Five goal Iron up to mid-table
Second successive win for Iron
Continuing where they left off in midweek winning comprehensively at St Albans, Iron completed a successful week by hammering their Sussex coast visitors at Cressing Road on Saturday to prove any doubters of their true potential this season.
Such were Iron dominant, particularly in the second half, the only surprise for home fans was that in the end the winning margin wasn't even bigger because they scorned several decent chances in that second period.
It meant though that for the Iron it made two successive wins and cleansheets within the space of five days moving them further up the table as manager Glen Driver continues to develop his side having started just eight weeks ago.
Making one change from that midweek victory - Jason Banton coming for Charley Barker who dropped to the bench - Iron were denied two clearcut penalties with Tom Richardson being bundled over in the first half and late on in the second half Richardson squared the ball to Femi Akinwande who was sent flying on his face in the visitors' area by Manny Adevowale but referee Dale Wootton ignored.
Despite missing several chances during the game overall it was an easy win for the home side who took the lead with a powerful Adam Mills shot on 27 minutes and five minutes later Richardson converted after tremendous work down the left by Akinwande and they could have had two more goals before the break.
Hard though the visitors tried to get back into the game on the rare occasion they threatened home keeper Michael Johnson pulled off two fine saves before in the 65th minute Iron made the game safe when Banton moved forward from the centre circle running through unchecked before unleashing a 30-yard shot into the far corner of the net giving keeper Tom Hadler no chance.
On 81 minutes man of the match Mills added his second and his side's fourth with a slide rule shot on goal after Akinwande again had done all the hard work down the right wing and in the final minute Richardson put pressure on keeper Hadler and the ball fell to Akinwande who scores the goal he deserved on the day and so sealed a comfortable win for Iron.
Manager Glen Driver said he was delighted the way his side continue to adapt themselves to one another and their work rate and commitment was excellent adding: "I felt we wasted chances in the first half but in the second half we were outstanding.
"Incredible to think that eight weeks ago I didn't have a team but now we have a nucleus and can build on from here," he declared. "You get lows and highs in football and today it's certainly a high and the boys deserve it."
Braintree Town: (3-5-2):Johnson; Urquhart, Saunders, Clark, Hutchings; Manesio, Cole (84 Gipson,) Banton (66 Tyler Christian-Law), Mills (82 Trey Charles), Richardson, Akinwande. Subs unused: Barker, Bonnett-Johnson. Attendance: 356. Referee Dale Wooton.
Next up for Iron is the short to play at Dartford next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Match Preview - Vanarama South
Saturday 17 August 2019 - Braintree Town v Eastbourne Borough
Last season, Eastbourne Borough finished 18th in the Vanarama National League South; they currently sit 12th on 5 points. Their overall record last season was: P 42 W 10 D 12 L 20 F52 A 65 Points 42. Their away record last season was P 21 W 4 D 6 L 11 F 19 A 31 Points 18. Top scorers last season: Charlie Walker - 11, Dean Cox 8, Ryan Hall - 7. Scorers 2019/20 - Nick Wheeler, Greg Luer & Kristian Campbell - 1. Last 4 away results 2019/20 Drew 0-0 v Maidstone United, Lost 1-0 v Billericay Town, (2018/19): Drew 1-1 v Slough Town, Lost 2-0 v Torquay United. This season form: LWDD
Braintree Town are currently 16th on 3 points. Braintree Town home record last season: P 23 W 6 D 3 L 14 F 25 A 44 Points 21. Braintree Town last 4 home results 2019/20: Lost 0-4 v Wealdstone, Lost 2-3 v Billericay Town, (2018/19): Won 2-0 v Dagenham & Redbridge, Won 2-1 v AFC Fylde. This season form: LLLW. Scorers 2019/20 - Tom Richardson - 2, Adam Mills, Femi Akinwande & Michael Clark - 1. Connections: Ian Gayle signed for Borough in the summer after spells at Welling, Wealdstone and Woking. Last meeting at Cressing Road: 9th December 2017 Braintree Town 3 Eastbourne Borough 2
In an entertaining game it was the visitors who took the lead in the 13th minute. A long punt downfield by the keeper was won in the air on the edge of the box by Dawes, he then chested the ball down before escaping his markers and fired across goal where Shaun Okojie slid the ball home from six yards. The equaliser came from top scorer Phil Roberts on 36 minutes. A deep Billy Crook corner was only partially cleared, straight to Roberts on the edge of the penalty area and his low drive went through a crowd of bodies and the keeper's grasp. Just past the hour, Roberts put the Iron ahead. A free kick taken by Crook half way inside the visitor's half was played high to the back post, Okoye rose highest to head the ball back across goal and leave Roberts a simple headed finish from close range. Borough were level on 75 minutes, a deep cross from Mills was won in the air on the edge of the box by Okojie and his knock down was swept across goal by Kiran Khinda-John. It took only two minutes for Braintree to re-take the lead. Roberts sent Roman Michael-Percil scampering away down the right, the diminutive winger outpacing his marker only to be pushed in the back for a penalty to be awarded. Billy Crook stepped up and converted to the right with the keeper going the wrong way.
Eastbourne Borough are another club under new management with Lee Bradbury taking charge in May this year a few weeks after his Havant and Waterlooville side were relegated alongside Braintree. With Braintree having recorded their first win of the season at St Albans on Tuesday evening, the boys will be hoping to make it a third consecutive blank on the road for the visitors, whilst seeing a blossoming partnership between Richardson and Akinwande put the Sports to the sword.
Talking to Jake Hutchings
all about having Raheem Sterling in his back pocket!
DOB: 20/12/95 (23) Born: London. Position: Centre Back
Career history: Leyton Orient U18, Torquay United U18 & 1st team, Grays Athletic (Loan), Weymouth FC (Loan), Frome Town (Loan), Hearts FC U20, Enfield Town, Frome Town, Grays Athletic, Wingate FC, Grays Athletic, Leiston, Merstham, Wingate FC, Merstham
Q. Do you have another job?
A. Yes. I'm a Site Manager in building works.
Q. Who do you support?
A. Tottenham Hotspur
Q Who is your favourite current player?
A. Lionel Messi
Likes: Music - I like all sorts, go with the flow
Food - Italian, a good steak
Film/TV - Love Island
Social Media - Twitter and Instagram
Q. It's fair to say you've done quite a lot of travelling since leaving Orient in 2013, talk me through some of those moves
A. Martin Ling was my manager at Orient, when he took the Torquay job, he took me with him, I had a good 3 years there. Then Torquay had a change of manager and I had 6 months left on my contract, my agent spoke to Craig Levein at Hearts. The first time I played nom-league was at Enfield. Brad Quinton was the manager there. I ended up back at Frome (but was training at Grays) as I'd done well for them on loan, but I was travelling from North London and it was getting too much. I then played around London and then met Glen at Leiston, 3 of us, including Ade Cole used to travel together. I had a 2 year contract but did my anterior cruciate ligament playing for Merstham, but in my second spell, we made the play-off final.
Q. At which club did you have your happiest times/career highlights?
A. The play-off final at Merstham and I made the squad a few times at Hearts when they won the Championship.
Q. Which coach or managers have had the biggest impact on your career?
A. As a player, Robbie Nielson at Hearts. He was a legend up there. He had very good man management skills, helped me to settle in and looked after me. In training if you wanted to stay behind and do more, he would take the time to do one to one with you.
Q. Which have been the best/worst grounds you've played at?
A. Best - Ibrox, there was a big rivalry at my time at Hearts with Rangers, Hibs and Celtic all battling it out. Worst is probably Alfreton in my Torquay days.
Q. Who have been the best players you've played with or against?
A. I once played against Raheem Sterling in a reserve game for Torquay against QPR, not long after that he got his move to Liverpool. The best I played with is probably Callum Paterson at Hearts, a Scottish international who is now at Cardiff City.
Q. What is the highest level you've played at, what is your aim longer term?
A. Scottish Premier League. I'd like to get back in to full time football again having now had 4 years of non-league football. I just want to play as high as I can.
Q. What attracted you to come and play for Braintree?
A. My relationship with Glen. I knew a bit about the club because of Brad and having played with the likes of Ricky Gabriel, Nathan McDonald, Mark Okoye and Billy Crook and following them on Twitter.
Q. You've been made captain, what do you bring to that role?
A. I've only been vice captain before, but playing under Glen, I can relay messages he wants. He knows what he'll get from me and I'm one of the most experienced.
Q. How difficult is it playing with virtually a new squad, have you experienced anything like it before?
A. No, not a complete squad. It was difficult pre-season as I never played with the same centre back and therefore couldn't form any sort of partnership. Now with Josh(Urquhart) and Michael (Clark) we can get settled and become more solid.
Q. There's also been a change of formation since pre-season with 3 centre backs and a change in style where we haven't constantly played out from the back; how has that come about?
A. We've played a formation that we thought would do well against Bath, playing 4-3-3 would have been to open. In pre-season it didn't matter about the results, so we tried to play out from the back. What we do now is play that way when it's appropriate.
Q. Do you know any of the lads from previous clubs, who have you bonded with?
A. Yes, Ade Cole from our time together at Leiston and Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Harry Osborne at Merstham.
Q. Two games in and no points on the board, how do you assess those first two games?
A. We've been close. Bath we conceded two unbelievable strikes. Billericay' it's been about fine margins, we were unlucky with the penalty awarded against us and with my miss-kick, I popped my toe as I landed just before I tried to clear it. They are also two big hitters in this League.
Q. Which player is the hardest to mark in training?
A. Jason Banton, he's very skilful.
Q. Where do you think Braintree will finish?
A. In and around the play-offs.
The Vanarama First Four - the Iron are off and underway and there's more to come!
Glen Driver: "Thank you to the Braintree supporters"
League sponsors Vanarama
So, the story so far . . .
