

CHIPPENHAM: Hervin, Robertson, Thorne, Davies, Gould, Bailey, Walker, Horgan, Paul, Mings, Griffin. Subs: Redwood, Edwards, Buttery.