Get yours from THursday evening onwards!
Supporters are advised that season tickets will be available for collection on Thursday, 30th July, evening from 8pm-9.30pm. They will also be available for collection next Tuesday, 4th August, and next Thursday, 6th August, evening from 8pm-9.30pm. Those supporters who are unable to collect their season tickets before the first match at home to Lincoln City on Tuesday, 11th August will be available to collect their season ticket from gates 5 & 6 from 6.30pm that night. Those supporters wishing to secure one of the limited number of car park season tickets will also be able to purchase these tickets on the dates above.

David Ward takes up the gauntlet!
The Club are pleased to announce that Iron stalwart David Ward has kindly taken up the role of Club Press Officer for the coming season. David is a well known face to many at Cressing Road having both played and managed the Club over the years. His professional experience will help the Club improve it press and public relations and we thank David for his help and support.

Glenn & Paul join the team
Iron Manager Danny Cowley was pleased to announce the appointments of Glenn Skingsley as our Perfomance Analyst and Paul Barnes who joins our medical team and will work alongside Steve Gracey.
Danny Cowley said: "This will certainly add to the support network available and help us to further improve the environment for the players. From our point of view, you cannot have enough good people around and both Glenn and Paul will add to the provision in their designated areas."
"We like to do a lot of anaylsis on both our own and opposition teams. We feel that this provides us with the necessary information to make intelligent decisions about team selection and team organisation. Video analysis and statistical data are excellent tools when providing feedback to the players about individual and team performance. Glenn has been working tirelessly behind the scenes with different software to find a suitable analysis tool for us to use. He has spent numerous hours editing our pre season games so that both players and management staff can access a breakdown of the different elements of the game. We will also use this software to analyse opposition's strengths and weaknesses so that we can share it with the players and look to find ways of outwitting our upcoming opponents."
"Paul Barnes comes in to a massively overstretched 'medical team'. Steve Gracey has been overworked trying to manage the day to day issues that arise during a challenging pre season. Paul will come in and offer both assistance and expertise. He has just completed a Sports Therapy degree in Birmingham and is now embarking on a Physiotherapy Masters at the University of Essex. He has worked at both non league level with Rushall Olympic FC and more recently with Wolverhampton Wanderers Academy and U21's teams. He has a clear vision and many ideas in relation to rehabilitation, player preparation and recovery that will further improve the medical provision available. Accompanied with this additional support we also have access to Ross Poyton on a consultancy basis, who has already been working with Charlie Strutton, and others away from the training ground. It is another area that we have been able to make an increase in. With a small squad we need everyone fit and contributing and these additions to the medical team will help us to work towards this objective."

Fortuitous friendly victory over Dagenham & Redbridge
Iron snatched a late, late winning goal literally in the final few seconds of this lively pre-season friendly at Cressing Road on Tuesday evening to beat Football League Two visitors Dagenham & Redbridge.
It all came from a superb right wing free-kick by Dan Sparkes that saw the ball drop into the heart of the visitors' penalty area where young Jordan Cox was quickest to the ball to slid it into the net.
The Iron, who had gone behind on 34 minutes, had equalised on 81 minutes when again Sparkes had set up the goal from a right wing corner sending over a high cross into the area where substitute Remi Clerima rose above everybody to head home a fine goal.
Although perhaps a little fortuitous to have won the game, it still left a smile on manager Dan Cowley's face who felt his part-time players more than match their full-time opponents and again had showed great resilience and character, particularly after going a goal down.
"I felt we really started the stronger and were on top so much so that they had to change their system to try and cope with us," he said. "That says a great deal about our high tempo game and how we attacked them and then to force a Football League side to have to change things around and the way they were playing."
He went on: "Once they had scored the opening goal we lost a bit of our momentum and between the 30th and 60th minute of the game they were in control and we were not so good.
"But the subs we brought on did make a big impact on the game and really at the end I think we looked the fitter and better side," he continued. "It's nice to win any game even in the final seconds and I felt we deserved it because we always looked the more dangerous in front of goal throughout the game.
"The goal we did concede, although it was down to an individual mistake at the end, was really started further down the pitch and we should have dealt with their attack before it had reached our area," he explained. "But these games are all about learning and coping better when the real action starts on league opening day."
It was much against the run of play that the Daggers took the lead when a defensive error allowed Christian Doidge to slip by the stranded Iron keeper Will Norris to slide the ball in from an acute angle.
Fielding their first team the Daggers certainly struggled to handle the Iron attack early on when both Simoen Akinola and Taylor Miles both went close to scoring.
The Iron lost striker Sean Marks on 40 minutes with a foot injury and he was replaced by Michael Cheek and almost on half time they nearly equalised but Akinola volley was charged down and cleared.
Just past the hour the Iron made a double substitution with Matt Paine replaced by Remi Clerima and Mitch Brundle replaced by Jeremy Walker and on 69 minutes Iron made another double substitution with Cox replacing Akinola and Anthony Edgar replacing Chez Issac. These changes all helped galvanise the side into again pressuring the visitors' rearguard.
But it took a fine save from Norris to keep his side in the game when he denied Doidge, who had escaped free of the defence for a one-on-one, going down at the striker's feet to clear the danger.
At the other end skipper Kenny Davis saw his low, hard shot saved and then Cox had a first-time effort scrambled away for a corner as the Iron looked for goals.
On 80 minutes Joe Maybanks replaced Davis and with more fresh legs in the side the Iron pushed for an equaliser which came a minute later before Cox finally snatched that last-gasp winner.
Cowley added: "I am really pleased with the attitude and commitment of all the players both in training and our games so far but we know it's going to be a tough season and the players are looking fit and keen to get started."
Attendance: 241.
Next up for the Iron is this Saturday, 1st August, with a final pre-season friendly away at National League South side Ebbsfleet United, with kick-off at 3pm.

Braintree v Braintree!
We've tried to secure local opposition at very short notice without success. We'd like to thank our neighbouring clubs who have tried to help but a variety of circumstances have left that without success. Danny has now decided to utilise the full squad, plus a couple of our academy lads, to play a full ninety minute match that will be between two balanced Braintree XIs at Cressing Road. Admission will be free and kick-off for this match has been provisionally arranged for 1pm, subject to the availability of a local referee. More news when I have it!

Rain washes out latest match
This afternoon's pre-season friendly at Lowestoft Town has been postponed. Following heavy rain throughout most of yesterday and last night, the Suffolk club advised that their pitch was waterlogged. Next up for Iron is a return to Cressing Road to welcome Dagenham & Redbridge this coming Tuesday evening, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Rain causing problems at Ram Meadow
This evening's pre-season friendly at Bury Town has been postponed. Following heavy rain throughout most of the day, combined with the forecast heavy rain for the next twelve hours, the pitch at Ram Meadow was unlikely to be fit enough for both teams to benefit from. Next up for Iron is a trip to Lowestoft Town tomorrow afternoon, with kick-off at 3pm.

Goals aplenty at Scraley Road
An Iron XI made the short journey to visit Ryman League Division One (North) side Heybridge Swifts and came home winners by seven goals to two. A Dan Sparkes tenth minute penalty saw Braintree take an early lead and this was followed up three minutes later with a fine finish from Sim Akinola. Michael Cheek made it 3-0 just before the half hour and another well executed finish from skipper Kenny Davis moments before the interval saw Braintree turn around four goals to the good. The second half saw Iron continue to press and score goals. Cheek added his second on 51 minutes and trialist James McQuilkin made it 6-0 four minutes later. A number of substitutions interrupted the flow of the game before Anthony Edgar added a seventh with fifteen minutes remaining. The home side pulled two goals back late on, but Braintree ended up comfortable winners.
Next up for Braintree is a Suffolk double-header with a trip to Bury Town this coming Friday evening, 24th July, followed by a visit to Lowestoft Town on Saturday afternoon, 25th July. Kick-off at Bury is 7.45 and 3pm at Lowestoft. The next home friendly for Braintree is on Tuesday, 28th July when Iron entertain League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge.