How one result can change the outlook. It appeared a long season ahead after three defeats from three but a stunning 3-0 win at St Albans has people thinking again!
From the dugout . . .
Glen Driver dedicated his first win in charge to the fans, saying: "Thank you to the Braintree supporters, that win was for you. It's been a tough start for us but I'm proud of the players and to get my first win as manager of this great club."
Biggest result so far . . .
No question about it. Tuesday's convincing victory at Clarence Park could just prove to be the turning point.
Stat attack . . .
League position: 16th
Home goals for: 2
Away goals for: 3
Home goals against: 7
Away goals against: 2
What the supporters say . . .
Twitter was a happy place to be for the Iron faithful after that win in midweek.
"Quality performance and showed what this club is all about with entertaining football," wrote @Gaz1993
"Great away performance and something to build on" posted @Gavla69, while @barker69james added: "Onwards and upwards!"
Next up . . .
It's Eastbourne Borough at home on Saturday. The Sports have a five-point start and appear to be tough to beat.
Their one to watch . . .
Sergio Torres is always the man who makes things happen in the middle of the park.
We've met before . . .
The teams certainly have - and it's Braintree fans with the happy memories. In 2017, the Irons grabbed a 3-2 win both home and away against Eastbourne. Back in 2016, the Essex club put seven goals past them without reply!
League sponsors Vanarama
For the latest van leasing deals head to Vanarama
For the latest car leasing deals head to Motorama
The National League, Registered Office - 4th Floor, Waterloo House, 20 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5TB. Registered No: 3364308. Tel: 0121 643 3143.
Iron score three without reply
Driver: "Great to get that monkey off our backs"
Iron travelled to Clarence Park on Tuesday night in search of their first points of the season after three successive defeats. Manager Glen Driver made two changes to the starting line-up, with Adam Mills and Charley Barker coming in to replace Rob Harvey and Sean Bonnett-Johnson.
On a pleasant summer evening Iron started brightly. Ade Cole fired across the face of the goal early on. Five minutes later Mills raced through and looked certain to score, but Snedker reacted well in the home goal to save.
Mills was a constant thorn in the home team's side, and it was inevitably him that struck the opening blow. He twisted on the edge of the penalty area and fired high into the top corner of the net. Iron fans were still celebrating when just 90 seconds later their team struck again. This time it was the industrious Femi Akinwande who scored after bustling into the area down the right and firing in at the near post.
The visitors were good value for their half time lead but anticipated renewed effort from the hosts in the second half. Sure enough, St. Albans were very quickly out of the blocks and Iaciofano tested Johnson from 25 yards. Further chances came and went, with Iron digging deep. A deflected shot from Cole on 57 minutes was a rare moment of relief.
The closest scare came with 15 minutes to go. Hearts were in mouths as an almighty goalmouth scramble ensued. Josh Urquhart was on hand to desperately clear off the line.
With one minute left on the clock Michael Clark made the game safe for Iron. Substitute Alfie Cerulli broke forward with pace and shot from the edge of the box. His effort could not be held by Snedker and Clark was on hand to steer the rebound home.
It was the best possible way for the team to respond after the disappointing performance at the weekend against Wealdstone, and the team are up 6 places to 16th.
After the game Manager Glen Driver was pleased: "Great to get that monkey off our backs with our first points of the season. I changed it a little for tonight and I felt we looked compact and solid. Proud of the lads and I'm delighted with all three goals and for the fans who have seen a positive response to last Saturday. Looking ahead he added: "As a group we still have a lot of work to do, but our performance was encouraging. We'll build on this and we're already looking forward to Eastbourne on Saturday for what will be another tough test for us all." Team: Johnson, Urquhart, Saunders, Manesio, Clark, Hutchings, Cole, Barker (73m Bonnett-Johnson), Richardson (82m Cerulli), Akinwande (79m Harvey), A. Mills. Unused subs: Gipson, Charles. Attendance: 396.
Next up for the Iron is the visit of Eastbourne Borough this coming Saturday, 17th August, with kick off at 3pm.
Match Preview - Tuesday 13 August 2019
Vanarama National League South - St Albans City v Braintree Town
Last season St Albans City finished 9th in the Vanarama National League South. They are currently 16th on 2 points. Overall record: P 42 W 18 D 10 L 14 F 67 A 64 Points 64. Home: P 21 W 12 D 4 L 5 F 34 A 26 Points 40. Last 4 home: 2019/20 Drew 1-1 v Chippenham Town, (2018/19) Lost 0-4 v Torquay United, Won 2-1 v East Thurrock United, Won 3-1 v Chelmsford City. Top scorers (2018/19): David Moyo - 15, Ralston Gabriel - 12, Sam Merson - 9. Scorers 2019/20: Joe Iaciofano - 2. Form this season: DDL.
Braintree Town are currently 24th in the Vanarama National League with no points. 2018/19 Away: P 23 W 5 D 5 L 13 F 23 A 34 Pts 20. Last 4 away: 2019/20 Lost 2-0 v Bath City, (2018/19): Drew 0-0 v Leyton Orient, Won 0-2 v Maidstone United, Lost 3-1 v Wrexham. Scorers: 2019/20: Tom Richardson - 2. Form this season: LLL. Connections: Former Iron players Scott Shulton and Taylor Miles are now at City. Michael Clark played for City last season.
Our last visit to St Albans was on 2 April 2018 with the home side claiming a 2-1 victory. Josh Hill opened the scoring in the second minute. A free kick taken by Muleba in the centre circle found its way to Hill on the left corner of the penalty area and he placed a curling right footed shot off the far post and in. St Albans hit back in the second half with two Sam Merson strikes, the first slotting home a low cross from a corner at the near post. The second came with five minutes to play. A deep cross was neatly laid off by his strike partner and he placed his shot low into the bottom left corner of the net from 16 yards.
City's top scorer last season, David Moyo departed for Hamilton Academicals in the summer. He has been replaced by current top scorer Joe Iaciofano from Northampton Town. He is joined up front by much travelled striker Rhys Murrell-Williamson for whom this is his second spell at Clarence Park.
Neither side have been able to record a win in their opening three fixtures and will want to put that right. It's an early opportunity for the new Iron side to put things right following Saturday's disappointing result.
Too many basic mistakes for Iron
Driver: "It was a really disappointing performance"
Iron boss Glen Driver, like his team, were given a rude awakening by Wealdstone at Cressing Road on Saturday as they were simply on the end of a heavy four-goal defeat.
Apart from a bright, fifteen minutes spell just after half time Iron were second best for most of the match with a defence making many basic mistakes, a midfield on the day that could not impose themselves and two potentially goal-scorers up front starved of any genuine service.
Iron fans knew it was going to be a tough start playing three sides that did well last season to start their campaign but what will disappoint fans is that after an impressive display against Billericay Town in midweek, their side could follow that with a lack lustre, mistaken ridden performance.
But for some fine first half saves by home keeper Michael Johnson, Iron could easily have been three goals behind at the interval as they lacked cohesion or organisation throughout the side.
The visitors took the lead on 20 minutes when a sweeping, low left wing cross was turned into his own net by Ollie Saunders as he tried to clear the ball while up at the other end little was seen of the Iron attack against a vastly experienced visitors' rearguard.
Alfie Cerulli came on at half time for Ade Cole and Iron began to play some football. For a short period it looked as if they might get back into the game with Tom Richardson and Femi Akinwande working hard up front but missing the target or seeing efforts blocked.
After that bright spell it went from bad to worse for Iron as the visitors took a grip of the game and they scored their second goal on 73 minutes through Danny Green who waltzed around three flat-footed Iron defenders to slip the ball past the exposed Johnson.
The visitors kept pressing hard and soon added to their goal tally with Green again finding the net on 83 minutes and Billy Clifford firing home his side's fourth on 87 minutes which was a fair reflection on day.
So plenty of thinking for manager Driver who said: "It was a really disappointing performance where again we created our own downfall by making so many individual mistakes and you can't afford to that at our level. We've clearly plenty of work to do and I am confident we will make progress."
Braintree Town: Johnson; Harvety, Saunders, Urquahart, Clark; Hutchings, Cole (45 Cerulli), Bonnet-Johnson, Manesio (73 Mills); Richardson, Akinwande. Unused subs: Gipson, Folarin, Barker. Attendance: 428
Next up for the Iron is a trip to St Albans City this coming Tuesday, 13th August, with kick off at 7.45pm.
Match Preview - Saturday 10 August 2019
Braintree Town v Wealdstone
Last season, Wealdstone finished 7th in the Vanarama National League South. In the play-offs they won 3-1 at Bath City before losing 3-2 to Woking in the semi-final. Their overall record last season was: P 42 W 18 D 12 L 12 F 62 A 50 Points 66. Their away record last season was P 21 W 9 D 7 L 5 F 31 A 19 Points 34. Top scorers last season: David Pratt - 12, Bradley Bubb - 8, Dan Green - 7. Scorers 2019/20 - Ross Lafayette - 2, Connor Stevens & Own goal - 1. Last 4 away results 2019/20 Lost 1-0 v Dulwich Hamlet, (2018/19): Won 0-3 v Chelmsford C, Lost 2-1 v Hampton & Richmond Borough, Lost 3-2 v Torquay United.
Braintree Town home record last season: P 23 W 6 D 3 L 14 F 25 A 44 Points 21. Braintree Town last 4 home results 2019/20 Lost 2-3 v Billericay Town, (2018/19): Won 2-0 v Dagenham & Redbridge, Won 2-1 v AFC Fylde, Won 2-0 v Gateshead. Scorers 2019/20 - Tom Richardson - 2. Connections: Former Iron left back, Jerome Okimo, has now made over 100 appearances in two spells for the Stones.
Like the Iron, Wealdstone are under new management after parting company with Bobby Wilkinson in May 2019. Taking over the reins is former Hemel Hempstead manager Dave Brennan. Signing from Billericay Town are Michee Efete, Billy Clifford, Connor Smith and Ross Lafayette. Other new signings include goalkeeper Aston Oxborough, Nick Arnold, Afolabi Coker, Jacob Mendy, Matthew Saunders, Michael Phillips, Dejon Noel-Williams and Sanchez Watt. Last meeting at Cressing Road: 10 March 2018 Braintree Town 2 Wealdstone 2. Iron held a two goal lead at half time courtesy of a Luke Allen strike from close range and a Billy Crook penalty after the keeper brought down Dan Thompson. Two goals in six second half minutes from Matt Whichelow, cutting in from the left and firing home from the edge of the box and a Dan Green penalty awarded when McDonald was judged to have tripped David Pratt saw the visitors take home a point. Wealdstone went down one nil to Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday evening after an impressive opening day home victory over Dartford by four goals to one. Meanwhile, Braintree lost by the odd goal in five to neighbours Billericay Town on Tuesday. With no points on the board for Driver's new look team, he'll have the boys focused on changing that come Saturday evening.
Talking to Glen Driver
The club needs to build a foundation
DOB: 25/4/74 (45) Born: Ipswich
Q. What is your job?
A. I have my own business- FGH MotorHomes
Q. Who do you support?
A. Ipswich Town
Q. What are you likes -
Music - Barry White, Soul & Reggae
Food - Indian, Mexican, Chinese
TV/Film - Only Fools & Horses
Q. Which Social Media do you use?
A. Twitter and Instagram
Q. Tell me about your own playing career?
A. Didn't really start playing until I was 18 as I'd go to watch Ipswich. I played 5-a-side and junior football, scored lots of gaols but only played when Ipswich were away. I ended up at Needham Market, scored 39 for them. Then I gad trails at Norwich City, Ipswich Town, Peterborough United and Northampton Town. I had the opportunity to go to Sweden and play for Malmo who were managed by Frank Thijssen at the time, but turned it down, which I later regretted. I then met Tony Kinsella, scored a few for Harwich, then Witham where I netted 39 goals in 2 different seasons, playing off a target man, running in behind. I also played for Stanway. I had 3 seasons scoring 39 goals, missed a penalty in one of those seasons which would've given me the 40.
Q. Tell me about your career so far as a manager?
A. I went straight into management at 39 with Ipswich Exiles. I was then player manager at Leiston, took 5 years out, came back to manage Felixstowe and Walton. Had more time off before going back to Leiston at step 3.
Q. You have brought in Tony Kinsella as your assistant; tell me about your relationship with him and what he'll bring to the club.
A. He's like a brother to me, I have total trust in him and learned so much from him. He encourages me to be positive and believe in my playing philosophy. He keeps me and the players grounded and wants to see me do well. He'll run sessions that will mirror our game plan and help to bring attractive football to the club.
Q. The club has had 6 different managers over the last 4 seasons of ups and downs after a period of stability of management and squad under Alan Devonshire. What is your aim?
A. The club needs to build a foundation, it has no reserve side but has three different youth set ups. We need to promote players through the youth/reserve system. At Leiston we had U10, 12, 14, 16 & 18 sides in place bringing players through. We want to bring stability to the club. Previous managers may have been head hunted, or scared of the work needed to do here. Everyone needs to be patient while we put things into place. We've done it before at Felixstowe and Leiston
Q. How have you settled in at Braintree?
A. Settled in well, I've worked hard, looked at 45 players and agents are always wanting me to look at more. I've spoken to Premier and Championship clubs to bring in player that fit our philosophy.
Q. What have you made of our friendlies?
A. Newmarket and Coggeshall, too many players and changes, so didn't really learn much in those games. Against West Ham I thought that we passed the ball as well as they did and our fitness levels were good. Against Brentford, they were a strong team with 7 players who'd played in the Championship. We made too many mistakes but did continue to try and pass the ball.
Q. You come to Braintree with players leaving and an affordable budget, how do you put together a team from scratch, what size squad do you think you need/can attain?
A. I'm looking to have a squad of 16/17. I identify players who are new and want to play for us. I've known a lot of them from the Bostik Premier League. A lot of them want to play for me, they are hungry players who want to well and progress their careers. A lot of them are Suffolk based where we've previously had lads based around London.
Q. The players you have signed, are any on contracts, if not, we've seen before at this level the better players or those not getting picked regularly leave. How easy/difficult is it to build a strong team under those circumstances?
A. This is a club of opportunities and a shop window. Players come here knowing that there'll be scouts here, more radio and newspaper coverage. I would hope that if players are wanted by other clubs that they would sign a contract so they can reward the club that has given them that opportunity.
Q. You have so far brought in quite a lot of players from a lower level, does that reduce expectations on where we may finish?
A. No, not at all. What we lack in experience we make up for with hunger. At Leiston we played Billericay Town and beat them 4-1 because we were hungrier than them. They will have to work hard for the badge and to keep the shirt. The players want to do well and push on in their careers.
Q. The opening month of the season sees us play 8 games, 24 points up for grabs. How do you assess our opening fixtures?
A. I don't set points targets; we take each game as it comes. Whatever points tally we get, we will be where we deserve to be in the table. Some of those early games may be a good time to play them with lots of new players. We may on occasions need to be more cautious.
Q. You have said you're looking for the team to play out from the back and that you're not interested in a player's height or age. In recent seasons we've conceded many goals from set pieces and corners and found it hard to contain those teams with a target man, how can you counter that threat?
A. We will have ways and means of dealing with that. We do have players who are good in the air. Our goalkeeper is brave and will come for crosses and talks to those around him. If you look at Barcelona and Man City, they're not big sides, but you don't see them conceding many goals at corners and free kicks.
Q. Do you have a favoured formation, does/will the squad have the flexibility to adapt to different systems?
A. Football is about players not systems and our squad will be able to adapt to different positions and systems when required.
Q. Do you know who is to be captain, what are his qualities/what will he bring to the side?
A. Yes I know who my captain and vice-captain are. He'll be young, a talker, leader, hungry and demanding.
Q. What would you define as a successful season?
A. Fourth from bottom. But then I said the same thing in my time at Leiston where we finished 5th and 6th!
Iron impress despite defeat
Driver's work in progress showing positive signs
Iron were unlucky not to have earned at least a point from this clash at Cressing Road on Tuesday against Essex neighbours Billericay Town in what was an entertaining game for both sets of fans.
Despite taking the lead on 12 minutes with a Club debut headed goal for young striker Tom Richardson, the visitors equalised through a rather dubious penalty on 16 minutes scored by the experienced Matt Rhead.
With Iron playing all the attractive football going forward they, at times, severely tested the visitors' rearguard while young teenager Jayden Gipson, deputising for newly signed defender Josh Urquhart, had an excellent game in the heart of the Iron back-line.
For long periods, Iron looked the more comfortable side on the ball with the visitors playing the long, high ball up front to Rhead an arch exponent of holding it up and laying it off to team mates.
The more experienced visitors grabbed the lead on the hour through Moses Emmanuel but within two minutes Iron were level with a brilliant header from Richardson.
Both sides traded attacks in the latter stages of the game but it was the visitors who snatched what would turn out to be the winner on 70 minutes when defender Charlie Wassmer raced into the Iron box unmarked and headed home a right wing cross.
Undeterred, Iron again came back strongly and young substitute Charley Barker went close with a header that just dropped over the bar.
Despite a flurry of attacks by the Iron in time added on, that illusive equaliser never came but it was again another vastly improved performance from Iron which bodes well for the future.
Manager Glen Driver was full of praise for his team's 90 minutes of effort adding: "I felt we played all the football on the night and there are small margins in winning or losing but I thought we had done enough for a draw.
"We've done remarkably well to have put a team together from scratch in seven weeks and play so well against an expensively assembled experienced side," he continued. "But we do have to defend better because we gave them two goals when we should have done better.
"We also need to have more players going forward and scoring goals but it's something we are working on and we are making progress," he added. "It will take a little time but I felt we were better for the whole of the 90 minutes compared to Saturday's opening game when we only really competed in the first half."
Braintree Town: Johnson; Harvey, Saunders (76 Mills), Gipson, Clark,; Hutchings, Cole, Bonnet-Johnson (79 Cerulli), Banton (60 Barker); Richardspn, Akinwande. Unused subs: Clements, Folarin. Attendance: 868
Next up for the Iron is another home game this coming Saturday against Wealdstone, kick off 3pm.
Match Preview - Tuesday 6 August 2019
Braintree Town v Billericay Town
Last season, Billericay Town finished 8th in the Vanarama National League South. Their overall record last season was: P 42 W 19 D 8 L 15 F 72 A 65 Points 65. Their away record last season was P 21 W 9 D 5 L 7 F 40 A 32 Points 32. Top scorers last season: Moses Emmanuel - 25, Jake Robinson - 16 Adam Coombes - 13. Last 4 away results (2018/19): Lost 2-1 v Dartford, Won 1-4 v Gloucester City, Drew 2-2 v Dulwich Hamlet, Lost 2-1 v Slough Town.
Braintree Town home record last season: P 23 W 6 D 3 L 14 F 25 A 44 Points 21. Braintree T last 4 home results (2018/19): Won 2-0 v Dagenham & Redbridge, Won 2-1 v AFC Fylde, Won 2-0 v Gateshead, Lost 2-4 v Bromley.
Both sides had contrasting outcomes on the opening day of the 2019/20 season with Billericay Town winning one-nil in time added on at home to Eastbourne Borough, whilst Braintree went down to two early second half goals at Bath City. Our Essex neighbours have been busy in the summer enlisting new recruits after falling short of the play-offs last season. Amongst those new signings is former Lincoln City front man and well known to Braintree Town fans - Matt Rhead. They have also picked up Doug Loft a midfielder released by Shrewsbury Town, former Hemel skipper and top scoring midfielder Jordan Parkes, defenders Craig Robson, Gavin Gunning, Ronnie Henry, Ben Nunn and Charlie Wassmer. This will be a big test for Glen and the boys in the first Essex derby of the season. They should be encouraged by their first half performance at Bath where they had the better chances. Let's get behind the boys and help turn Cressing Road into a home fortress.
