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."

Fixtures 2019/2020
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
England keeper move will require compensation
Braintree Town have been notified by Hartlepool United of their intention to sign our former England C international goalkeeper Ben Killip for next season. In his time at Braintree, Ben played forty first team matches, keeping ten clean sheets and also made two England appearances against Estonia in October and against Wales in March.
Chairman Lee Harding said: "Ben had a great season, and progressed with us to become an England international. We invited him to remain with us for next season, but understand the attraction of the opportunity offered by Hartlepool United and others. We wish him well for the future."
The player was subject to an offer of re-engagement by the Club and the two clubs will need to agree or attend a Football Association tribunal to set appropriate compensation.

Braintree deducted three points by League
Iron field an ineligible player in a National League match
The National League Board has deducted three points from Braintree Town for fielding an ineligible player in a National League match earlier this season. The Club admitted the charge and was found guilty of a breach of Rule 6.9 for a player participating in the fixture against AFC Fylde after the expiration of a Short Term Loan registration of Aaron Eyoma from Derby County.
It was determined that the points gained from the match were to be deducted from the club's record. The National League table has been amended accordingly.
The player was included in the Braintree side for the match on 13 April against AFC Fylde. Unfortunately, no extension to the previous loan arrangement had been sought or obtained. Braintree Town therefore admitted the charge.
In mitigation to both The FA and National League, our then First Team Manager Danny Searle advised Club officials that the loan of the player was to be through to the end of the playing season, but that information was not included in the forms that were produced by Derby County and submitted by Braintree Town.
This would normally have been spotted by either our Club Secretary Tom Woodley or Chairman Lee Harding and a loan extension requested, but this did not happen as Tom Woodley was unavailable through injury incurred in the days before the match and the Chairman was away on business. Our then First Team Manager's mitigation was also supported by Derby County FC. Chairman Lee Harding commented: "We apologised to both The FA and our League and new arrangements have now been introduced to ensure that a loan player can not, in future, be included in our side unless a check is made on their eligibility."

Season Ticket Discount Deadline This Saturday
Big Iron discounts are offered for season tickets purchased on or before 1 June 2019
Don't forget that the Club have agreed their match day and season tickets pricing for next season. Following the Club's return to non-League football's second tier, prices have been cut.
Big Iron 'early bird' discounts are offered for season tickets purchased on or before Saturday 1 June 2019. Adult and concession season tickets bought on or before Saturday 1 June allow supporters to sit or stand and receive five games free of charge, while an under 18 season tickets offer an incredible thirteen games free! A new initiative for the coming campaign is the introduction of a new season ticket for our younger supporters - Under 12 - provided with entry for just 21 - just a pound a game! Season ticket prices for next season, purchased by Saturday 1st June, are as follows:
ADULT - 240 (21 for the price of 16 or just 11.43 a match)
CONCESSIONS - 160 (21 for the price of 16 or just 7.62 a match)
UNDER 18s - 40 (21 for the price of 8 or just 1.90 a match!)
UNDER 12s - 21 (21 for the price of 1 a game!)

For more details on match and season tickets - see the article below.

Second friendly match confirmed
Braintree welcome North side in season dress rehersal
Braintree Town have confirmed their second pre-season friendly match and will entertain National League North side King's Lynn Town at Cressing Road on Saturday, 27th July 2019, with kick-off at 3pm. The Walks club secured an impressive promotion from the Southern League last season via three play-off matches, scoring nine goals in a week!

Danny Searle resigns
Iron boss steps down after four months in charge
Manager Danny Searle has this afternoon notified the Board of his decision to step down as First Team Manager with immediate effect.
Danny stepped up to the Manager's role following the departure of former boss Hakan Hayrettin in January and guided the Club away from the foot of the table to 22nd position, with six wins and a draw from 16 games. Those games in charge included notable wins against both National League Promotion Finalists Salford City and AFC Fylde and the Club secured a fine draw at champions Leyton Orient on the last day of the season.
Chairman Lee Harding was disappointed: "I'd like to thank Danny for his four months at the Club - he gave it his best shot and some of the results and performances will live long in the memory. Danny will always be welcome and we wish him the best of luck in his new role."
Following his departure Danny said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board for the opportunity and support throughout my time with the Club. I wish you the very best for the future and will help in anyway possible to ensure a smooth transition."
The Club will now begin their search for a replacement with immediate effect and will be advertising the vacancy later today.