2-2 draw at Stanway
Continuing their pre-season build-up, a Braintree Town XI made the short journey to visit Stanway Rovers on Saturday afternoon and shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. Twice trailing, Iron levelled just before half time through trialist Anthony Edgar and halfway through the second half thanks to fine Sim Akinola finish. The team (with thanks to Jon Weaver) lined up as follows: Will Norris, George Pullen, Kamal Guthmy, James McQuillan, Scott Tancock, Devante McKain, Billy Gibson, Kurtis March, Sean Marks, Michael Bakare and Anthony Edgar. The following substitutes were used: Matt Fry, Remy Clerima, Simeon Akinola, Jordan Cox, Joe Moore, Matt Baxter and Luke Mallett replacing: Pullen, McQuillan, Marks, Bakare, Tancock, March and Edgar.
Next up for Iron is another Braintree Town XI making the short trip to Ryman League Division One (North) side Heybridge Swifts this coming Monday evening, 20 July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Sim magic secures victory
Braintree Town continued their pre-season build-up with another entertaining fixture against strong opposition from the Football League. Newly promoted to League One, Essex neighbours Southend United were the visitors to Cressing Road on Friday evening and Iron secured their third odd-goal-in-three win in four games. After a bright opening, Iron took an eighteenth minute lead. Sam Habergham made space on the left before lifting an inch-perfect delivery into the box for the waiting Michael Cheek. Cheek nodded down for Sim Akinola, who drilled the ball into the top left hand corner. Iron doubled their advantage on the hour and again Sim was the scorer. Dan Sparkes was the provider with a pacey break on the left opening up the Southend defence. Dan pulled the ball back across the visitors 18-yard box. Cheek stepped over to leave the ball for the incoming Akinola to steer into the bottom corner for 2-0. Moments later both sides introduced a raft of changes, but the game's tempo was maintained and the Roots Hall side got themselves back in the game on 79 minutes. A hopeful long ball found Southend's David Mooney in space and, squeezing between two Iron defenders, found himself on the floor. Referee Rob Whitton awarded penalty which Mooney promptly tucked into the bottom left corner to bring the score back to 2-1. Iron continued to press, but were good value for their latest victory. Next up for Braintree is a squad XI fixture at Colchester-based side Stanway Rovers today, with kick-off at 3pm.

Championship club struggling with injuries
Iron Manager Danny Cowley has been advised by Reading that they will be unable to fulfil next Tuesday evening's pre-season friendly fixture as they have a limited number of players registered and have a number of injury concerns. We apologise for the late notification.

Get yourself a big discount and guarantee a space
The Club will be making available up to twenty car parking spaces in the main car park for supporters to book for the entire forthcoming season. This is offered on a first come, first served basis. These spaces are available for all home first team games (both National League and all Cup fixtures). The cost for season 2015/16 is a one off payment of £40 - offering a probable 25% reduction in the usual £2 entry fee over the course of a season and guarantees the holder a car park space for every game. The only restriction will be for when the Club host a live TV game, when the use of our car park is strictly limited. If you are interested, speak to either Kevin Christmas or Lee Harding.