Iron can't match Bath second half
15 minute spell ended Iron hopes of a point.
A 15 minute spell at the start of the second half by home side Bath City, in which they scored two goals in three minutes ended Iron hopes of returning home from Twerton Park with a point on Saturday.
It was a disappointment too for new manager Glen Driver who had seen his entirely new team play well in the first half against the much fancied home side promotion candidates but conceding those two quick goals - from Tom Smith on 47 minutes and substitute Ross Stearn three minutes later - took the steam out of the Iron from which they never really recovered.
With two late central defender signings - Josh Urquhart from Billericay and the returning Michael Clark from St. Albans - Iron looked strong in defence and despite most of the players having not played together pre-season they put in a really creditable first half showing.
The Iron should have taken the lead on 15 minutes when a quickly taken free-kick by Urquhart in the centre circle saw the ball sail towards to the home goal where back-pedalling keeper Ryan Clarke just managed to get a hand on the ball pushing on to the crossbar.
The rebound fell kindly straight to the feet of the unmarked striker Tom Richardson but with a gaping goal in front of the youngster, he put the ball straight into the hands of Clarke and had he scored would have been a great early confidence booster for Iron.
After such a promising first half, Iron were caught cold when City changed format to 4-4-2 at half time and bringing on Stearn, their top scorer last season, who effectively took control of the midfield and set up several good home attacks while Iron's midfield, so dominant in the first period, lost their way.
Once two goals down and despite using all three substitutes to try and regain that first half initiative, Iron failed to make real impact on the home rearguard and it was City who ran out deserved winners on the day.
With a new team it will take players a while to gel and get to know one another and also play the way Driver and his coaching staff want Iron to perform. Despite the outcome, this was still a commendable performance bearing in mind a month ago Iron had few players signed.
"It was disappointing that after such a tremendous first half we never reached the same heights in the second half," Driver declared afterwards. "But with time and patience we will get better and even from this game there we can take many positives.
"Had we taken that clear first half scoring chance it would have been a different game and different outcome," he continued. "The midfield didn't work as hard and close down in the second half as they did in the first and it's something we have to instil in all the players that you have to do it for 90 minutes and not 45 minutes."
He added: "You can't afford to give players at this level time and space or you will get punished as we did in that second period. But it's work in progress and whilst the youngsters did well obviously we need to bring in a couple with the kind of experience that Josh and Michael have at this level because they make such a big difference at the back in this game."
Braintree Town: Johnson; Folarin (62 Mills), Urquhart, Clarke, Saunders; Hutchings, Bonnet-Johnson (64 Banton),Manesio, Cole; Richardson (64 Ceruli), Akinwande. Unused subs: Clements, Harvey. Attendance: 789.
Next up for the Iron is a home game against Billericay Town on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm.
Match Preview - Saturday 3 August 2019
Vanarama National League South - Bath City v Braintree Town
In 2018/19 Bath City finished 5th in the Vanarama National League South. They made the play-offs losing 1-2 at home to Wealdstone. Overall record: P 42 W 20 D 11 L 11 F 58 A 36 Pts 71. Home: P 21 W 12 D 4 L 5 F 33 A 18 Pts 40. Last 4 home (2018/19): Won 1-0 v Oxford City, Lost 0-3 v St Albans City, Drew 1-1 v Woking, Drew 1-1 v Wealdstone. Top scorers (2018/19): Ross Stearn - 14, Ryan Brunt - 10, Adam Mann - 9. Their manager Jerry Gill was appointed in October 2017. He is an ex-player, playing for them 1990-96. Earlier in his career he played for Birmingham C for five seasons. City had the best defence with only 36 goals conceded all season.
In 2018/19 Braintree Town finished 23rd in the Vanarama National League. Overall record: P46 W11 D8 L27 F 48 A 78 Pts 38. Away: P 23 W 5 D 5 L 13 F 23 A 34 Pts 20. Last 4 away (2018/19): Drew 0-0 v Leyton Orient, Won 0-2 v Maidstone U, Lost 3-1 v Wrexham, Lost 2-1 v Solihull Moors. Top scorers: Mo Bettamer, Reece Grant - 6 Callum Morton, Korrey Henry - 5
Our last visit to Bath was on 21 October 2017 with the teams playing out a 1-1 draw. The home side were awarded a penalty in the second half after a push by Mark Okoye, but Nathan McDonald saved Jarvis's effort down to his left. George Rigg eventually gave the home side the lead on 79 minutes, shooting from distance, his shot appeared to catch the outstretched boot of Luke Allen and looped over McDonald. The Iron equalised 6 minutes later, Frimpong carrying the ball through centre midfield, he fed Bithmoutine on the left and his low cross was met 6 yards out by Oliyide. In stoppage time, goal scorer Rigg was shown a second yellow and given his marching orders for a foul on Roberts. After an unbeaten last month of the season, Iron manager Danny Searle was tempted away to take up the reins at a reprieved Aldershot Town. The Club has turned to former Leiston manager Glen Driver as the Iron attempt to bounce back to the National League for the second time in three seasons. It's a new season, in a new League with a new manager and new players, many of whom are stepping up the League hierarchy. It's a tough opening fixture for the young Iron squad in the Roman city of Bath; let's hope the boys make their own history.
Meet - Tony Kinsella
DOB: 30/10/61 (57) Born: Orsett
Football career: Millwall (x2), Tampa Bay Rowdies, Ipswich T, Enfield, Doncaster Rovers, Chelmsford City
Position: Centre Midfield, 2 Eire U21 caps, also called up to full squad but had to withdraw due to injury.
Likes: Music - Food - Indian
TV/Film - Only Fools and Horses
Social Media - Facebook
Q. Tell me about your footballing career
A. I played in the FA Youth Cup final with Millwall, made my fell debut for them at 17 against Wrexham. I was in the promotion side there under George Graham from League 3 to League 2.
I went to America when Millwall needed to raise some cash, the Tampa manager was Gordon Jago who had been my manager at Millwall. I also played under Bobby Robson at Ipswich, joining them in 1981 (the year Villa won the League)
Q. Who were the best players you played with?
A. I played against George Best in the USA. The best players I played with were at Ipswich, there were some great players there, but I would say Arnold Muhren was the best.
Q. How/why did you get into coaching?
A. I had to retire as a player through injury at 27. So I did my coaching badges, then started out at Colchester United side of excellence, before moving on to Ipswich Town Academy working with Brain Klug
Q. How long have you known Glen and what has he asked you to do in your role?
A. I've known him about 25 years; I had him as a player at Witham. We remained close friends and whenever he's been a manager, he's asked me along to assist him. I do the coaching here.
Q. How have you settled in here?
A. I like it here; it's similar to our time at Leiston. There's not a massive budget and it's a challenge. At Leiston we built a young successful side and hope to do the same here.
Q. It's a new squad that's being built here, how long will it take to get them to gel together?
A. How long's a piece of string? I think it's going to take a good few months to get things in to shape, to get the players knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses. We've had lots of trialists signed and released a few. The club needs a time of stability and a good foundation like we built at Leiston.
Q. You've had a lot of players to look over pre-season, what are you looking for?
A. Young hungry players with good attitudes. Players who are willing to listen and learn.
Q. What have you made of the friendlies?
A. Pre-season with so many comings and goings, I think we've done well to get down to 20 players within a month to choose from. There have been some decent games and hard tests like the Brentford game.
Q. Where do we need to improve before the season starts?
A. We need to settle on a system, work on players in training and let them know what we want from them in the system. The first thing we look for is attitude and work ethic.
Q. With 8 games in August, where would you like/expect us to be?
A. We couldn't have asked for a harder start with three of last season's play-off contenders. If we can consolidate and be in mid table, we will have done well.
Q. What expectations do you have for this team?
A. We want to see players improve.
Q. What challenges do you think this League holds?
A. Many, lots of big clubs with big budgets, but the challenges don't phase us, just enjoy it.
Q. Which games are you looking forward to?
A. The local derbies, big crowds and a good atmosphere.
Q. Which teams do you think will be challenging for promotion?
A. Billericay Town, Bath City both spending in pre-season. Wealdstone and Havant & Waterlooville, Maidstone United.
Q. Where do you think Braintree can finish?
A. With a young squad I'm hoping we can finish mid-table and then build on it.
Q. Any message for the fans?
A. I hope they enjoy the season. We'll put out a team that will give 100%. We may sometimes get found out but the players will work hard for the club.
Driver bolsters Braintree squad
Iron boss adds eight!
Braintree manager Glen Driver completed a busy week by adding eight additional players to his squad.
Forward Jason Banton joins from Truro City, where he spent last season on loan from Torquay United. The 27 year old forward/winger was an England under-17 international and had a number of clubs as a young player, spending time at Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool and Leicester City, before making his debut in the Football League at Burton Albion in October 2011. He signed with Crystal Palace in 2012, and was loaned out to Plymouth Argyle and Milton Keynes Dons before joining Plymouth permanently in January 2014. He signed with Wycombe Wanderers in June 2015, and spent a brief time on loan at Hartlepool United. On 13 February 2016 he signed for Notts County until the end of the 2015-16 season, he was released by Notts at the end of the season and signed for Crawley Town, subsequently going on loan to Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle. At the end of the 2016-17 season Banton was released by Crawley and joined National League Woking. On 20 June 2018 he joined Gary Owers' National League South challengers Torquay United and had loan spells last season at St. Albans City and Dulwich Hamlet.