Iron receive provisional allocation to National South
Subject to any appeals and ratification at the League's AGM
Braintree Town Football Club have now received notification of the Provisional Step 1 to 4 Club Allocations for 2019-20 season from The FA.
Apparently, there was a Sub-Committee meeting of The FA's Alliance Committee held on Monday 13 May 2019, where the provisional Club Allocations for Steps 1 to 4 of the National League System were confirmed.
The provisional allocation is that Braintree Town are allocated to the National League South Division.
However, The FA have also advised that any appeals as to the allocation to a League/division can be made within 7 days. So we await further confirmation on the outcome of any appeals from The FA in due course.

Playing budget and first friendly agreed
Champions League Final live in Clubhouse
BUDGET AGREED & PLAYER NEWS - Next season's playing budget has now been agreed by the Club's Board of Directors. Offers of re-engagement have been made to England international goalkeeper Ben Killip and free-scoring Mo Sagaf. A number of other players have been invited back for pre-season, which starts at the end of June. Players that were on loan with the Club towards the end of last season have returned to their clubs and we thank then for their time and efforts at Cressing Road. News on player signings when we have it!

NORTH OR SOUTH? - A decision on which National League division the Club will play in will be made at the League's Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 8th June.

THE FRIENDLIES - The Club have agreed to send the first team squad to Thurlow-Nunn League Premier Division side Newmarket Town on Saturday 6th July for an opening pre-season friendly. The Club have also agreed to host the Under 23 side of a London Premiership club on Friday 12th July and have invited Sky Bet League One side to Cressing Road for a friendly match on Saturday, 20th July. Both games subject to further confirmation - more news when we have it!

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ON SATURDAY 1ST JUNE - The Iron Clubhouse will be open for a European Champions League Final night on Saturday 1st June, with the Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur match live on the big screens from 8pm. More news on discounted beer prices and food to follow!

WORK PARTIES - A number of stadium work parties are being organised over the summer - for more details see the Club's social media, or speak with Vic Dixon or Matt Hawtin.

SEASON TICKET EARLY BIRD DEADLINE LOOMS - Finally, don't forget that the Club have agreed their match day and season tickets pricing for next season. Following the Club's return to non-League football's second tier, prices have been cut.
Big Iron 'early bird' discounts are offered for season tickets purchased on or before Saturday 1 June 2019. Adult and concession season tickets bought on or before Saturday 1 June allow supporters to sit or stand and receive five games free of charge, while an under 18 season tickets offer an incredible thirteen games free! A new initiative for the coming campaign is the introduction of a new season ticket for our younger supporters - Under 12 - provided with entry for just 21 - just a pound a game! Season ticket prices for next season, purchased by Saturday 1st June, are as follows:
ADULT - 240 (21 for the price of 16 or just 11.43 a match)
CONCESSIONS - 160 (21 for the price of 16 or just 7.62 a match)
UNDER 18s - 40 (21 for the price of 8 or just 1.90 a match!)
UNDER 12s - 21 (21 for the price of 1 a game!)

For more details on match and season tickets - see the article below.

Iron hold the champions
Goal-less draw very much a parting of the ways
Braintree concluded their season with a creditable goal-less draw at champions Leyton Orient.
For Braintree the match was very much a parting of the ways. Despite the best efforts of Brad Quinton, Hakan Hayrettin and Danny Searle, O's go up and Iron are relegated again, hopefully to re-group as we did just two years ago.
The home side started on the front foot and Braintree's cause wasn't helped by the seventh minute loss of Rob Atkinson with what looked to be a hamstring pull.
But Iron weathered the early pressure and kept Orient at bay until the interval. With title rivals Salford leading at half-time, the second half saw a more cautious and tense approach from the home side, until news started to filter through to Brisbane Road that Salford had conceded and then again to trail 2-1.
Mcauley Bonne thought he had scored the opener on 59 minutes but his effort was ruled out for offside. Iron also had their chances with an Oscar Borg cross skipping across the home six yard box for the waiting Andrew Eleftheriou, but O's keeper Dean Brill was equal to his effort. Mo Sagaf also tried his luck late on, but neither side could unlock the other and the celebrations started for the home side at the final whistle.
Braintree Town: Killip, Eleftheriou, James, Richards, Matsuzaka, Lyons-Foster, Atkinson (Borg 7), Karic, Allen (Cerulli 78), Sagaf, Henry. Subs not used: Gibson, Temple, Eze. Referee: Josh Smith Attendance: 8,241.



Forthcoming Fixtures

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 7.45pm
Maldon & Tiptree (Away)
Saturday, 27th July 2019, 3pm
KING'S LYNN TOWN (Home)
Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 3pm
Bath City (Away)
Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 7.45pm
BILLERICAY TOWN (Home)

HOW WE STAND