Iron and Lions share spoils
Braintree Town shared an entertaining goal-less draw with League One side Millwall at Cressing Road on Monday evening in their third pre-season match in just four days. Iron manager Danny Cowley started the side with a strong Braintree side and the game was played at a high tempo as the Braintree lads continue to build up both their physical and match fitness.
Eight substitutes at the break saw the impetus maintained during the second half. Second-half keeper Nathan McDonald had to be at his best to deny a snap shot on the hour from Millwall trialist Alex Mulrooney-Skinner, while Michael Cheek and Sean Marks both saw chances denied by the Millwall keeper Keaton Wood as the game approached its goal-less conclusion.
Braintree side: Will Norris, Remy Clerima, Sam Habergham, Chez Isaac, Matt Paine, Matt Fry, Jeremy Walker, Kenny Davis, Jordan Cox, Taylor Miles, Anthony Edgar. Substitutes at the interval: Nathan McDonald, Dan Sparkes, Scott Tancock, Billy Gibson, Kurtis March, Sean Marks, Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola for Norris, Habergham, Isaac, Fry, Walker, Cox, Miles & Edgar. 70th minute substitution: Joe Maybanks for Davis.
Next up for Iron is the visit of what is promised to be a strong Southend United side for our fourth pre-season match this coming Friday evening, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Goals late in each half secure victory
Braintree had to work hard throughout their second pre-season match to win by the odd goal in three at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Long Melford on Saturday. Against a well organised and disciplined Suffolk side, Iron struggled to create openings and it wasn't until moments before the break that Braintree took the lead, with Sean Marks converting from close range Joe Maybanks' cross from the left. Melford equalised ten minutes after the re-start when Dan Swain's deflected effort fell to Jack Durey who levelled from close range. Iron continued to press and hit the woodwork before grabbing the winner in time added on. A free kick from deep found Scott Tancock unmarked at the far post to steer the ball home from close range.
Iron squad: Will Norris, Jeremy Walker, Connor Peters, Kurtis March, Scott Tancock, Joe Moore, Taylor Miles, Billy Gibson, Sean Marks, Jordan Cox, Antony Edgar, Mitchell Brundle, Nathan McDonald, George Pullen, Joe Maybanks, Michael Bakare, Mat Baxter, Luke Mallett.
Next up for Braintree is a friendly against a Millwall XI this coming Monday evening, 13th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Davis & Marks earn victory
It was one of the Iron's 'old guard' that grabbed the side a late winner two minutes from time against League Two outfit Leyton Orient at Cressing Road on Friday evening. Experienced striker Sean Marks rose at the far post to head home a Billy Gibson cross to give the Iron a win in their first pre-season match watched by a healthy crowd of 729 and leave manager Danny Cowley delighted.
"You always want to win games and to do it late on was a real clincher and overall I was pleased with the way we competed for the whole 90 minutes against a full-time side," he said afterwards.
"The players too showed great character and commitment for the whole game and it was a good, competitive first match and I think those watching will also see how we want to play attacking, attractive football.
"What I particularly liked was that once we had conceded that early goal we still continued to keep our concentration and came back at them strongly," he added.
"Once we had made our substitutions in the second half we looked well in control and caused them more problems at the back."
The Iron started with just two new faces in the line-up - central defender Matt Fry and striker Michael Cheek - and in a fast and furious opening 45 minutes more than held their own against the visitors. Recalled goalkeeper Nathan McDonald pulled off two fine saves but was beaten on 18 minutes when Paul McCallum found time and space to drive the ball into the Iron net.
Undeterred the Iron continued to play their part in what was an entertaining game and on 38 minutes equalised from the penalty spot through skipper Kenny Davis after Cheek had been fouled. New on-loan goalkeeper Will Norris came on at half time and he too had to be sharp enough to react three times when the visitors threatened in front of the Iron goal. On the hour manager Cowley made a mass substitution of seven players and from then on it was the Iron who looked the more likely side to score again.
Marks, reunited with Jordan Cox leading the attack, caused a few problems for the Orient defence while the pace of debut boys Anthony Edgar, Taylor Miles and Gibson in midfield gave the front two plenty of support. At the back in the centre of defence Remy Clerima proved a solid performer and was clearly the Iron's man of the match.
Despite that actual clearcut goal scoring chances were few and far between from both sides in what was a good football game it was golden oldie Marks who popped up for that crucial winning goal two minutes from time.
Braintree Town: McDonald, Brundle, Clerima, Fry, Habergham, Sparkes, Davis, Payne, Isaac, Akinola, Cheek. Substitute goalkeeper Norris came on at half time and on 60 minutes: Issac, Paine, Fry, Davis, Cheek, Akinola and Sparkes were replaced by Tancock, Miles, March, Gibson, Edgar, Cox and Marks. Attendance: 729. Referee: Rob Whitton.
Next up for Iron is a trip to Long Melford today, Saturday, kick-off 3pm, followed by the visit of Millwall on Monday evening, 13th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Iron Manager talks about progress to date and aims for the season
We sat down with manager Danny Cowley before tonight's opening pre-season game and our new man was pleased to share his thoughts with us on pre-season and the coming few months.
"I write this piece on the eve of our first friendly against Leyton Orient. Nicky and I have been in post for 10 weeks today. The boys have been back in since the 25th June and will have completed their ninth training session by the end of tonight. The schedule has been demanding but we have found the players' attitude and application to be excellent. As a consequence we are seeing an upward curve in terms of players' fitness levels and we are starting to convey our ideas with regards to team strategy and our tactical organisation.
The first 8 weeks of our tenure involved us working behind the scenes, building relationships and becoming familiar with how the different areas within the Club operate. This involved us speaking and more importantly listening to as many people associated with the Club as possible, from the Board of Directors, players, management staff, to the many volunteers who give up endless amounts of time supporting the Club. This has given us a valuable insight into why the Club has been so successful over recent years but also identified ways and areas where we could move it forward. We have tried to make marginal improvements to many different areas in an attempt to improve the environment for the players. There may be a perception that some of these areas are not directly related to player performance, however we believe that they can actually be critical to a player's success.
We try to create a culture which is player centred and an environment which the players enjoy working in. Some of the changes include refurbishment of the changing rooms, improved travel provision for away games, additional support for the medical 'team', changes in both the training schedule and facilities and an introduction to video analysis and statistical data to improve our ability to analyse both ours and opposition's performance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has given up their time during this process to help us move the Club forward. We expect all of these small improvements when added up to have a significant impact on team performance.
The rest of our time has been shared between player recruitment and planning our training programme through pre season and beyond. With regards to player recruitment, our first challenge was to try and make early decisions on last year's squad. We had lengthy conversations with all of the players and watched around 30 of last year's games on DVD. This helped us learn about them as both characters and players. It became evident pretty quickly that the players had been a major part of the Club's success in recent times. There was a clear spirit between the players and a real togetherness which is vital in any successful group. We were really pleased to be able to reengage with the majority of last year's squad, this has certainly provided us with both continuity and solid foundations to build from. Regardless of who we add between now and the start of the season, nothing will be more significant than the early business we did with last year's players.
We are happy with the players that we have added to the group thus far and feel that they will compliment what we already have. We are probably two players from being where we want to be. When you are working with limited resources there is a necessity to be patient as players that were not obtainable to you in May and June become available in late July and early August.
Nicky and I both allocate lots of time and energy to the planning of our training programme. We believe that what happens on a Saturday is a product of what takes place on a Tuesday and Thursday night in training. We play in a league where the majority of the teams are full time, thus it is vital that we look to maximise the time we have available with the players in order to be competitive.
During the early part of pre season we try to combine fitness based work with lots of technical and tactical work. We work through the four cycles of the game; in possession; out of possession; and the two transitions of winning the ball from the opposition and losing possession. This allows us to build a game plan that the players all have a clear understanding of. They then have the knowledge and power to be able to problem solve to the many changing scenarios they will encounter.
This is very much a process that will continue to evolve as the season progresses. At the moment the players have a framework to work within. As the training sessions unfold we will try to add more and more detail and build on the players habits until their actions are autonomous.
Don't be concerned if the players do not look as sharp as you expect in the early games of pre season. They are still in a cycle of work that is very demanding, we don't taper the sessions at this stage of pre season, so consequently they are often working under fatigue. Towards the end of pre season, we start to taper the sessions with the fitness element becoming more focused towards short, sharp, explosive work. It will be at this stage that the players will start to see the benefits in their playing performance.
We now embark on probably the heaviest part of our schedule in terms of workload, with the players and staff in 8 out of the next 10 days. In this time we have 3 training sessions and 5 matches. This will be both physically and mentally demanding for everyone concerned but vital to our preparations for the coming season. We have 11 games in total this pre season, which can be broken down into 7 First team fixtures and 4 Squad games. Our organisation in pre season centres around trying to get the players 600 minutes of football each, prior to the first game of the season on the 8th August. This can be a logistical nightmare but certainly they are our ideals and what we work towards. From our experiences this background of games will prepare the players physically for the demands a 46 league game season brings.
We will all be working very hard to achieve success this season. There is no doubt that we need everyone that has Braintree Town FC best interests at heart to play their part. There will be moments when the journey will be tough and we will have our back against the walls. It is these moments, in the face of adversity, that we must show resilience and togetherness. We won't always be able to compete with opposition teams in relation to finances, facilities, support and playing resources. That is fine I can accept that. However we must always ensure that we never come up short in the effort and determination stakes.
Look forward to seeing you all tonight and during pre season - Danny Cowley

Braintree Town start with trip to Chester
Next season's Vanarama National League fixtures have been released and Braintree Town start the new campaign on Saturday 8th August with a trip up the M6 to visit Chester. Iron then have two home games to look forward to, welcoming Lincoln City the following Tuesday evening, 11th August, and then Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, 15th August.
As is traditional, more local games have been scheduled for holiday dates. August Bank Holiday Monday, 31st, sees us entertain Aldershot Town at Cressing Road, Boxing Day sees us travel to Boreham Wood, with the return at Cressing Road on Saturday, 2nd January. Easter is early next year and sees a home fixture against Bromley on Easter Saturday, 26th March, followed by a trip to Aldershot Town on Easter Monday, 28th March. In a repeat of last season, our final fixture will be at home to Altrincham on Saturday 30th April.

The opening day's fixtures are as follows:
Aldershot Town -v- Gateshead
Altrincham -v- Forest Green Rovers
Barrow -v- Dover Athletic
Boreham Wood -v- FC Halifax Town
Bromley -v- Wrexham
Kidderminster Harriers -v- Grimsby Town
Lincoln City -v- Cheltenham Town
Southport -v- Eastleigh
Torquay United -v- Macclesfield Town
Tranmere Rovers -v- Woking
Welling United -v- Guiseley

In cup competitions, Braintree Town are exempt until the fourth and final qualifying round of what will now be known as The Emirates FA Cup, with that tie scheduled for Saturday 24th October. Iron will also benefit from exemption to the First Round of the FA Trophy, with the tie scheduled for Saturday 12th December. Click on the Games link above for all the fixtures!