Femi Akinwande joins the Club from Concord Rangers. The 23-year old striker spent nine years with the Millwall academy before joining Dartford in 2013. After having trials for Brentford and Crystal Palace, Akinwande signed for Fisher in January 2015. He then moved to Maldon & Tiptree for the 2015-16 season, and after 12 goals in 18 appearances, he joined Colchester United's Academy on a development contract until the end of the season. He made his professional Football League debut in March 2016. He later joined Bishop's Stortford, made a return to Maldon & Tiptree, and played for East Thurrock United on loan in the 2016-17 season. He was released by Colchester in May 2017 and returned to East Thurrock before moving on to Concord Rangers.
Michael Clark has re-joined the Club after spending last season at Concord Rangers. The centreA centre half who will be 22 in September, captained the Leyton Orient youth team during the 2015-16 campaign. In his first season as a pro, Clark was sent on loan to East Thurrock United at the start of the 2016-17 season, making 33 appearances in all competitions and scoring four goals. Clark was recalled from his loan and drafted into the Leyton Orient first team squad in February 2017, and made his debut as a second-half substitute for Tom Parkes in the 1-0 league defeat at home to Cheltenham Town on 25 February 2017. A second loan spell at East Thurrock was announced in December 2017, before Clark agreed to switch to Cressing Road last summer.
Ollie Saunders joins the Club from Grimsby Town, where he joined as part of the Club's 2017 intake of youth players. At home as either a left back or on the left side of midfield, Ollie is nineteen in November and has impressed manager Glen Driver with some assured performances in pre-season.
Adam Mills started his career as a youngster with Needham Market before joining both Maldon & Tiptree and Sudbury. A mobile wide player, Adam then rejoined Needham two years ago before training with Braintree during pe-season. The 22-year old winger/striker is another to have impressed Glen Driver with his performances in the friendlies.
Josh Urquhart has joined the Club from Billericay Town, having previously been with Wealdstone - who he left in the summer of 2018. Josh made over 50 appearances for the club and lifted the Essex Senior Cup, Isthmian League Cup and Isthmian League title. Although he prefers a midfield role, Josh successfully played in a full back role for much of last season. The 28-year old has also played for St. Albans City, East Thurrock and Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Emmanuel Folarin has signed for the club from neighbours Coggeshall Town. The 27-year old defender has also had spells with Tilbury, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and Hayes & Yeading.
Charley Barker is a twenty-year old midfielder who has joined the Club from Isthmian League Premier Division side Haringey Borough, where he was a regular in the North London's successful side. Prior to his spell at White Hart Lane, Charley started his career at Leyton Orient, before spending time at Cheltenham Town.
Vanarama National League South fan preview
Braintree season ticket holder Vaughan Creer has all the answers!
League sponsors Vanarama have been getting the fans' perspective ahead of the new season - which kicks off this Saturday ...
We're nearly there - the new season is upon us - what have Braintree fans got to look forward to?
When Glen Driver was appointed, he exclaimed his desire to bring a positive footballing philosophy and a bracket of entertaining football, and many players have expressed their excitement to play under Glen. This certainly will be something to look forward to for us fans.
New manager, new players and a new division. How do the fans feel the new-look Iron are taking shape?
It's hard to tell at the moment, with our pre-season outings consisting of many trialists, however a lot of players seem to bond well with their team-mates and their manager. Players like Trey Charles, Tom Richardson and Michael Johnson have already played well and will look to carry this form on to the season.
What's been his best bit of business this summer?
I would say Tom Richardson is a fantastic addition to our squad. With four goals already in pre-season, he's impressed everyone after coming up from a lower division. I admire his desire to work as hard as he can in pressured situations.
Who will be your one to watch coming August 3?
Our one to watch has to be Alfie Cerulli, our only player from last season who has signed on for this year. He's a young striker who played five times last season, coming on as a substitute he scored two goals against Gateshead and Dagenham, and we hope his goals will start to tally up when the season begins. One of our own, as they say.
Who are the other sides to watch out for and could be in the promotion mix?
A real threat for promotion this year will be Billericay Town, if Glenn Tamplin continues to give them significant financial boosts and signing top-tier players, they will most definitely be looking to go up this year.
What away day can't you wait for?
I'm looking forward to visiting Dartford's Princes Park this year, as they are renowned for their well-kept ground. I'm hoping we can recreate some memories of the play-off semi-final from two years back.
And what game would you like to win more than any other?
Obviously it's Chelmsford City. Two years ago when we played each other, both fixtures ended in a 2-2 draw, so hopefully we'll come out on top this year.
What opposition player would you most like to see in your side - and what makes him so good?
Billy Crook would be great to have back, a creative midfielder who could get forward and defend, plus a calm penalty taker also.
Vanarama, the leading van leasing brand in the UK, have recently launched the National League Club Reward Scheme to help fans back their club's budget. Every time a fan takes out a brand new van lease with Vanarama or a brand new car lease with Motorama their club will earn £100 and you will receive £30 cashback.
Second best after break in final friendly
King's Lynn good value for two-goal victory
Iron wrapped up their pre-season friendlies losing to newly promoted National League North side King's Lynn at the Cressing Road on Saturday in what was a keenly fought encounter but one that left both managers with food for thought before the league officially kicks off next Saturday.
In a fairly even first half both sides hit each others woodwork twice and there were goal scoring chances at either end with Iron keeper Michael Johnson pulling off a great 18th minute save from Andy Marriott while, up at the other end on the half hour, Tom Richardson came closest to opening the Iron account but when clear on goal he lobbed his shot high over the bar.
Iron's Jason Banton did get the ball into the Lynn net shortly afterwards but the referee penalised him for fouling keeper Alex Street.
The second half belonged to the visitors who upped their game and with the Iron making a total of seven changes during the half the team lost their way with poor passing, slack marking and a lack of cohesion.
So it was no surprise when on 64 minutes former Iron striker Michael Gash picked up a poor pass out of the Iron defence and punished the home side by driving the ball hard and low goalwards which keeper Johnson managed to get a hand to it but couldn't prevent it from going into the net.
Four minutes later the visitors added a second albeit with a slice of luck when a low, right cross from substitute Aaron Jones clipped the back of Iron defender Ollie Saunders diverting the ball past Johnson who was caught wrong-footed.
The visitors continued to control the game and could have scored again while at the other end the Iron's best attempts were from substitutes Alfie Cerulli and Adam Mills who fired first time shots wide of the target.
The result and performance leaves Iron manager Glen Driver and his back room team with some thinking and action before Saturday's opening day match against Bath City.
Braintree Town: Johnson; Osborne (Forest, trialist), Saunders, Hutchings, Gipson; Cole, Bonnet-Johnson, Manesio, Banton; Richardson, Akinwande.
Second half substitutes: Mills, Cerulli, Charles, Osie, Michael-Percil, Harvey, Clements.
Next up is the start of the 2019/2020 National League South season, next Saturday 3rd August, and a trip to Bath City's Twerton Park Stadium, with kick-off at 3pm.
Odd goal in three win at Maldon
Two goals either side on home penalty
Iron returned from Maldon on Tuesday evening with a hard fought win, writes Jon Weaver. Tom Richardson was the first to show, shooting just wide after four minutes from 20 yards. Rob Harvey came closest to scoring in the opening half, finishing an intricate move with a flick that rolled just past the upright. The home side created several openings, with Michael Johnson coming to their rescue with several fine saves.
Braintree made six changes at the break and the second half began with a goalless draw looking the most likely outcome. Maldon came closest when Johnson saved twice in quick succession, while at the other end Cerulli and Michael-Percil both spurned one on one opportunities.
After 67 minutes Michael-Percil played in Cerulli. His shot was palmed into the path of Akinwande who headed into the net for Braintree, but was judged to have been offside. Braintree got the breakthrough four minutes later. Ollie Saunders surged down the left wing and drilled a low ball across the goal for Akinwande to convert from close range.
With eight minutes left Iron conceded a needless penalty, which was converted by the home side.
But it only took a minute for Iron to regain their advantage with what turned out to be the winning goal. Akinwande broke through on the right and slid the ball back into the path of Mills who struck the decisive blow.
TEAM: 1 Michael Johnson 2 Harry Osbourne 3 Trey Charles (18 Ollie Saunders) 14 Jermaine Osei (16 Ade Cole) 5 Jake Hutchings 6 Kyran Clements 7 Rob Harvey (20 Roman Michael-Percil) 8 Sean Bonnett-Johnson (16 Sergio Manesio) 9 Tom Richardson (19 Femi Akinwande) 10 Tom Murphy (12 Adam Mills) 11 Jason Banton (17 Alfie Cerulli).
Iron conclude their preparations on Saturday when King's Lynn Town visit the Cressing Road Stadium at 3pm.
Patience rewarded at Bury
Three goal win for Braintree
Roman Michael-Percil appeared in a Braintree shirt for the first time since the 2018 play-off final, as Iron travelled to meet Bury Town in their fifth pre-season fixture, writes Jon Weaver.
Nineteen players were used, although for the first time no new faces were seen. On a warm afternoon, Iron started well and knocked the ball around with purpose, while also cutting out the individual errors that have proved so costly in recent games.
The first chance of the game came after eight minutes. Bury's Ross Crane struck at the far post but his low shot was held by Johnson. Gipson was commanding in the centre of defence until going off injured after 35 minutes and the experienced Jason Banton was busy with probing runs and intelligent passes. Up front clear chances were few and far between and half time arrived with no goals scored.
The remaining seven substitutes all came on at the break and Iron began to get on top. After 52 minutes a poor back pass was pounced on by Alfie Cerulli. As he sped into the penalty area he was closed down by Ollie Fenn and forced to drag his shot agonisingly wide of the upright. Soon after, a sublime through ball from Cerulli set Jermaine Osie up but his low effort was saved by Norwich City loanee keeper, Daniel Barden.
