TT Opposition Q&A – Bromley FC by James Tanner

TT OPPOSITION Q&A

Michael Cheek finished as our top goal-scorer last season, and he has looked in fine form during pre-season

JT

Media man James Tanner talks about Bromley FC

Hi James, what’s your role at the club and how long have you been doing it? 

I am the Media & Marketing Officer at Bromley Football Club and this is the first full season I’ll be in the role. I had been at the Club on a volunteer basis during my Sixth Form and University studies before joining the staff full-time.

So how’s the club coped with this crazy year?

The Club has survived through the pandemic through significant backing from our Chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves. Robin has been very vocal through statements on our website, and the support and response from our supporters and sponsors has been incredible to see. It has certainly been a crazy year, but the fact that we are now talking ahead of a League fixture at Hayes Lane is something I didn’t expect to happen anytime soon! The Club, like others up and down the country, will continue to face hardships. We can only hope that the season is able to run in full and that supporters can be welcomed back into stadiums as soon as possible. 

What’s the expectations heading into the season? 

I think the aim is once again to make the play-offs. This was the aim last year and who knows if that would have been achieved! Play-offs is certainly the minimum aim, it is going to be a very uncertain season but I know Bromley fans would love to be finishing this campaign with a play-off journey.

What signings did Bromley make prior to season start? 

Plenty to say the least! It was a summer of change with some long serving players departing Hayes Lane including Sam Wood, Adam Mekki and Jordan Higgs. Joining the Club are; Liam Trotter, Kory Roberts, Byron Webster, James Alabi, Tom Purrington, Ben Allen, Jude Arthurs and Taylor Maloney. Also joining the club on loan from Watford is winger Harry Forster. And we have also seen the return of Reeco Hackett on loan from Portsmouth, having been sold to the south coast Club in January.

Who are your key players and why? 

Michael Cheek finished as our top goal-scorer last season, and he has looked in fine form during pre-season. Our number 9 also scored twice in the 4-1 win over Dover Athletic on Tuesday, so he will certainly be one to look out for. Harry Forster has also hit the ground running since joining on loan from Watford during pre-season. His direct play has already caught the eye of our supporters, and I have to say his pace is quite something. 

You had a comfortable win on Tuesday, what was the key to the 3 points? 

I would actually argue and say that the match itself wasn’t comfortable until the fourth goal went in. Dover were coming off the back of a 1-0 win at home to Notts County and with the added incentive of a Kent derby win at stake it was always going to be a battle. Dover started 3-5-2 with Bromley set up in a similar formation, and the away side had the better of the play in the opening 20 minutes. Bromley were made to work for it, all four goals came from high work rate and determination to force mistakes. That’s a good sign early on in the season and it would have no doubt filled the squad with confidence going into Saturday’s match with Torquay United. 

Who is the gaffer and what kind of tactics does he utilise? 

Neil Smith has entered his fifth full season as manager at the Club, having been assistant manager for five years prior to him taking over from Mark Goldberg in 2016. Smudger has looked at a few different systems during pre-season which is a testament to his new acquisitions and their versatility. One example being the signing of Kory Roberts who, for much of his career has played a centre-back, but has recently taken on left wing-back and has excelled! 

How challenging has it been preparing the live stream?

Plenty of challenges but what has been really great is that a number of clubs from around the National League have been really open in their experiences, and I feel that as a club we have been too. There was always going to be initial problems. But, I think after experiences from Tuesday night, and other clubs’ feedback, we are in a great position to provide a top quality production on Saturday. We are putting a huge amount of effort and investment into the stream, we have partnered up with AdVision TV who have installed four cameras inside the Stadium for the game. We will also have a 30-minute pre-match show, live in-game commentary, replays just to name a few features. We would love to have as many Torquay fans as possible joining us for the stream, the best place to find all the details is on our website and I’m sure Torquay will also help promote the link for us too. 

Which teams do you think will be challenging for promotion? 

Stockport County were putting themselves out there with their signings during pre-season, but of course that caused no problems for Torquay last weekend! I do think Stockport will challenge and it’s hard to rule out Notts County as well. Eastleigh have also started the season brightly and are the form side going into this weekend. 

And finally, just the mention of an artificial pitch makes me nervous! What do you think the score will be on Saturday?

Hard to put a score-line on it, especially with the results that the two clubs have played out in recent years. One thing I hope we can guarantee though is goals. A 3-3 result at Hayes Lane last year was heavily assisted by the wind if I remember rightly! Eight matches between the two sides since the FA Trophy tie in 2015, and there have been 32 goals scored across them. I’ll go for a score draw.

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I simply live and breathe Football and have supported Torquay United since 1989. I am a season ticket holder on Bristows and a Trust member. I set up TorquayTalk in 2017 to give true supporters a voice and honest opinions on their club.

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