Proposed Development at North-West Braintree Growth Location (adjoining Panfield Lane)
Braintree Town Football Club have been advised by Phase 2 Planning and Development Ltd that they intend to submit a planning application to Braintree District Council in the coming months for a mixed use development on the land off Panfield Lane, previously identified by the Council as their preferred growth location and which included a proposed new stadium for the Club.
Braintree Town Football Club and local residents have been invited to attend the public exhibition so that they can view the proposals and provide Phase 2 Planning and Development Ltd with comments.

The public exhibition takes place on both Friday 10th July 4pm to 7pm and Saturday 11th July 2pm to 5pm. The exhibition will be held at the Glebe Community Hall, Glebe Avenue, Braintree, CM7 5RB.

Supporters may remember that the site north of Springwood Drive Industrial Estate and to the west of Panfield Lane was included in Braintree District Council's Core Strategy, issued in September 2011. The Council's Core Strategy growth area required 15 hectares of land (36 acres) to be made available for new commercial development and a new site for Braintree Town Football Club.
However, since the adoption of the Core Strategy, there have been major changes in national planning policy and guidance. These include the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the National Planning Practice Guidance.

What's happened since?
One of the most significant changes contained within this new guidance relates to the requirement on Councils to significantly boost their supply of housing by meeting their full objectively assessed need for market and affordable housing. Indications from population projections and from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Braintree District, suggested that this figure is going to be much higher than that which is set out in the 2011 Core Strategy.
The Council also monitored the progress of other local authorities in a similar position and two cases were particularly relevant. The Planning Inspectorate, in letters to other local authorities, suggested that carrying forward a Core Strategy housing target based on housing figures determined before the NPPF, and not on more up to date evidence, would not be an approach likely to be considered acceptable by a Planning Inspector.
The Council also commissioned specific advice on its plans from the Planning Advice Service, as well as legal advice from external Counsel. Both of these concluded that taking a Site Allocations and Development Management Plan to an examination would be a very high risk approach and the most sensible option would be to begin work immediately on a new Local Plan, fully compliant with the NPPF.
So, at their Full Council meeting on 30 June 2014, The Council took the decision, based on the weight of evidence, not to submit their Site Allocations and Development Management Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination, but to instead begin work immediately on a new Local Plan which would set out the Council's strategy for future development and growth up to 2033.

All is not lost!
The Council advised that the work completed on the previous plan and the comments which have been received, would not be lost. These would be rolled forward into the new Local Plan. The New Local Plan will include all major planning policy for the District in a single document and will need to meet the requirements of the NPPF. Once complete it will replace both the 2011 Core Strategy and the 2005 Local Plan Review.
One of the main requirements in the NPPF is for local authorities to significantly boost their supply of housing and this applies across the Country. A document called a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) helps the Council work out how many houses are needed and of what type. It estimated that this needed to be between 761 to 883 new homes per year. A range of housing need requirements was considered by the Council in September 2014. Further evidence on whether this is achievable will be collected before a decision is made on a precise number as part of the draft Plan to be published this Autumn.

What happens now?
As Braintree Council have to plan for a larger number of new homes in the District, they will need to look at larger sites. The Local Plan is not just about new homes but must ensure that housing growth is supported by infrastructure, jobs and community facilities.
The Council will be working with key stakeholders such as the NHS, education and highways authorities to ensure that vital community facilities such as schools, GP surgeries and roads and public transport links are in place to support existing residents as well as new communities. Open spaces and community facilities will also be protected and new spaces and facilities will be supported.
An important part of the Plan will be promoting economic growth and prosperity in the District. The Plan will need to ensure that land is available to support new employment areas and that the right jobs can be provided in the right places for local residents.

What does it mean for the Football Club?
As we have said before, we believe the Football Club to be a Braintree success story, with recent progress taking the Club from local football to within touching distance of the Football League. Progress that has certainly helped put the town and district on the map.
Braintree Town Football Club continue to support Braintree Council's decision to include a new site for the Club in the proposed Growth Location at Panfield Lane. Supporters may therefore be interested to view the proposed development and provide both Phase 2 Planning and Development Ltd and Braintree Council with any comments they may have.

Feasibility study discussed
Braintree District Council officers and representatives of Braintree Town Football Club met last week, following the completion of the Feasibility Study looking into the future of the Club's Cressing Road Ground.
Announced last year and funded by the Council, the Feasibility Study looked at a number of options including, moving the Club, creating new facilities and redevelopment opportunities.
The study has identified and costed a number of options, which are now being considered by the Club.
Councillor Lady Newton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said: "As an authority we recognise the importance of a strong and vibrant football club, and we have been working closely to look at how the clubs facilities are improved in the future.
"The findings of the study have set out a number of options for the club to consider, and this has been an important piece of work as ultimately we want to make the right decisions for club and council tax payers.
"We will be meeting again in the next few weeks, when we intend to make a further statement about the future of the Cressing Road Ground."

Football Club Chairman Lee Harding added: "We thank the Council for the work undertaken so far and setting out the options in terms of moving forward.
"We are currently assessing the costs put forward by the Council's consultants. It's disappointing and we can understand our fans frustration at the lack of progress, but all parties involved understand the importance of making the right decision for the town and the future of the Club. We fully agree with Lady Newton that the solution must be affordable.
"Our preference remains to relocate to a new stadium, that meets the Football League's entry and admission requirements. Whilst many outside of our club will look at our attendances and query the need for new or improved facilities, it must not be forgotten that this need is to meet the entry requirements of the Football League and to allow the Club to progress. We do not make the rules, but are simply trying to comply with them.
"We believe that the football club is a Braintree success story and we will continue to work with our Council to see if there is a potential solution to our needs to meet the Football League's stadium requirements in an affordable way."

Work experience roles at Cressing Road
The Club have two work experience vacancies. The details of the roles are as follows:

Organisation: Braintree Town Football Club
Location: Braintree Town FC, Clockhouse Way, Braintree, Essex CM7 3RD
Contract type: Work Experience Placement (part-time basis)
Closing Date: Friday 3rd July 2015
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Job Description: Braintree Town Football Club are looking for a Sports Therapist to join the football clubÕs Medical Team for season 2015/2016. If you have enthusiasm, a positive attitude and are currently undertaking a sports therapy/massage qualification then this could be the ideal opportunity for you.
Braintree Town Football Club are very proud of its National League status. The club is determined to provide the most professional environment to compete against the other full time professional clubs in our League. This opportunity would suit a qualifying therapist keen to acquire further experience of working in a professional football environment.
We are looking for the therapist to attend match-day fixtures to provide pre and post- match manual therapy under the supervision of the first team physiotherapist.
Role Summary: To work in a progressive medical team in a sporting environment while promoting high standards of health, well-being and medical care.
To provide all First Team players with the best methods of therapy integrating a holistic approach to enhance conditioning, injury prevention, rehabilitation and advice, thus enabling them to optimise their performance.
Main Duties and Responsibilities: Respond to the requirements of the first team Physiotherapist.
Deliver suitable and appropriate sports therapy manual techniques based on scientific evidence and clinical knowledge to aid in injury prevention.
Work within a highly motivated medical team and provide the most effective treatment and rehabilitation for injured players.
Educate players in terms of injury prevention, injury care, post-match and training recovery strategies.
Assist the medical/fitness staff in the delivery of pre-training rehabilitation classes and rehabilitation sessions as required.
Assist the fitness staff in the delivery of recovery protocols. These duties may include a) Assisting in pre and post hydration testing procedures b) Ensuring players undertake their necessary recovery strategies such as cool downs, recovery shakes and Ice baths.
Skills & Competencies: A hard working, enthusiastic, motivated person who is committed to pursuing a career in sports medicine.
An excellent knowledge of various manual therapy methods and willingness to learn and teach in a holistic approach.
An innovative and forward thinking person who is happy to learn and investigate new ideas to improve themselves and the medical provision within the club.
Excellent interpersonal skills in order to work in a team environment including confident communication to be able to feedback to the first team physiotherapist, management team and players.
How to apply: Please send your CV and a cover letter to Danny Cowley at or alternatively by post to Braintree Town FC, Clockhouse Way, Braintree, Essex CM7 3RD.

