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John Brough appointed First Team Manager

Interview from Jon Palmer at www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk

John Brough says he is feeling refreshed and ready to propel Cirencester Town up the Southern League Division One South table.

The former Cheltenham Town defender was officially appointed on Wednesday and will meet his squad and staff at his first training session on Thursday night.

He spent last season coaching at Hellenic League club Lydney Town and has taken a total break from football during the early part of this term.

But he has now accepted a job he wishes he had taken when it was first offered to him three years ago.

"I've had a complete break of four or five months and I have enjoyed it to be honest, but it's in your blood and I have that hunger to get going again now," Brough said. "There were only a couple of jobs that would have interested me and Cirencester was one, but I hadn't given it much thought as Charlie (Griffin) was in position. But as soon as he left I made contact with the chairman (Steve Abbley) and it went from there."

Brough was initially targeted by Abbley in 2016, following the sacking of Brian Hughes, who left the club in the Premier Division of the Southern League. But Brough was manager of North Leigh at the time and after initially saying yes, he had a late change of heart and remained at the Oxfordshire club.

"I stayed through loyalty really, but with hindsight I made a mistake," he said. "When the opportunity to speak to Steve arose again I jumped at the chance and not much has changed since we last spoke, apart from then the club were trying to stay in the Premier Division, while now they are trying to get back there and they also have a new 3G pitch."

Brough, who runs his own landscape gardening business, has a Southern League Division One South title on his CV, having led Cinderford Town to their first promotion to the Premier Division in 2015/16.

He sees some similarities between the two Gloucestershire clubs, but cites Cirencester's top class facilities as major bonus.

"The fan base is probably not too dissimilar, but Cirencester have a pitch and dome that are rented out 80 hours a week, providing revenue, not just for the first team but for the academy too," he said. "That was a big draw for me, the training facilities, and taking everything into consideration the club should be a lot higher than it is. Hopefully I can play a part in getting them back to where they feel they should be."

Brough has already spoken at length to James Mortimer-Jones, who has been acting as caretaker boss and will be staying on as player/assistant manager.

"Jonah was always going to be in my plans and it's important to have that link between the players and staff," he said. "I'll be picking his brains and it's an added bonus that he can still do a job in the centre of midfield. The rest of the backroom staff are already in place and I don't envisage any changes."

One of Brough's first challenges is to keep the squad together, with four or five players already the subject of seven day notices of approach from rival clubs.

"It always happens when a manager leaves, with other clubs coming in," he said. "I will speak to the players on Thursday and see where we are, but they'll all get a fair crack of the whip and hopefully they'll want to stay and fight for a shirt. We need to start improving because 15th in the table isn't good enough."

Brough has previously worked with the likes of goalkeeper Lewis Clayton and defender Will Wellon at North Leigh, while he knows Michael Pook from his time at Cheltenham.

Pook is suspended for the next two games, but Brough has asked him to help out from the sidelines and the experienced former Swindon Town midfielder has agreed to do so.

"I know a lot of the lads from either working with them before, or from past encounters," 46-year-old Brough said. We have six league games between now and January 4 and I will be targeting at least double figures in terms of points from the 18 available. Thursday will be a meet and greet really and then it's all about preparing for Slimbridge away on Saturday and that will be tough as they are one of hardest working teams in the division.

"I'd like to thank Cirencester and Steve for the opportunity and I can't wait to get started."

This entry was posted on 05 December 2019 at 14:20 and is filed under First Team | Miscellaneous. You can leave a response here.

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