Craig Salmon talks to former Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds about his time at the Irongate and believes the club is safe hands under new boss Micky Taylor
Ex- boss Neil Reynolds has urged his successor – and former assistant – Micky Taylor to enjoy the ride of being Bamber Bridge manager.
The 44-year-old was this week handed the keys to the managerial office at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium following Reynolds’ defection to FC United of Manchester.
Taylor is a man the former Brig boss knows initimately – the pair worked closely together last season as the club sealed promotion from the NPL First Division North.
Giving Taylor the top job at Irongate seems the natural progression for the club as they look to continue the work undertaken by Reynolds and before him Crowe, who has agreed to act as the new manager’s assistant.
“I want him to think that he hasn’t got to emulate or replicate what I have done,” said Reynolds, who will be interested to see how his old club fare agaisnt Hyde United in the FA Trophy..
“He’s got to just go and enjoy the ride.
“The club is in the NPL Premier Division for the first time in how many years?
“There will be ups and downs along the way, but I’d like to think I have left the club in good stead.
“Hopefully, he can build on that and who knows take the club on to the next level.
“Just because I have leftdoesn’t mean the club has to stand still.
“Behind the scenes the club has done amazing to generate the budget that we are playing under; then you have the facilities.
“I don’t want anybody to feel under pressure about emulating what we’ve done over the last two years – just go out there and enjoy the ride.
“The club is in wonderful hands with the people who are there.”
Reynolds took charge of his final game as Brig boss last weekend.
And he will be putting the skills and knowledge he has acquired from a decade-long association with the club – the majority of which has been on the coaching and management staff – to good use when he takes charge of the Red Rebels for the first time this afternoon.
Working initially as player coach under Tony Greenwood, Reynolds went on to serve as Crowe’s assistant before taking on the top job in December 2016.
Over the past 22 months, he guided the club to the NPL League Cup and last season’s promotion.
He is convinced th experience he has garnered over the past 22 months will stand him in good stead as he enters the next stage of his managerial career. “Me and Crowey had some unbelievable times together – we just could not get over the line and win promotion,” Reynolds said.
“We got to the play-off final twice and for whatever reason we just couldn’t do it.
“We have some fantastic memories from our first game in charge away at Chester, losing 3-0.
“All the way through to the heartbreak of losing in the play-offs to Ramsbottom United and then Darlington.
“We had great times but then it just came to an end. Crowey felt it was time to go.
“I got the job and I had other ideas in terms of how I wanted to take the club forward – and that’s not being disrespectful to Crowey because he did an amazing job.
“I had different ideas in terms of how I wanted to look in terms of the suit; how I wanted the players to come out to the music.
“ How I wanted the dressing room enviroment to be in terms of the technology.
“How I wanted to portray myself around the club as manager was different to how Crowey did it.
“I needed to bring my own values and professionalism to the role – my own stamp which was going to be difficult when you consider his was such a successful reign.
“But I had to come in and make difficult decisions.
“As soon as I took over I never hid from the fact that I wanted to win something – and we did that first season by winning the League Cup.
“We had that amazing night at Leek town when we beat Grantham and that gave us a platform.
“I remember doing a Q& A with the fans and saying this is the beginning.
“ Once you win one trophy, you’re always desperate to win another.
“The season after we embarked on the league and we looked at teams like Scarborough, South Shields, Hyde and thought this is going to be some achievement for us to get out.
“But we punched massively above our weight in terms of the finances which other clubs had, but we could compete on the same level in terms of our professionalism and the way we did things.
“We did it. We achieved the unthinkable of getting Bamber Bridge out of the NPL First Division North.
“But it wasn’t just down to me.
“It was down to the players, my backroom staff and everybody else.
“It was about making people believe that it wasn’t just little old Bamber Bridge and we could go and win things.
“The club let me be, they let me get on with things and on the back of that we got success.
“It’s been a huge learning curve for me; an amazing journey – one which I will never forget.
“The club is great hands. I only want the club to go from strength to strength.
“I want it to get better and better and win more trophies.”