Organisation: Braintree Town Football Club
Location: Braintree Town FC, Clockhouse Way, Braintree, Essex CM7 3RD
Contract type: Work Experience Placement (part-time basis)
Closing Date: Friday 3rd July 2015
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Job Description: Braintree Town Football Club are offering a work experience placement for a Performance Analyst. The position is ideally suited to an aspiring Performance Analyst looking to gain further experience in football. If you have enthusiasm, a positive attitude and are currently undertaking a related sports science degree or a similar qualification then this could be the ideal opportunity for you.
Braintree Town Football Club are very proud of its National League status. The club is determined to provide the most professional environment to compete against the other full time professional clubs in our League. This opportunity would suit an individual with a sports science or coaching degree keen to acquire further experience of working in a professional football environment.
Role Summary: To work in collaboration with the management team to analyse individual, team and oppositionÕs performance through qualitative and quantative measures. This would be used to inform training and match day preparation ensuring that players received the highest level of support possible.
Main Duties and Responsibilities: The Performance Analyst will monitor and record individual and team performance data at both training and matches.
Record quantative data of team and oppositionÕs performance to support qualitative assessments and to be used for evaluation purposes.
Edit clips of our previous performances for evaluative purposes to support detailed individual and team analysis. Edit clips of opposing teamÕs previous matches to support detailed analysis for match day preparation.
Communicate with the management team and players in both training and competition environments providing feedback on performance.
Skills & Competencies: A hard working, enthusiastic, motivated person who is committed to pursuing a career in professional football.
A high level of analytical skills, including observation and data gathering skills.
A high level of technical and tactical knowledge of football.
Excellent interpersonal skills in order to work in a team environment including confident communication to be able to feedback to both the management team and players.
A good working knowledge of Microsoft packages and video production software.
Efficient in using performance analysis systems.
How to apply: Please send your CV and a cover letter to Danny Cowley at or alternatively by post to Braintree Town FC, Clockhouse Way, Braintree, Essex CM7 3RD.

Popular defensive duo sign up
Mitch Brundle and Sam Habergham have both re-signed contracts with the Club. Danny Cowley said: "Both players played key roles last year. Sam has played well over 100 games for Braintree and is as experienced as you get for a 23 year old. Technically Sam is excellent and he has a lovely left foot. He is an unassuming lad and is very level headed. I think this allows him to find a real consistent level of performance which will be crucial for us.
"With regards to Mitch, it is hard to believe he is only 20! Physically he is excellent and meets all of our expectations of what a modern day footballer should look like. Last year would have been invaluable for him, not only did he get forty plus games under his belt but he played in a variety of positions. He has a vast range of attributes which mean that he is really versatile. However, the challenge for Nicky and I is to find Mitch's best position during pre season. Having stability and continuity in one position is key to any young player's development. While being versatile is an attribute in itself, it is important for Mitch that he finds a position and learns to master it. In terms of the balance of the squad it would be ideal if that was right back. However, we see goals in Mitch and in order to maximise that it would mean playing him higher up the pitch. It is certainly something that we are open minded about at this point."

Mitch will also join the club's Academy coaching set-up. Danny commented: "We are really pleased to be able to offer Mitch a role within the Academy. Mitch is a role model to any young player. He is very professional in both his conduct and the way he looks after himself and will be a really positive influence on the young players in the Academy. Nicky and I have worked closely with Mark Sansom and Alan Stuckey since we arrived at the Club and really value the work that they are doing. The Academy is crucial to the sustainability of the Club at this level. There is no reason why our academy shouldn't be competing with the likes of Southend United, Colchester, Leyton Orient and Dagenham and Redbridge to attract the very best young players in Essex and beyond. Last year saw Joe Maybanks and George Pullen come through the Academy and get into the first team. That shows that there is a clear pathway for young players at this Club."

Trip to Rovers now rearranged for 24 hours later
A new date for our pre-season friendly trip to Thurlow Nunn Leaguers Stanway Rovers has been agreed. Previously scheduled for Friday, 17th July, but postponed because of the visit of Southend United that evening, the game has now been put back 24 hours and will take place at Stanway Rovers' New Farm Road ground on Saturday 18th July with kick-off at 3pm. The address is: The Hawthorns, New Farm Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 0PG. Tel: 01206 578187.

Welcome to Iron Matt Fry!
The Club are pleased to announce the signing of defender Matthew Fry from Concord Rangers for the 2015/16 season. After spending 11 years at West Ham United, Matt gained League experience on loan at Gillingham and Charlton before signing for Bradford. Due to a run of bad luck with injuries, he moved on from professional football and spent the past three seasons playing for Concord Rangers, where he has been a key part of the club's success. Matt is a pacey left sided centre half who reads the game very well. He has turned down numerous, more lucrative offers to sign for Braintree Town.
Manager Danny Cowley was delighted to sign Matt Fry: "Matt has played for me during the past three seasons and has been a key influence in our defensive organisation. He has excellent physical attributes and is also very intelligent tactically. After working with him, it would feel very difficult to set a team up defensively without his presence. Nicky and I feel he will both add and compliment the group of players we already have."
"He has played around 50 League games and would still be playing in the league if it hadn't been for a run of injuries. He was a massive part of our success and when challenged in games such as the two Mansfield FA Cup games, he always found an another level of performance. We believe the challenge of this division will bring out the very best in Matt."
"Since coming to Concord Rangers he has played regularly, game in and game out. We have had to adapt his training programme and find the balance between training hard and intelligently. This programme has allowed him to overcome the injury issues that affected his early career. He feels he has unfinished business in professional football and I believe this could be a step towards that."

Danny also gave the Club site an update on other areas in the squad: "Nicky and I are working very hard to bring in a goalkeeper and two to three more outfield players to compliment the group of players we already have. We have a very clear recruitment strategy that has worked for us in the past. It is important that we show a level of patience because players that may not have been available to us in May and early June all of a sudden become accessible as the season comes closer. We have clarity regarding the type of player that we require and are doing lots of background work to ensure that we sign the best possible person available to us."

Shrimpers to visit 24 hours earlier!
The pre-season friendly match at home to Southend United, scheduled for Saturday 18th July, cancelled as the Roots Hall club have been invited to host West Ham United that day, has now been re-arranged. Southend United will now visit Cressing Road the Friday evening beforehand, 17th July and we hope to switch our trip to Stanway Rovers to the following Saturday afternoon, 18th July.

Discounted admission and cheap beer!
The Club have agreed reduced admission for their four pre-season matches, plus 'happy hour' prices in the Iron Clubhouse before all home friendlies!
For the games against first team squads from Leyton Orient on Friday, 10th July, Southend United on Friday, 17th July and Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday, 28th July, admission to all parts of the ground (including seats) will be discounted to:
Adults - £10, OAPs and students - £7, Under 16s - £5 and Under 11s - £3.
For the games against the development squads from Millwall on Monday, 13th July and Reading on Tuesday, 21st July, admission to all parts of the ground (including seats) will be discounted further to:
Adults - £7, OAPs and students - £5, Under 16s - £3 and Under 11s - £2.
In addition the reduced admission charges for all four pre-season matches, the Club will also be offering 'happy hour' prices in the Iron Clubhouse, with Carlsberg and Greene King's IPA discount down to just £2 a pint for the two hours before kick-off!