A goal was coming and it duly arrived on the hour. Ade Cole delivered an accurate low cross with pace into the danger area, giving Cerulli the simple task of applying the finishing touch, via the underside of the crossbar. Six minutes later Braintree had doubled their lead. Cerulli was again involved, employing neat footwork before setting up Ade Cole to crash the ball into the top corner from outside the box.
With 13 minutes to go the hosts were awarded a penalty. Protests from Iron's Trey Charles earned him the first yellow card of the season. Bury's young substitute in the no. 14 shirt stepped up to take the kick but struck the inside of the post. The ball rebounded to him and his second attempt was saved by Johnson before the second rebound was converted. The officials initially seemed to disallow the goal, and then gave it. Confused spectators watched on as discussions were held before the restart and ultimately the correct decision was made to disallow the goal as the taker had touched the ball twice before any other player had played it.
There was still time for Iron to add a third goal to round off their most satisfying pre-season performance to date. An effort from Cerulli was diverted by Fenn into Aaron Lamont's path and he found the bottom corner of the net from 12 yards.
TEAM FIRST HALF - 1 Michael Johnson 2 Harry Osbourne 3 Ollie Saunders 4 Sergio Manesio 5 Kyran Clements 6 Jayden Gipson (5 George Essuman) 7 Roman Michael-Percil 8 Sean Bonnett-Johnson 9 Tom Richardson 10 Femi Akinwande 11 Jason Banton.
SECOND HALF TEAM - 1 Michael Johnson 2 Harry Osbourne 19 Trey Charles 15 George Essuman (3 Ollie Saunders) 5 Kyran Clements NN - Rob Harvey 16 Ade Cole 12 Aaron Lamont 17 Alfie Cerulli 20 Jermaine Osie 14 Adam Mills.
Next up for Braintree is the short trip to Park Drive this coming Tuesday evening to play Maldon & Tiptree, which kicks off at 7.45pm.
Brentford XI impress against Iron
West London side win 4-0
Iron entertained a young Brentford side at Cressing Road Stadium on Tuesday evening, again fielding a different team in each half. Iron almost scored after 8 minutes when Adams Mills' long range effort was tipped away for a corner by Sheppard in the visitors' goal. The slick moving West Londoners enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and Titon and Onen had tame efforts saved by Johnson.
The opening goal was gifted to the visitors, with Iron losing possession in front of goal and being swiftly punished by a trialist. Two minutes later Onen doubled the score and Iron went in at the interval two down.
Ten changes were made at half time, with Johnson once again the only player to stay on. Braintree restarted purposefully and both Trey Charles and Alfie Cerulli shot just wide from distance. In the 57th minute the ball was given away cheaply in midfield, with Brentford's Onen dribbling into the area and finishing well.
Brentford's Brissell completed the scoring with 17 minutes to go. Iron continued to create chances. Both Akinwande and Cole narrowly missed before a strong run and drive by Cole caused Andersson to pull off a good save.
Next up for Braintree is a trip to Ram Meadow on Saturday to play Bury Town at 3pm.
TEAM FIRST HALF - 1 Michael Johnson 2 Harry Osbourne 3 Charlie Banya 4 Tyler Christian-Law 5 Jake Hutchings 6 Kyron Clements 7 Sean Bonnett-Johnson 8 Aaron Lamont 9 Tom Richardson 10 Adam Mills 11 Jason Banton.
SECOND HALF - 1 Michael Johnson 15 Rob Harvey 18 Ollie Saunders 12 Jayden Gipson 14 George Essuman, Sergio Manesio, 16 Ade Cole 20 Jermaine Osie 17 Alfie Cerulli, Femi Akinwande, 19 Trey Charles.
Braintree all square with West Ham
Mills lob puts Iron ahead before late leveller
Braintree were faced with very strong opposition on Friday night when West Ham United Under 23's visited the Cressing Road Stadium. The majority of the game was played in Braintree's half, with Iron battling well to stay in the game. They actually took the lead in the 15th minute when a clearance from goalkeeper Anang only went as far as Adam Mills on the edge of the penalty area and he coolly lobbed the ball back into the net. Iron's Michael Johnson was kept busy throughout and pulled off several fine saves as his team reached half time still ahead.
West Ham changed their whole team early in the second half and within 15 minutes Braintree had made 8 changes. The one way traffic continued, with Johnson pulling off more saves and wayward finishing on occasions coming to his rescue. The fast moving Premier League youngsters were giving Iron a very hard workout and were carving out chance of chance. It was beginning to look as if Braintree would pull off an unlikely victory but with just three minutes remaining a wayward backpass from Harry Osbourne was picked up by Adarkwa who drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
The game proved to be an excellent challenge for the new Braintree side and in the circumstances they can be very pleased with the 1-1 draw.
TEAM - 1 Michael Johnson, 2 Harry Osbourne, 3 Ollie Saunders, 4 Sean Bonnett-Johnson (12 Jayden Gipson), 5 Jake Hutchings (14 Kyron Clements), 6 George Essuman (18 Ikeche Eze), 7 Sergio Manesio (15 Aaron Lamont), 8 Ade Cole (Jermain Osie), 9 Tom Richardson (17 Alfie Cerulli), 10 Femi Akinwande (19 Trey Charles), 11 Adam Mills (16 Rob Harvey).
Next up for Iron is another pre-season match at home to a Brentford XI this coming Tuesday evening, 16th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Admission to this match is just £5 for adults and £3 for OAPs and U18s.
Iron work hard to match Coggeshall
Richardson scores brace again
Tuesday evening saw a rare first team meeting at Cressing Road between Braintree Town and Coggeshall Town for a pre-season friendly. The last one had been in 1976! As with Saturday's trip to Newmarket Town, Iron once again played a different side in each half. To their credit they kept trying to play out from the back and pass up the pitch but the well-organised Coggeshall side had the better of the opening exchanges.
Coggeshall deserved their 33rd minute lead but when it came there was a touch of good fortune about it. Iron's Ikeche Eze was blatantly pushed over in the build up but referee Rob Whitton allowed play to continue and seconds later Michael Johnson upended Dobson to concede a penalty. Johnson then saved the penalty but the ball ran loose to Allen who returned the ball for Dobson to blast into the net.
Braintree's best move of the half came right on the stroke of half time. A wonderful flowing move presented a golden opportunity for Charley Barker but he scooped his effort high over the bar from the edge of the area.
Only Johnson and an impressive trialist, at right back, stayed on for the second half. Aaron Lamont made his first appearance in midfield after missing the Newmarket game. Within minutes the visitors were 2-0 up when Josh Pollard drilled an effort beyond Johnson's reach. That could have been game over but Iron responded positively. A great run from former Grimsby Town reserve Ollie Saunders set up Tom Richardson to net, but the linesman raised his flag for offside. Richardson had the ball in the back of the net again in the 71st minute and this time it counted. He ran through to meet a bouncing ball and with a well timed lob Iron were back in contention.
Then, with five minutes remaining Rob Harvey broke through the Coggeshall defence and rounded the keeper, only to be hauled over. Tom Richardson emphatically buried the resultant penalty to level the score at 2-2 - arguably a very fair result over the ninety minutes.
BRAINTREE FIRST HALF - 1 Michael Johnson, 2 Jayden Gipson, 3 Joshua Moore, 4 Trialist, 6 Kyron Clements, 7 Toby Aljala, 8 Charley Barker, 9 Alfie Cerulli, 10 Ade Cole, 11 Trey Charles, 15 Trialist.
SECOND HALF - 1 Michael Johnson, 15 Trialist, 5 George Essuman, 19 Jake Hutchings, 18 Ollie Saunders, 12 Rob Harvey, 20 Ikeche Eze, 17 Sergio Manesio (14 Sean Bonnett-Johnson), 16 Aaron Lamont, Tom Richardson, Femi Akinwande.
Next up for Iron is another pre-season match at home to West Ham United Under 23s this coming Friday evening, 12th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Admission to this match is just £10 for adults and £5 for OAPs and U18s.
Iron secure first friendly win
Donald and Richardson brace set up win
The Glen Driver era at Braintree Town got underway at a wet Newmarket Town on Saturday afternoon, writes Jon Weaver. There were a large number of followers from Essex among the 166 crowd, all keen to see Iron's new signings for the first time. Three of them were not in attendance: Jermaine Osai, Aaron Lamont and Roman Michael-Percil. Twenty four players were used, with goalkeeper Michael Johnson the only one to play the whole 90 minutes. A different starting line up began each half. Supporters recognised youngsters Alfie Cerulli, Jayden Gipson and Keiron Smith who all featured in the first team squad at the end of last season. Joel Lamb, Ben Donald, Reuben Akande and Daniel Olusemo all featured for the reserves last season. Eagle eyed supporters also spotted Charley Barker, who had played for Iron last season in the friendlies at Newmarket and at home to Ipswich Town.
The Thurlow Nunn League hosts were the first to show, and the opening exchanges were played out in Braintree's half. Michael Johnson was called into action in the 5th minute, parrying a low drive. Iron went ahead 5 minutes later. A free kick was pumped into the box and centre back Ben Donald was in the right place to stab the ball home. At half time Iron were still 1-0 ahead and had also struck the bar. Sean Bonnett-Johnson and Jayden Gipson had particularly good halves.
Soon after the restart, and multiple changes, Femi Akinwande played a sublime through ball to Tom Richardson, who dinked the ball over the keeper and into the net off the far post. Newmarket stepped up the aggression and were contesting every ball. The physical challenges were more intense than you would expect to see at this stage of the season but represented a good test for Iron, who refused to take the bait. On odd occasions Iron got themselves into trouble by overplaying out from the back, and the crossbar came to their rescue on one occasion. They put the game out of reach when Richardson's neat footwork in the area enabled him to drill home the third goal. In the final minute Newmarket's keeper spilled a long range effort from Trey Charles and then tripped Alfie Cerulli as he closed in on the rebound. However, rather than give a penalty, Cerulli was given offside.
