Bamber Bridge ready for reunion with ex-manager Neil Reynolds when they face FC United of Manchester

Former Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds
Former Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds

Former Bamber Bridge manager Neil Reynolds does not regret leaving the club to take the reins at FC United of Manchester.

The 42-year-old left the Sir Tom Finney Stadium last year after the Red Rebels made him their No.1 target to fill their vacant hotseat.

A struggling National League outfit last season, Reynolds was unable to prevent FC United from being relegated.

It now means he is back in the NPL Premier Division – and faces his old club tomorrow in a league fixture at Broadhurst Park.

Reynolds, who served Brig for more than a decade across two spells as a player, coach and manager, insisted that the club will always have a special place in his heart but the sheer potential at FC United means he had to leave when the call came.

“I just had to go and I don’t regret it one bit,” said Reynolds, who guided Brig to promotion and a League Cup win.

“I knew FC United were going to get relegated – we didn’t have the budget to compete. Everybody told me not to go – the squad was divided, there was in-house fighting...

“But I also knew eventually we would get things right. To be given the opportunity to manage a club which commands two to three thousand fans each week was too big an opportunity for me to turn down.

“Everybody knows I am ambitious and I knew FC United could give me that platform to push again, as Bamber Bridge gave me a platform.”

One of the teams expected to challenge for promotion, FC United have not enjoyed the best of starts.

They are currently in 14th spot in the table – just a couple of places higher than Brig.

However, Reynolds believes that after making 20 new signings in the summer the team will take time to gel.

“We are one defeat in eight going into this weekend,” he said.

“I know the Brig team were down watching us play Warrington on Tuesday night.

“Brig will want to put one over on us, of course they will.

“If I was a player in a dressing room coming up against a former manager, I would be desperate to win.

“But also they will enjoy coming to Broadhurst Park – the sprinklers will be on; there will be a big crowd.

“Everybody will raise their game and I know there will be loads of spice to the game. I certainly won’t need to do a team talk and neither will Joey Collins.”