Belfast Telegraph

Stuart Green determined to keep faith with struggling Broomhedge

By Martin Mawhinney

To anyone looking from the outside in, it might appear that Broomhedge manager Stuart Green has a daunting task ahead of him in trying to rescue his ailing club’s fortunes.

But the man in question doesn’t quite see it the same way.

It has been a woeful start to the campaign for the Maze-based club, who are firmly rooted to the bottom of the Intermediate B table, without a point to their name, having conceded 25 goals in their first five games, including shipping five each against Craigavon City, Seagoe and Dungannon Tigers, not to mention, most recently at the weekend, seven against Valley Rangers.

And while it is very much early days in the league so far, the current plight facing Broomhedge would have many a manager glancing towards the exit door.

Not Green, however.

The former Broomhedge goalkeeper was drafted into the managerial hot seat last summer, and has admitted that he considered building the club from the bottom up all over again.

He revealed: “I was thinking of pulling the team out of the intermediate leagues and working our way up until the club found its level. I was looking at every angle to help the club progress.

“However, I am so glad that I didn’t do that in the end. It takes a long time for any team to get to this level, and we shouldn’t give it up easily.

“It has been a disastrous start – there is no getting away from that – but I have had so many injuries, I don’t think I could count them all on both hands.”

For that very reason, Green has faith in his squad’s capabilities of turning their current predicament around. Two of their most influential players, captain Darren Riddell and Colm McGuigan will hope to return from long-term knee and ankle injuries respectively.

Another, Sam Bradford, continues to recover from a knee injury.

Having to cope without these players, and more, from the end of last season has had an undeniable impact on Broomhedge’s aspirations, as Green has conceded.

“We are the sort of team that struggle once we have two or three of our main boys missing,” he claimed. “You can really notice it.

“The chopping and changing of the team that these injuries enforce means that we never have the same team every week… there is no continuity.

“I’d like to think if we could get ourselves to full strength, we could be looking at top six. I know that’s a big thing to say, with where we are now, but I do think we can be competitive.”

This is no sense of false idealism from a man who lifted the Beckett Cup with the very same club around a decade ago.

The signs have been there that Broomhedge aren’t flattered by their place in intermediate football. During an impressive period in the previous mid-season, they racked up 3-1 away wins over both Richhill and Seagoe, and even managed to thump six past Banbridge AFC near the start of the campaign.

Most notably of all, they only narrowly lost 2-1 in the second round of the Steel & Sons Cup against a Drumaness Mills side who went on to win the Amateur League Premier Division a number of months later.   

With a steady stream of young players beginning to filter into the club for the first time in some time, it is likely to take patience and hard work before the fruits of the management’s labour is seen.

But in Green, it appears Broomhedge have the man to see the job through.

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