At the end of last season, we took the decision that a club of Brandon’s size could not compete with the better financed clubs in the division and decided that the only sensible way forward was to look long term and follow a policy of developing young players. Chris Blakelock bravely took the responsibility of managing a team with little budget and a group of young players who had a lot of potential but lacked experience at Northern League level. We knew it would be a long hard season especially for Chris and we feel that our league position does not show a true reflection of the quality of football we played at times.
Thanks to Chris and his assistants we now have a nucleus of young quality players with a year’s experience of Northern League football under there belt. It was always the long term plan that Chris would see the season out then step up to a Trustee role at the club overseeing football at all levels.
With this in mind it was important that our new manager would be someone who believed in our ethos and had experience of both junior and senior football and was willing to work with the nucleus of players currently at the club.
We are therefore delighted to announce that we have appointed Rob Bowron as First Team Manager for the coming 2019/20 season. Although this will be his first Northern League job, we feel Rob comes with the necessary experiences from a variety of previous roles. Having in place at Brandon a thriving and well run junior section we want to bring our club into the 21st Century, with a key focus on youth & community links, with a long term vision in place to build the club in all aspects to become sustainable. Having being heavily involved in junior football at Bishop Auckland St Mary’s Juniors for a number of years and Director of Football at Bishop Auckland, we feel Rob will be able to provide the required skills to help bridge these gaps.
More recently as manager of Coundon & Leeholme in the Northern Alliance League, we also feel he will be able to bring immediate experience and contacts to the first team, ensuring a continued development on the field which hopefully will yield more success on the pitch.
Rob will be in complete charge of first team affairs and will be able to call upon Chris Blakelock in his new role who will support the management team wherever possible.
This signals the appointment of a number of other new senior committee roles also, including that of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, with the latter confirmed as David Strong (also with Northern League experience at Bishop Auckland). We are however continually keen to speak to anyone who is keen to get involved and help the club.
Rob will also bring their own backroom staff to the club and will look to start work from 1st June 2019. They clearly have worked their way through the ranks as coaches, and we feel they deserve their opportunity to help us progress our club in all aspects.
“I am absolutely delighted that Brandon United have given me and my management team the opportunity to test our ability at this level. I actually haven’t stopped smiling since the initial talks and we can’t wait to get started at this historic club! We are fully aware of the challenges, both on and off the field, that lie ahead, but am confident that between us, this project is one that can be tackled with the experience now present throughout the club! I know there will be some that perhaps are doubtful over my appointment, but no one will work harder than us to ensure development and success at this wonderful club”.
We would like to thank Chris Blakelock for his hard work and dedication and wish Rob Bowron and his team the best of luck for the future.