I wanted to take this club to Wembley and I achieved it and I want to take this club into the League and I generally believe I can do it if and when that has to be seen but I want to do it, says Bromley boss Neil Smith

Wednesday 18th September 2019

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants to lead his home-town club into the Football League.


The Lillywhites are unbeaten in second-place in the Vanarama National League table with 23 points from their opening 11 games and are just a point adrift of Woking.

Thirteenth-placed Notts County visit Hayes Lane on Saturday with a crowd of over 2,500 expected, while Woking visit next Tuesday, 24 September (19:45).

Smith and his chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves were interviewed on www.bromleyfc.tv last week, expressing their aspirations for the season.

“I think Neil’s doing a fabulous job,” Stanton-Gleaves, who took over the chairmanship at Hayes Lane from Jerry Dolke in August.

“How do I see Neil Smith to where we are now? I read about Danny Cowley, who got the job as Huddersfield Town manager, an ex Premier League club. I’m sure Neil’s got that ambition and if he hasn’t he’s the wrong bloke because he should have that ambition!

“I’m fortunate in my trade that I hit the highest point possible and my role here isn’t about my trade. My role here is to take this football club into League Two and when I get into League Two my role is to take this football club into League One and I believe that I can do it.

“I believe financially with the infrastructure we have and the development that I can put into it I believe we can do it and be sustainable with or without my help and the major point of that is Neil Smith.  I believe we can do it because of him.

“He has that same ambition but he wants to be a manager in League Two. He wants to be a manager in League One, he wants to be a manager in the Premier League, that’s his trade and if he doesn’t have that ambition then I’ll kick him up the backside but I want you to be here for as long as you can on the journey with me taking Bromley into League Two, into League One and then who knows?”

If Smith can guide Bromley to the top of the non-league summit within the next seven days, the 47-year-old will go down in history as being the most successful Bromley manager in their 127-year-history.

Remember, Bromley were struggling in the bottom three in the Ryman League Division One (Isthmian League South East Division in today’s money) with two points from their opening seven league games this time in September 2001.

Saturday, Bromley lock horns with Notts County at Hayes Lane with at least 2,500 fans expected to flock through the Hayes Lane turnstiles.

Smith said: “I wanted to take this club to Wembley and I achieved it. I want to take this team, this club, into the League and I generally believe I can do it if and when that has to be seen but I want to do it.

“I also want to manage in the League. Whenever I’ve done anything, I wanted to play at the best of my ability. I wanted to get to the highest level.

“I went to Tottenham, I was against a load of people because I was coming from south London in to north London and people told me ‘what are you doing here?!’.  I had to battle against all of that.

“I’ll battle against anything to achieve it. This club does something to you but at the same time as a personal goal I do want to manage at the highest level.

“I look at England manager Gareth Southgate – I used to play against him and it’s brilliant for him to do what he’s done because he wasn’t as successful in the League, he never won a load of stuff.

“The Cowley brothers is an unbelievable story. Years ago we were playing against them against Braintree – our bogey team – and Concord Rangers. To see what they’ve achieved at Lincoln and then going onto Huddersfield, that’s fantastic!

“That gives you the dream it’s achievable. My first and foremost is to get this club into the League as soon as we can.”

And if Smith does guide his home-town team to the summit, Stanton-Gleaves added: “It’s really easy to get to the top, it’s even harder staying at the top and that’s the job you’ve got now.  I’m really proud to be in charge of the club that’s sitting second in the league but I think the hard work starts now!”

Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv

Bromley  v  Notts County
Vanarama National League
Saturday 21 September 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF