Reno committed to the Brig cause

Alex Taylor
Alex Taylor
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Bamber Bridge’s assistant manager Neil Reynolds has pledged his commitment to the club.

Brig boss Neil Crowe is currently on holiday in Portugal which means Reynolds will take the reins for tomorrow’s pre-season friendly at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium against Conference North new boys AFC Fylde.

Reynolds took a seven-week break from the club last season due to work commitments.

He returned to partner Crowe in the dug-out in the final few months of the season as the NPL First Division North side narrowly missed out on promotion as they lost to Ramsbottom United in the play-off final.

The managerial duo tied themselves to new three-year contracts with the club in May.

And Reynolds revealed he his enforced absence made him realise how much he missed the game and the club..

He said: “I’m fully committed to Brig, I had a break last season due to work commitments.

“I’m a teacher and I’m looking to become a head teacher in the future.

“It is demanding and so I had to focus on school.

“I took a seven-week break but there was something missing and that was football and so I came back to Brig.”

Reynolds came off the bench to play in Brig’s 2-0 friendly defeat against Preston North End in July.

And the assistant boss is pleased to have got some minutes under his belt in pre-season.

He said: “It was good I still haven’t hung my boots up yet.

“I can still help the lads out on the pitch and also help the development side off the pitch.

“It was nice to play against North End I’ve had few run-outs and got some minutes under my belt during pre-season.”

Brig beat Fylde’s fellow Conference North newcomers Chorley 3-1 in a friendly last month.

And Reynolds is overjoyed with the clubs fine pre-season and he is looking forward to the new campaign. He said: “We are delighted with our pre-season form, we beat Chorley and we only lost by a few goals to PNE.

“It is nice to have a good pre-season after the disappointment of last year – we lost 3-2 to Ramsbottom – and we are hopefully going to go one better this season.

“We know our starting XI bar any dramatic loss of form or injury.

“And tomorrow’s team wont be far way from the side that will start against Droylsden in our first match of the season on August, 16.

“After the PNE and Chorley matches, Fylde will be a big test for us.

“We still see them as our local rivals, it will be a real stern test – and we will put out a strong side.”

Brig will start the season without the suspended Matt Lawlor and the injured Alex Taylor.

But Reynolds is buoyed by the return of Andy Bell, he said: “Unfortunately Matt Lawlor is suspended for the first three games of the season.

“Alex Taylor broke his foot against Bolton earlier this month, it was only our second friendly and he has fractured his metatarsal so he will be out until October.

“Andy Bell has come back fit and hungry for success this season, he was out for most of last season with an injury.”

Meanwhile, Chorley goalkeeper Sam Ashton has signed a new contract with the club.

The former Skelmersdale United No.1 has committed his immediate future to the club he signed for last summer.

Ashton joins a growing list of players who have all been tied to new deals at Victory Park over the summer.

Chris Almond, Jake Cottrell, James Dean, Josh Hine, Kyle Jacobs, Andy Teague, Dale Whitham and Harry Winter have put pen to paper on deals and will form the backbone of garry Flitcroft’s squad for the forthcoming Conference North season.

Tonight is the last chance for Magpies fans to watch the team before the season starts with the final pre-season friendly against Accrington Stanley at the Store First Stadium, kick-off is 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 adults and £3 concessions.