I think the club needs to get around the table and discuss all the issues properly and work out the best way forward for the club, says back-to-back title winning Bromleians manager Danny Wakeling
BROMLEIANS manager Danny Wakeling says the club have to sit around the table this summer to plan their direction of travel.
The Bromley based club celebrated winning back-to-back titles under Wakeling and they will be playing in the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Premier Division (Step Seven) for the first time in their history next season.
“I haven’t told the boys a target yet so they might as well find out now, I want us to be Christmas top six so if we’re in and around that mark at Christmas time that will show steady progression from where they were,” said Wakeling.
“They should have been playing Division Three West two years ago but I don’t think it’s beyond reach. Some people might be reading this and think you’re aiming for the stars a little bit but if you don’t aim (that high) you’re never going to get anywhere near being excellent and these guys have been excellent for two years and they deserve to be pushed a little bit further and they’ve got more to offer.”
The amateur outfit play their home games at The John Cooper Ground on Lower Gravel Road in Bromley Common.
The club do not have floodlights at their ground that they own but Wakeling urges the club to sit round a table and plan for Step Six football.
“That’s the conversation that has to happen as a club,” he said.
“When I came in that was mapped out as a possibility, bear in mind what we’ve done in two years perhaps rather than three, four or five, so it needs a good chat in the summer what their long-term ambitions are.
“We’ve had a restructure in the club away from the committee to a more organised and professional five-man board as such and there’s a lot more effort, it’s a lot more efficient and we’re starting to catch up with what’s happened on the pitch quite well.
“But we do need the club to be in front of the football so we’re going to have to take a steady walk and take a good breath over the next couple of months and realise what we’ve achieved, enjoy what we’ve achieved and just make sure we’re fully aligned going forward.”
Wakeling has not ruled out the possibility of hiring another club’s ground to get elevated into the League above – the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.
“We’ve ticked some of the ground improvements that we’ve got here, new dressing rooms the portacabin outside, so we’ve ticked Step Seven (Kent County Premier). Step Six is a bigger leap so we just need to take a good stock of it,” added Wakeling, who was the manager of FC Elmstead when they shared Holmesdale’s ground at Oakley Road.
“I think the club needs to get around the table and discuss all the issues properly and work out the best way forward for the club.
“Groundshares can be done. I’ve been involved with club’s that have groundshares. It can be a tad soulless, it’s not yours and you’re only there on borrowed time and I think if you’re going to do it, you have to do what Cray Valley and Phoenix Sports have done by transforming what they had.
“We have accelerated on the pitch far quicker than some would have expected and it has to be aligned and have a good chat.”
The club were known as Old Bromleians but they have decided to drop the prefix “Old” from their name.
The ground has been renamed The John Cooper Ground, to honour their club secretary, whom has given service to the club in various roles since the war and watched Wakelling's men beat Ide Hill 2-1 on the last day of the season.
Visit Bromleians’ website: www.bromleiansfc.co.uk