Season Ticket Deadline & Fans Forum
There's just a few days left for Iron fans to renew their season tickets at discounted prices. You can drop your season ticket application form into the Club office during the day or this coming Tuesday and Thursday evening. Don't forget that a season ticket purchased on or before Saturday 13 June will offer FIVE Vanarama National League games free of charge, or a discount of nearly 22% over the whole season. Here's what you get:

23 Home National League Games for the price of 18
Your very own personalised season ticket
First priority for cup games (home & away)
Exclusive discounts for additional Iron events

Prices are on the 'Tickets' link above and you can download your season ticket application form from here: SEASON TICKET APPLICATION FORM.
If you wish to pay by cheque, please make it payable to 'Braintree Town Football Club Limited'. Your ticket will be available for collection from the ground from Saturday 1 August 2015. Alternatively, if you wish to have your season ticket posted to you, please provide a stamped addressed envelope.

Supporters are also reminded about this coming Thursday evening's Fans Forum in the Cressing Road clubhouse. New Braintree Town Manager Danny Cowley will host his first Fans Forum, starting at 8pm, together with his brother and Assistant Manager Nicky Cowley.
The evening will bee very much an informal affair and the Clubhouse bar will, of course, be open for refreshment!
Supporters will also have the opportunity to purchase their season tickets, should they choose, before the discount deadline the following Saturday, 13th June.

Iron to entertain Leyton Orient
Braintree Town have arranged an additional pre-season friendly match. Iron will entertain League Two side Leyton Orient on Friday 10th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm - in what could well be the first game for new O's manager Ian Hendon. As a result, we will be looking to re-arrange the trip to Stanway Rovers, scheduled for that evening.

Brochure for 2015/2016 available
The Braintree Town FC Commercial Brochure for 2015/2016 has now been released. For your virtual copy see the Sales link above or, to download your Commercial Brochure, click here: COMMERCIAL BROCHURE.
For more information contact our Sales & Marketing Director Mark Sansom on 01376 330976 or 07857 336971. Or you can e-mail him at:

2015-2016 KEY DATES
Vanarama National League starts on Saturday, 8th August
We now know the dates for the new National League, FA Cup and FA Trophy. In the newly christened Vanarama National League, Iron will start their season on Saturday, 8th August, through to the final day on Saturday, 30th April 2016.
The end of season promotion play-offs will take place during the first week of May, with the Promotion Final scheduled for Sunday, 15th May.
The FA has announced that the 2015-16 FA Trophy Final has been confirmed for Sunday 22 May 2016. It means that three of The FA's national competitions will be decided across one weekend, with The FA Cup Final taking place the day before-hand, on Saturday 21 May 2016, and FA Vase Final taking place at Wembley on the same day as the FA Trophy Final as part of a pilot double-header.
In the FA Cup, Braintree Town are exempt to the fourth and final qualifying round and this will take place on Saturday, 24th October. In the FA Trophy, Braintree Town are exempt to the First Round and this will take place on Saturday, 12th December.
The Club will also be entering a side in the FA Youth Cup, with the Preliminary Round scheduled for the week commencing Monday, 7th September.

Ken, Sean & Jordan joined by new striker
Iron Manager Danny Cowley has continued his pre-season squad building with four players signing contracts for next season. Re-signing for 2015-16 are skipper Kenny Davis together with strikers Jordan Cox and Sean Marks.
Danny has also signed striker Michael Cheek from Chelmsford City, where the 23-year old made 66 appearances and scored 32 goals for the Vanarama South side, having previously played for neighbours Heybridge Swifts.
Danny was pleased with his latest signings: "We are delighted to have retained the services of Kenny Davis for the forthcoming season. Kenny has been a fantastic servant for the Club and has established himself as one of the best midfield players in non league football. He uses the ball both intelligently and purposefully and his work ethic allows him to perform consistently well. Kenny is a massive part of our football club and will continue to captain the team. We look forward to working with him towards the success that we expect to have.
"We see Sean as being both a vital player and character within the group. Our group will be young and consequently it is crucial that the more experienced players that we do have are the right personality traits. Senior players can be really influential in the changing room and can carry our message and standards. In Sean we have someone with those qualities and what really impressed us from our conversations was his drive and ambition. We are hoping to use him in a slightly different way so that we can take some of the physical workload off of him. This will allow him the energy to get himself into more scoring opportunities. We know with the right service he will score goals regularly a this level.
"We know Jordan well after watching him at Aveley and following his career since. Jordan has unbelievable potential. He has great physical qualities, is mobile and has the knack of getting into goal scoring opportunities. No one in the squad had more chances last season than Jordan and that is credit to him. We are really excited about working with him in training. If we can increase his conversion rate then we could have a 20 goal a season striker in our squad.
"Moving on to new signing Michael Cheek he was, in my opinion, the best all round forward in the Conference South last year. Chelmsford were one of the top scorers in the division and Michael along with Joe Ward played a big part in that. Michael is a really good fit for the club. He is a local lad, who has progressed from the lower levels of non league football. He has declined bigger financial offers at the level below to challenge himself in the Conference National. He is someone that has an infectious work ethic and has massive potential to improve. I believe he will thrive at this level and really enjoy the challenges that this league will bring.
"Generally, the squad is now really taking shape and Nicky and I are pleased to be able to add these four players to the squad. We are hoping to announce the signings of a couple of more players in the next few days. This will give us really solid foundations from which to build on. We are in the process of speaking to potential targets and have a clear idea of the players that will compliment and hopefully add to the group. We will need to be patient and continue to do lots of work behind the scenes to ensure that we can attract the very best players and people to Braintree Town Football Club."

Millwall to visit Cressing Road
Braintree Town Manager Danny Cowley has arranged three more pre-season matches as the club prepares for next season. A Braintree Town XI will visit Thurlow Nunn League side Stanway Rovers on Friday evening, 10th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. The first team squad will entertain a Millwall XI on Monday, 13th July, at Cressing Road, with kick-off at 7.45pm. A Braintree Town XI will also be visiting Ryman League Division One (North) side Heybridge Swifts on Monday evening, 20th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. We are awaiting confirmation from a Football League side for a fixture on Saturday, 18th July to complete our pre-season schedule.

Iron to visit Ram Meadow
Braintree Town have confirmed their sixth pre-season friendly match. Iron will travel to visit Ryman League side Bury Town on Friday, 24th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm.

Reading & Dagenham to visit Iron
Braintree Town have confirmed three more pre-season friendly matches. Iron will entertain a squad side from Reading on Tuesday, 21st July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Seven days later, Iron will welcome our friends from Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday, 28th July, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Braintree Town's pre-season build-up will complete with a trip to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday, 1st August, with kick-off at 3pm. We have not been able to agree a date to host Chelmsford City, but negotiations are on going for additional games during the week commencing Monday 13th July and for a possible trip to our friends at Bury Town - more news when we have it.

Iron to head up the A12
Braintree Town have confirmed their second pre-season friendly match. Iron will send the first team to visit Vanarama North side Lowestoft Town on Saturday, 25th July, with kick-off at 3pm.