TEAM: FIRST HALF - 1 Michael Johnson, 2 Joshua Moore, 3 Ollie Saunders, 4 Ben Donald, 5 Jayden Gipson, 14 Toby, 7 Reuben Akande (Sub. 12 Kieron Smith), 8 Sean Bonnett-Johnson, 9 Daniel Olusemo, 10 Ade Cole, 11 Rob Harvey.
SECOND HALF - 1 Michael Johnson, 2 Harry Osbourne, 3 Joel Lamb (15 Jake Hutchings), 4 Sergio Manesio, 5 George Essuman, 6 Kyron Clements, 7 Trey Charles, 8 Ikeche Eze, 9 Tom Richardson (14 Alfie Cerulli), 10 Charley Barker, 11 Femi Akinwande.
Next up for Iron is another pre-season match at home to Coggeshall Town this coming Tuesday evening, 9th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Admission to this match is just £5 for adults and £3 for OAPs and U18s.
Two more join the Club
Defender and midfield sign
Braintree Manager Glen Driver has continued his squad building by signing a holding midfielder and a central defender.
25 year old midfielder Sergio Manesio started his career as a member of the Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion's schoolboy and youth academies up to the age of 18. He then moved to North America in the summer of 2013 and started 69 matches for Cleveland State University in four years of his NCAA college career. From February 2017 to November last year he spent two seasons in the United Soccer League playing for Ottawa Fury FC. He returned to the UK in February and made 13 appearances for Hendon and joins Braintree after impressing during pre-season.
Glen was pleased with his latest addition: "Sergio is a modern day holding midfielder. He has many of the attributes needed by a defensive midfielder. A strong powerful holding player who reminds me of the likes of Makelele, Wanyama and Kante!"
25-year old centre half Harry Osbourne started his career as a youngster at Charlton Athletic. He then joined Sutton United in 2014, where he made ten appearances, before moving on to Welling United a year later where he made 24 appearances in two years. He then had spells with both Hemel Hempstead and Bishop's Stortford before joining Merstham last season.
Glen said: "Harry has also caught my eye so far in pre-season and I'm pleased he has decided to join us. He has played at a good standard and at 6'2 is a good size for a centre-half - I think he'll do well for us."
Iron start at Bath City
Iron start their fixtures on Saturday 3rd August with a journey down the M4 to visit Bath City, followed by a Tuesday evening (6th August) home match against Billericay Town.
Holiday fixtures are away (on Boxing Day) and at home (on New Year's Day) against neighbours Chelmsford. We finish with a trip on Saturday 25th April 2020 to the Sussex coast to visit Eastbourne.
In the FA Cup we enter at the Second Qualifying Round stage on Saturday 21st September, while the FA Trophy welcomes Braintree at the Third Qualifying Round stage on Saturday 23rd November.
All fixtures are as follows:
Sat Aug 3 Bath City Away
Tue Aug 6 Billericay Town Home
Sat Aug 10 Wealdstone Home
Tue Aug 13 St. Albans City Away
Sat Aug 17 Eastbourne Borough Home
Sat Aug 24 Dartford Away
Mon Aug 26 Dorking Wanderers Home
Sat Aug 31 Chippenham Town Away
Tue Sep 3 Concord Rangers Away
Sat Sep 7 Dulwich Hamlet Home
Sat Sep 14 Havant & Waterlooville Away
Sat Sep 21 FA Cup 2Q
Sat Sep 28 Oxford City Home
Sat Oct 5
Sat Oct 12 Tonbridge Angels Away
Sat Oct 19 Maidstone United Home
Sat Oct 26 Weymouth Away
Sat Nov 2 Hungerford Town Home
Sat Nov 9 Hemel Hempstead Town Away
Sat Nov 16 Welling United Away
Sat Nov 23 FA Trophy 3Q
Sat Nov 30 Hampton & Richmond B Home
Sat Dec 7 Slough Town Away
Sat Dec 14
Sat Dec 21 Havant & Waterlooville Home
Thu Dec 26 Chelmsford City Away
Sat Dec 28 Concord Rangers Home
Wed Jan 1 Chelmsford City Home
Sat Jan 4 Dulwich Hamlet Away
Sat Jan 11 Tonbridge Angels Home
Sat Jan 18 Oxford City Away
Sat Jan 25 Slough Town Home
Sat Feb 1 Weymouth Home
Sat Feb 8 Maidstone United Away
Sat Feb 15 Hemel Hempstead Town Home
Sat Feb 22 Hungerford Town Away
Sat Feb 29 Bath City Home
Sat Mar 7 Billericay Town Away
Sat Mar 14 St. Albans City Home
Sat Mar 21 Wealdstone Away
Sat Mar 28 Hampton & Richmond B Away
Sat Apr 4 Welling United Home
Fri Apr 10 Dartford Home
Mon Apr 13 Dorking Wanderers Away
Sat Apr 18 Chippenham Town Home
Sat Apr 25 Eastbourne Borough Away
Driver's squad building continues
Two more players and a new physio
Braintree boss Glen Driver has added two more players to his emerging squad and has also added another member to his backroom staff.
Joining the Club is 23-year old striker Jermaine Osei who was duel registered with both Bedford and Wealdstone last season.
Glen said: "I'm pleased to announce that we have signed Jamaine Osie. He previously played for Bishop's Stortford, Hampton & Richmond and Wealdstone and finished last season playing for Bedford Town, where he scored 16 goals in just 24 appearances. Jermaine is a proven goal scorer who likes to get in behind and can also come short to link up play, he will fit into the way we are looking to play and will add more completion."
Jermaine was pleased: "I would just like to say I am delighted to be joining Braintree Town Football Club. Having spoken to Glen on a couple occasions, the ideas he and his management team have and the direction they are looking to take the Club is really refreshing to hear! I just can't wait to get started and show case what I can do because I have unfinished business at this level!"
Also switching to Cressing Road is midfielder Sean Bonnett-Johnson from Potters Bar Town. The 29-year old previously played for St Albans City, Kettering Town, Billericay Town, Dundee, Wealdstone, Kingstonian and Merstham!
Glen was pleased to get Sean signed up: "Sean is a hard-working central midfield player with a good engine and is very strong. He is happy to play in a holding position or in an attacking role."
The forthcoming season will see the Iron players tended to by a new Club physiotherapist - Hannah Travell - who graduated from The University of East London with a Sport Therapy Bsc (hons) Degree and specialises in injury assessment, rehabilitation support as well as sports massage.
Hannah was looking forward to her new role: "I want to thank Glen and Tony for this opportunity and welcoming me into the Club. I am very excited to work alongside the team for the upcoming season. I have worked with Basildon United Football Club who reached promotion to the Bostik League, and last season I worked with Coggeshall United Football Club who finished second in the Thurlow Nunn First Division. Both of which have helped me progress to where I am. I am looking forward to pushing forward within my career and working alongside what is shaping up to be a fantastic team and I am excited to see what's to come this season at Braintree Town Football Club."
Hannah replaces former therapist Tyler Overton and Chairman Lee Harding was quick to thank him for his efforts: "Tyler has worked hard in sometimes awkward circumstances at the Club under a number of different management regimes. We thank him for everything he has done and wish him all the very best for the future."
Centre-half switches to Braintree
Iron squad-building continues
Braintree Manager Glen Driver continued his preparations for the forthcoming season with the addition to the squad of 22-year old centre-half Kyran Clements.
After starting out in the youth ranks at Woodbridge Town, Kyran joined AFC Sudbury in 2014 where he progressed from their development sides into the first team during his first season. He joined Bury Town on a season-long loan during the summer of 2016, and quickly established himself as a member of the Isthmian League North Side. After a successful season, the young centre half made the switch permanent ahead of the 2017/18 campaign. Glen was pleased with his latest addition: "Kyron is another young player who is hungry to push on and excel at this level. He has made great progress and I'm pleased that he has chosen to join us for the coming season."
Winger and 'Keeper coach join Iron
Winger joins from Millwall and Trevor Grace joins as Keeper coach
Iron Manager Glen Driver has continued his squad building with the signing of a winger and has brought in a Goalkeeper coach. Joining the Club is Rob Harvey following his release from Millwall. Rob, who will be 20 in November, started his career at Brightlingsea as a 16-year old, went on to make 65 appearances for them and was part of the side that that got promoted as champions to the Bostik Premier League. Last summer Rob signed a one year professional contract with Millwall. Following his release he has joined us at Braintree.
Glenn was delighted to add Rob to his squad: "He's just left Millwall and is a pacey winger with very good feet. He has an eye for goal and provides many assists. Rob has a really hunger to push on in his career and I'm sure will work hard to reach his targets with us at Braintree."
Rob was just as pleased to sign for the Club: "I'm delighted to have signed for Braintree as I'm looking forward to playing football in the style that Glen and Tony will offer. I also think it will be a good opportunity to showcase my ability at high level of football. I can't wait to get started!"
Glen has also added Trevor Grace to his back room staff as Goalkeeper Coach and Trevor said:
"I want to thank Glen and Tony for the opportunity to join the Club as goalkeeper coach. I'm still fairly young in coaching terms and the chance to work with these guys in the National League was something I couldn't turn down. I've spoken briefly to MJ, who I've heard good things about, I know it was a tough decision for him to leave Hitchin - his hometown club - and you can see from the reaction on social media how highly he was regarded there but he is an ambitious guy which matches that of the management team here and he wants to play at the highest level possible. I'm looking forward to working with him and helping him reach his potential. Roll on next Tuesday!"
Driver adds two more
Midfielder and returning striker
Braintree Manager Glen Driver has continued his preparations for the forthcoming campaign by adding another pair of players to his squad. Having signed on the dotted line for the Club are both midfielder Ade Cole and, returning for next season, striker Alfie Cerulli.
