Biggleswade Town assistant Brett Donnelly insists play-offs are minimum requirement

PUBLISHED: 17:39 26 June 2018

Brett Donnelly celebrates scoring for former club Hitchin Town. CREDIT PETER ELSE

Brett Donnelly celebrates scoring for former club Hitchin Town. CREDIT PETER ELSE

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Bullish Biggleswade Town assistant manager Brett Donnelly has issued a rallying cry insisting he is aiming for a play-offs berth as a minimum requirement in his first season in the Langford Road dugout.

The former Hitchin Town striker re-joined the Waders as Lee Allinson’s first signing this summer, in a player/assistant manager role.

Allinson and Donnelly - who were key players in the Waders 2013-14 play-off triumph - were joined by Charlie Merson, Eddie McLoughlin and Ian Brown to form a management team who are hungry to catapult the side up the Evo-Stik Southern League Central table.

Speaking to CometSport ahead of the refreshed Waders squad’s first training session on Saturday, Donnelly said: “We realised we needed a whole new side and we’ve been quite lucky, very few players turned us down.

“The management team have met up four or five times to talk about what we want for the season and everyone’s the same. Everyone’s looking at play-offs minimum. A nice FA Cup run is what I want too.

“We’re all different characters but want the same thing, it’s a nice mix.

“I can’t wait for Saturday. It’ll be like the first day at school all over again. Exciting times”

There have been eight talented new players announced at the Waders, with just five re-signing from the squad of legendary boss Chris Nunn last season.

They face 10 pre-season matches next month, including fixtures against step-two sides St Albans City, Hemel Hempstead and Billericay Town at Langford Road.

Donnelly said: “We could have got big club’s U18 sides but we wanted a test.

“Potton United will give us a great test, they’ve just come up and will be hungry to prove they can play at our level. There’s no point getting big clubs down who don’t want to put a team out.

“We’ve got a lot of new players and we need to find out what suits them and getting everyone used to how each other work.

“I’m very confident that we’ve got a lot of players at a good age who want to push on. Attitude is massive for me.”

After the departure of captain and legendary winger Craig Daniel, as well as his vice-captain Connor Hall - to step two Brackley Town - the Waders armband is up for grabs.

Donnelly suggested Tom Smith, Kieron Forbes and Jack Bradshaw as potential leaders but said they would make the decision after some training sessions.

He added: “We want someone that players gravitate to and can lead from the front. We might turn up on Saturday and see someone we didn’t expect do that.

“We want to give the captain more of a role, more than just tossing the coin. We want him to be our voice in the changing room, backing us up.

“If he disagrees with us we want him to be big enough and brave enough to put his point across – although he’d better be bigger than me if he’s going to start shouting at me.”

The Waders kick-off their pre-season on Saturday, July 7 with a trip to step-five side London Colney.

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