Danny Cowley invites you over for a chat
New Braintree Town Manager Danny Cowley will host his first Fans Forum in June.
The 'Meet the Manager' evening will take place in the Iron Clubhouse at Cressing Road on Thursday, 11th June, starting at 8pm and will be hosted by First Team Manager Danny Cowley, together with his brother and Assistant Manager Nicky Cowley.
The evening will bee very much an informal affair and the Clubhouse bar will, of course, be open for refreshment!
Supporters will also have the opportunity to purchase their season tickets, should they choose, before the discount deadline the following Saturday, 13th June.

Danny Cowley gets to work shaping his squad
Braintree Town have announced their retained list.
The following players have been made offers for season 2015-16: Kenny Davis, Matt Paine, Sean Marks, Charlie Strutton, Dan Sparkes, Nathan McDonald, Simeon Akinola, Joe Maybanks, Jordan Cox, George Pullen, Remy Clerima, Chez Isaac, Mitch Brundle, Sam Habergham, Joe Moore, James Mulley, Carl Pentney and Nick Hamann.
The following players have left the Club: Alan Massey, Ryan Peters and Dan Walker.

Get yours by June 13th to see FIVE games free
Season tickets are now on sale from the Clubhouse. A season ticket purchased on or before Saturday 13 June will offer FIVE Vanarama National League games free of charge, or a discount of nearly 22% over the whole season. Here's what you get:

23 Home National League Games for the price of 18
Your very own personalised season ticket
First priority for cup games (home & away)
Exclusive discounts for additional Iron events

Prices are on the 'Tickets' link above and you can download your season ticket application form from here: SEASON TICKET APPLICATION FORM.
If you wish to pay by cheque, please make it payable to 'Braintree Town Football Club Limited'. Your ticket will be available for collection from the ground from Saturday 1 August 2015. Alternatively, if you wish to have your season ticket posted to you, please provide a stamped addressed envelope.

New Iron Manager talks to David Ward
Braintree Town's new manager 36 year-old Danny Cowley is promising fans entertaining football next season whilst further consolidating the club in the Vanarama Conference National League.
But like his predecessor Alan Devonshire, who this week returned to his first managerial club Maidenhead United as their new boss, Cowley is aiming initially for his side to reach the 50 point target seen as the cut off to avoid a dreaded relegation battle at the end of the season.
The ambitious young schoolteacher said: "The club has done remarkable well under Alan to have established themselves at the top level of non-league football and I want to build further on that and certainly aim for a top 10 position and play football that's entertaining too.
"Having spoken to all the current Iron players I want them all to stay particularly the nucleus of them for next season because it's clear that they all are closely knit group who want to play for the club," he explained. "They have shown great character and have that togetherness and that's what I was looking for on arrival and I can then add to that with any new players I feel will fit in and enhance it.
"Keeping the core of this group together is important with the tremendous team spirit they have it and will certainly avoid having to re-build from scratch this summer," he continued. "The foundations have been laid and I am looking for continuity on and off the pitch which I have always had and is one of the reasons why I have been so successful for the past eight years at Concord."
Cowley said he was excited but not undaunted at moving up to the top echelon of non-league and remains hopeful of keeping the core of this last season's team.
"It's about getting the right balance and I know we will be part-timers against mostly full-timers at times it's all about having the right players with the right attitude and the right characteristics," he continued. "Clearly the club currently has that with the core of the first team players and I will be looking to add to that with players I know who are keen and hungry enough to want to succeed at this higher level."
Cowley, along with his younger brother Nick as assistant, plan to have a solid hard core of 16 players in the first team squad supplemented, if needed and as and when, with loan players from bigger clubs.
"That has worked well in the past and it will do here again in the future," he added. "While I am also hoping that some of the younger ones can come through the Academy ranks, as both Joe Maybanks and George Pullen have this season and be given a chance at this top level."
He went on: "I am under no illusions it's going be tough and it's a big jump up for us to come and manage at this level but I am confident we can be successful and like at my previous club I also want us to play entertaining football and pass the ball and not just hitting long balls up field."
He continued: "We always do our thorough homework in advance on every side we play so we are prepared and we make sure the players are fully fit and prepared for each and every game too which is vitally important."
He added: "We know that compared to some of the bigger, full-time clubs in this league we have a limited playing budget but we have been use to that for the past eight years taking Concord from the Essex Senior League up to the Conference South and the brink of promotion again."
Chairman Lee Harding, delighted at the appointment of "two, ambitious and hungry young managers" said the club were looking to further consolidate at the top non-league level and preparing long term to move to an all new stadium which would help the club further generate income to progress even further.
"We appear to have a good reputation as a club in the non-league football circles that is stable, gives younger, ambitious managers from lower league clubs the chance to progress too," he said. "We had many good applications for the job but the board felt that Danny, along with his brother, both impressed us with their vision and commitment for the future were the right choice for the club."

Iron to visit Thurlow Nunn League champions in July
Braintree Town have agreed a date for their opening pre-season friendly of the forthcoming 2015-16 season. Iron will send the full first team squad for their opening warm-up fixture away at Thurlow Nunn League champions Long Melford on Saturday 11th July, with kick-off at 3pm. The game will allow us to express our appreciation for the help we have from the Stoneylands club in staging our reserve team fixtures.

New man looking forward to the challenge
Braintree Town have appointed 36 year old Danny Cowley as their first team manager - he joins from Conference South side Concord Rangers on an initial two year agreement. Danny, whose family come from Braintree, spent a very successful eight years at the Canvey Island club. He took them from step five to step two, enjoying a remarkable three promotions in just eight years plus a notable Essex Senior Cup Final success over Braintree just twelve months ago!
Chairman Lee Harding was delighted with the appointment: "I've been really pleased with the calibre of applicants for the job and thank them all, but Danny has really impressed us. I have been aware of his progress over recent years, have enjoyed hearing his views on the game and his desire to bring success to our club. The next few years will be pivotal in our history and I am confident that Danny will take us forward and be part of an exciting future."
Danny is looking forward to the challenge: "First of all, it's a great opportunity for me, one that I think I fully deserve and will mean that I have now managed at every step in the pyramid. I think it's a fantastic job and wouldn't have taken it if I didn't believe that I could take the club forward, especially after the progress made over the last four years. I've always been a winner, but it's not going to be an easy challenge. That said, it's one that inspires me to ensure that we all do everything in our power to make it a success. I'm really looking forward to it!"
Picture courtesy of Essex County Newspapers.