Adeyinka Cole is a former Blackpool Youth player who has also played for Enfield, Romford and Grays. The 24 year old signed for Glen Driver at Leiston three years ago but left in the summer of 2017 because of issues with the travelling all the way up to Suffolk from East London.
Glen said: "Ade is a talented holding midfielder who was with me at Leiston, having switched from Grays Athletic in December 2016. His work rate both on and off the ball is as good as I've seen anywhere. Another good signing for us and I look forward to working with him and can't wait to see him in a Braintree shirt."
Alfie Cerulli was a product of the Club's Academy system and graduated to the first team squad at the end of last season via the Witham first team where the 18-year old played nineteen games.
Glen said: "I've heard only good things about Alfie, who seemed to explode into the first team at the end of last season - scoring twice in the Club's last five matches. He's certainly got something about him and now he's got a real chance to prove himself as a regular in the first team."
Roman Michael-Percil returns
Glen Driver brings back winger
Iron boss Glen Driver continued his squad building by adding Roman Michael-Percil to his first team squad for the forthcoming campaign. It will be the second time that the right winger has been at Cressing Road - having been a key part of Brad Quinton's squad two years ago.
Prior to that, Roman had spells at Tottenham, Billericay Town, Farnborough Town, Met. Police and Dulwich Hamlet. Following promotion via the play-offs twelve months ago, Roman left Cressing Road to join National League South sides St. Albans City and East Thurrock United before switching - in the new year - to Isthmian Leaguers Merstham, where he reached the Isthmian League Play-off Final.
Glen was pleased to welcome Roman back to the Club: "I know he did well here as part of the side that won the play-offs and he reached a play-off final again last season with Merstham in the Isthmian League. Records show that he played 39 games and scored four goals here two years ago. Now 24, two years older and wiser, he's mobile and likes to get forward - we all know what we're getting!"
Driver adds to his staff
Welcome to Ian McCormack
Manager Glen Driver has strengthened his staff with the appointment of Ian McCormack: "I'm pleased to announce that Ian McCormack has agreed to join our backroom staff. Ian, who worked with us at Leiston, will work closely with myself and Tony both on match days and training nights; he will also be helping us with player recruiting and scouting players and opposition teams.
He has great knowledge of the game and will continue to help us grow as a management team. He has been working within the Ipswich Town Academy scouting for young talent and watching games, also working as a scout for non league. Welcome to Braintree Town FC!"
FIFTH RECRUIT FOR DRIVER
Attacking midfield comes to Cressing Road
Iron boss Glen Driver has continued his squad building with the capture of 23-year old midfielder Aaron Lamont.
A product of the Queens Park Rangers Academy, Aaron was in the Truro side that made the National League South play offs and reached the 1st round proper of the FA Cup during 2017-2018 season. After leaving Truro, he had a spell last season with National League South side Hampton and Richmond Borough before joining Bostik Premier side Kingstonian - making a positive impact on the squad.
Glen was pleased with his latest addition: "He is a very popular central attacking midfield player with an eye for goal. I'm so pleased that Aaron has agreed to join us: he is a player I have watched closely and a player who fits into the way we will be playing. I'm sure he will soon become a fans favourite with his work rate and ability both on and off the ball."
DRIVER CONTINUES TO BUILD HIS SQUAD
Keeper and winger sign up
New Iron Gaffer Glen Driver continued his squad building by signing both an experienced goalkeeper and a pacey winger.
Goalkeeper Michael Johnson joins from Hitchin Town, where he made over 150 appearances for the Southern League Premier outfit. Nicknamed 'MJ', he was previously with Stotfold, making 48 outings before joining Hitchin Town in 2014. He subsequently made the number one shirt his own and became a real fans' favourite due to his impressive performances, playing 60 and then 55 games in all competitions in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.
Glen was pleased with his signing: "MJ helped them reach the FA Cup First Round for the first time in 23 years in 2018 in a run that saw him save numerous penalties in the competition. His penalty save at Leatherhead in the Fourth Qualifying Round replay when Hitchin were trailing 0-1 started the comeback as they went on to win 2-1 in extra-time. His heroics came after he saved three penalties at Didcot Town in the Second Qualifying Round to earn a penalty shootout victory that booked a Third Round clash against Hastings United. I'm confident he'll do well for us."
Left-footed winger Trey Charles, who can play on either flank, joins from Isthmian League South side Northwood. Formerly with Luton Town as a youngster, Charles made his senior debut at St Albans City during the 2012-13 campaign and went on to play for Stotfold, Arlesey Town, Bedford Town, Colney Heath and Leverstock Green before joining Hitchin Town in the summer of 2017.
The Iron boss was excited about Charles's prospects: "Trey did really well two years ago for Hitchin Town, scoring 12 goals in his first season - including a Boxing Day hat-trick! Having done so well at Top Field, I thought he'd got himself a deal at a big Scottish club in the summer of 2018, but the deal fell through and he then moved on to Northwood last season, where he scored four in 17. He'll enjoy the step up to the National League."
DRIVER ADDS TWO
Forward and defender sign up
New Iron Manager Glen Driver has started work on building his squad for the forthcoming Vanarama National League campaign. First to join the Iron squad are a forward and a central defender.
Centre forward Tom Richardson started his career at Romford and then Brentwood before scoring 31 goals for Brightlingsea during season 2016/17. The 25-year old striker then had a spell at East Thurrock before moving on to Bostik North Division runners up Aveley where he scored 23 goals last season.
Glen was pleased that Tom had signed for the Club: "As you can see, Tom scores goals and is hungry to play at the highest level he can. He is a very hard working and strong centre forward. He is very good in the air and will cause defenders a lot of problems."
Centre half Jake Hutchings is a product of Leyton Orient's youth academy, who followed Martin Ling to Torquay United. Jake was offered a professional contract at the age of just 17. The 23-year old then moved north to Scottish Premier club Hearts of Midlothian, before spells at Grays Athletic, Leiston, and Mertsham.
Glen was delighted with his second signing: "Jake played a big part in the Merstham team that reached the Boston Premier Play off final last season. I know all about him. He played for me a couple of seasons ago at Leiston, swiftly settled into the squad and showed his talent from the outset with some dominant displays. Unfortunately changes to his personal circumstances meant that the commute to Leiston from his new base in Hertfordshire increased significantly. He was a very good signing for me and I am looking forward to seeing him develop in a Braintree shirt. He is young and hungry to progress and a very good ball player and defender. Both on and off the pitch Jake is a very professional young man, always looking to listen and learn."
Glen Driver joins Iron on D-Day
"We'll work hard for you all and give you 100%"
Braintree Town Football Club have appointed their new manager. Joining the Club is Glen Driver who spent the last three seasons as manager of Leiston, the first two in the Isthmian League Premier Division and then, following a lateral transfer last season, in the Southern League Premier Division.
In his first season Glen's Leiston side missed out on a play-off place by just two points, but made up for that at the end of 2017/2018 by securing a play-off place for promotion to the National League South, where they lost in the semi-finals by the only goal at Dulwich Hamlet.
Last season Glen again made a successful start, with Leiston challenging for a play-off place before he decided to step down from his role after the Suffolk club advised him that it was not geared for promotion and he therefore felt he had taken the club as far as he could.
Glen will be joined at Braintree by First Team Coach Tony Kinsella, who played the game for Millwall (twice), Tampa Bay Rowdies, Ipswich Town and Doncaster Rovers over a ten year period before working for the Colchester United School of Excellence and Ipswich Town's Academy.
Chairman Lee Harding was pleased with the Club's appointment: "Once again we have been spoilt with the calibre of applicants. All of those on our short-list were very able and have had success, but we were impressed with Glen's footballing philosophy. He has an excellent network of contacts in the game at our level and is also keen to work with the Club as we build for the future. I am confident that he will play a pivotal role in working with our new youth sides to provide a link for those up and coming players to progress into the first team squad."
Glen was looking forward to the opportunity: "Really looking forward to it and I'm meeting players from tomorrow onwards. We've got two weeks of tough pre-season training before we get stuck into the pre-season matches. I'm also keen to meet the supporters. I'm not going to make outrageous promises other than we'll work hard for you all and give you 100%."
Seventh pre-season fixture confirmed
Iron to visit Ram Meadow
Braintree Town will send the first team squad to play old friends Bury Town on Saturday, 20th July, with kick-off at 3pm.
Sixth pre-season fixture confirmed
Iron to host Premier League side
Iron will host West Ham United's Under 23 side on Friday, 12th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Fifth pre-season fixture agreed
Iron to visit Bostik North side in late July
Braintree Town have agreed to send the first team squad to visit our friends at Bostik North side Maldon & Tiptree on Tuesday, 23rd July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. The Park Drive club enjoyed a fine 2018-2019, finishing third in the Bostik North table and reached the end of season promotion play-offs.
Fourth pre-season fixture agreed
Neighbours to visit on 9th July
Braintree Town have invited near-neighbours Coggeshall Town to visit Cressing Road on Tuesday, 9th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. This match is the return of the pre-season game at Coggeshall in 2018.
The Club have now received confirmation of the fixture against an under 23 side of a London Premiership club on Friday 12th July. Details of this match will be released on Friday.
Sadly, the visit of a Sky Bet League One side to Cressing Road on Saturday, 20th July has been cancelled. More news on a replacement fixture when we have it!
Third pre-season fixture agreed
Brentford XI to visit in mid-July
Braintree Town have agreed their third pre-season match. We will entertain a Brentford XI on Tuesday, 16th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. We await conformation on the fixtures against an under 23 side of a London Premiership club on Friday 12th July and a Sky Bet League One side at Cressing Road on Saturday, 20th July. More news when we have it!
Killip moves on to Hartlepool