Goals aplenty to entertain the faithful
The curtain came down on another season of Conference football for the Iron, and it came down in some style, a six goal thriller. The Iron attack ran riot at times and really put the Altrincham defence to the sword, the game finishing with a 4-2 victory.
The Iron started brightest and within minutes had fashioned a chance for Jordan Cox, who could not keep his header down. Moments later Mitch Brundle burst from right back, slalomed through the Altrincham defence and powered a shot at goal that required a smart save from David Parton to see it over the bar. After fifteen minutes Simeon Akinola showed his talent, dancing past a defender before being body checked by Gianluca Havern. Akinola stepped up to take the free kick and his missile of an attempt barely changed direction in flight, flying narrowly wide of the mark. Cox had another great opportunity to score when Kenny Davis gently chipped the ball over the Altrincham defence, putting Cox in behind them. The shot from Cox flashed across the face of goal, a whisker wide of the far post.
Having had plenty of opportunities to score, the Iron broke the deadlock hitting Altrincham on the break after the visitors had enjoyed a decent spell of possession. Akinola used his pace to get around the defence and was once again unceremoniously body checked. Dan Sparkes was given the responsibility of taking the free kick and delivered wonderfully finding an unmarked James Mulley. Both Mulley and Cox were queuing up unmarked on the six yard line to head it home, with Mulley getting to the ball first to nod it low into the bottom left corner. The goal came after thirty-five minutes.
The Iron had been on top and deserved to take the lead and almost doubled it immediately with a headed attempt from Davis dropping wide of the goal. Altrincham however found the equaliser just three minutes after the Iron had taken the lead. Some neat passing whilst hitting the Iron on the break created room on the edge of the box for James Lawrie, his shot looked to take a deflection on its way through, as it had wrong footed Nick Hamann.
The teams went in at half time level, a fact that aggrieved Mark Sansom as he stated at full time that he felt Braintree had been by far the better team. Once the second half started it did not take long for the Iron to get back on top. Having toe poked an effort wide moments earlier, Cox was on hand to take advantage of a defensive error by Gianluca Havern. A weak attempt to pass back to the keeper was pounced on by Cox who was clean through on the left side of the box and Cox rifled a half volley into the opposite corner.
The following five minutes were fast and furious from the Iron who did not allow Altrincham any time or space to breathe. Even the Iron defence were bursting forward with real intent with all the action firmly entrenched in the Altrincham half. Dan Sparkes was desperately unlucky not to have scored what would have been the goal of the game, a dipping, curling effort from outside of the box that cannoned against the crossbar. The crossbar was still shaking when Sparkes whipped an excellent ball into the box which was headed beyond the reach of Parton by Cox rising high at the far post to double his tally.
The pace left the game after the Iron built the two goal cushion, happy to absorb the pressure applied by Altrincham, who had a number of half chances but were unable to show the same lethality that the Iron had displayed. On seventy-eight minutes, however, Altrincham were given too much space and clawed a goal back. Nicky Lee galloped forward and found Kyle Perry out on the left wing. Perry drilled in a low cross with the outside of his boot that flashed across the face of goal and in off of the inside of the post, Hamann being deceived by the direction of the ball again.
The goal kick started the Iron once again and Alan Massey blazed an effort wide of the goal. The pressure and attacking play from the Iron paid dividends again as Bernard Mensah used his fresh legs to finish the scoring in the eighty-second minute. Mensah pounced on a loose ball and used his pace to get clean through on goal. From the edge of the box Mensah calmly slotted his shot passed Parton into the far bottom corner.
There was almost a late chance for Cox to finish with a hat trick when George Pullen put him in on goal, the linesman however had his flag raised. There were plenty of positives for the Iron to take from the game, and if a potential new manager was watching the match, then they surely would had been encouraged by what they saw. For Mark Sansom it was a result that gave him great pride, he went on to say that the result and performance were a thank you to the fans for their support throughout the season.
Braintree Town FC: Nick Hamann, Mitch Brundle, Sam Habergham, Alan Massey, Kenny Davis, Matt Paine, Joe Maybanks (Sean Marks, 84 mins) Simeon Akinola, Dan Sparkes (Bernard Mensah, 75 mins) James Mulley (George Pullen, 78 mins) Jordan Cox. Unused Subs: Carl Pentney, Michael Bakare. Altrincham: David Parton, Adam Griffin, Gianluca Havern, Scott Leather, James Lawrie, Ryan Crowther (Kyle Perry, 57 mins) Damian Reeves, Nicky Lee, Tom Marshall, Jake Moult, Jordan Sinnott. Unused Subs: Steven Gillespie, Kyle Perry, Sean Williams, Simon Richman, Peter Cavanagh. Attendance: 535. Match report by Ryan Delaney.

Wrexham prevail in North Wales
Iron made the long trip to sunny north Wales to face FA Trophy finalists Wrexham and returned home beaten by three goals to nil. It was a strong performance for most of the game from the Iron, despite the 3-0 score line, and had they not been cruelly forced into substitutions could have come away with a share of the points. Wrexham have now gone eleven matches unbeaten at the Racecourse Ground.
From the first corner of the game Wrexham headed the ball against the bar, after ten minutes Carl Pentney had to be alert after a goal mouth scramble resulted in a shot straight down the centre. After half an hour there was concern for Sean Marks who went down after a clash of heads. Moments later Chez Isaac thumped a twenty-five yard effort narrowly over the bar that had Andy Coughlin struggling. Having recovered from a knock to the head, Marks had to be replaced with Jordan Cox having picked up another injury.
The last few minutes of the half were dominated by the Iron. Bernard Mensah pounced on dawdling Wrexham defence and pinched the ball high up the field. In a two on two situation Mensah rolled the ball to his left, into the path of Cox who bent an effort inches wide of the post. Minutes after, Dan Sparkes volleyed an effort from the edge of the box that went fizzing wide of the goal. The last effort the half fell to Mitch Brundle who meandered across the Wrexham half before thumping an effort over the bar. At half time it was goalless, yet it was the Iron that looked most likely to make the breakthrough. The Iron had been more solid at the back and were effectively breaking down Wrexham attacks in the midfield. Substitute Cox had also picked up an injury, bringing the total to two, but Cox was able to continue.
The second half started fairly evenly, but the Iron were dealt a massive blow when a clash of heads left Matt Paine with a broken nose, forcing a substitution, Simeon Akinola taking to the field. The deadlock was broken in the sixty-second minute by Louis Moult. The Iron were unable to clear a long throw from the right channel, the ball only reaching the edge of the Iron box. Pentney was able to get behind the following shot from Sam Finley, but could not hold onto the ball and Moult was on hand to tap in from close range. To add further insult to injury Isaac had to be carried off the pitch, the forth injury of the day, and replaced with James Mulley, who is himself not at full fitness.
With both Paine and Isaac having to be replaced the Iron were no longer winning the majority of the midfield battles. Moult got his second goal of the game in the seventy-eighth minute. Wrexham worked the ball well to the right wing and to Joe Clarke who was in space. Clarke then whipped in a dangerous cross that Moult met with his head at the near post, a few yards from goal. Moult got real purchase on his header which took it past Pentney, slamming against the crossbar and into the net.
Andy Bishop wrapped up the scoring in the ninetieth minute when he nodded a Jay Harris cross beyond Pentney. The result does not reflect fairly on the battling performance from the Iron, and had there not been so many injuries the result could have been remarkably different. Mark Sansom stated at full time that the injuries disrupted the flow of the team and that never before has he been forced to make all three substitutions due to injury. The Iron will hope that they can shake off their knocks and perform the way they did in the first half against Altrincham next week.
Wrexham FC: Andy Coughlin, Neil Ashton, Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson (Anthony Stephens, 30 mins) Louis Moult, Andy Bishop, Dean Keates, Steve Tomassen, Rob Evans, Connor Jennings (Joe Clarke, 63 mins) Sam Finley (Jay Harris, 86 mins). Unused Subs: Wes York, Kyle Storer. Braintree Town FC: Carl Pentney, Mitch Brundle, Sam Habergham, Chez Isaac (James Mulley ,67 mins) Matt Paine (Simeon Akinola, 53 mins) Alan Massey, Kenny Davis, Sean Marks (Jordan Cox, 40 mins) Dan Sparkes, Bernard Mensash, Remy Clerima. Unused Subs: Nick Hamann, Joe Maybanks. Attendance: 2766. Match Report by Ryan Delaney.


Saturday 1 August, 3pm
Ebbsfleet United (Away)
Pre-season friendly

Saturday 8 August, 3pm
Chester (Away)

Tuesday 11 August, 7.45pm

Saturday 15 August, 3pm