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Brockworth Albion are a club with plenty of ambition

Gloucester > Sport > Football

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 09:00

Mark Mulraney and David Evans Mark Mulraney and David Evans

David Evans is Brockworth through and through. He was born in the village, went to school in the village and still lives in the village today.

He’s also a major figure at Brockworth Albion, the football club with big ambitions to regain a place in the County League.

And those ambitions are certainly no pipedream because the club’s flagship team are going well in Northern Senior League Division One and their facilities at Mill Lane are these days up to the required County League standard.

That was not the case when they last won the title in 2010/11 – Evans was still a player back then although not in the first team – and Evans will clearly have a pivotal role to play if they are to clinch promotion this time around.

That’s because he’s not only chairman of the club – a role he took on the season before last – but he’s also the first team’s assistant manager where he works alongside manager Mark Mulraney.

“We’re aiming for promotion this season,” said Evans, “we’re ambitious, we want to climb the football pyramid.”

So how far does Evans think the club can go?

“I wouldn’t like to put a cap on it,” he said, “but realistically it would be hard to go much further than the County League because of the financial investment needed to sustain it.

“The players would also have to be willing to travel a lot further and play a lot more midweek games.”

Evans knows what he’s talking about, of course. He knows pretty much everything there is to know about Brockworth Albion because he joined the club back in 1998 as a 17-year-old in the days when the club were known as Brockworth AFC.

“I played for all three of the club’s senior teams,” he said, “and I was first team captain for a while. When I first started I was a striker but when I was about 21 I moved to centre-back and I spent the rest of my career there.”

So why the switch?

“I don’t think I was a very good striker,” he said with a laugh, before adding, “it was something that just happened and it worked.”

Evans had been playing for Brockworth AFC for seven years when they changed their name after amalgamating with nearby ICI Fibres.

The club, which were formed in 1958, had spent half-a-dozen seasons in the County League before returning to the Northern Senior at the start of this century and they have remained at that level ever since.

That’s something that the club’s supporters hope is about to change. Evans became Mulraney’s assistant at the start of the 2017/18 season after he’d finished playing and the two work well together.

“Mark’s a Brockworth lad and has always played for Brockworth,” Evans said. “We played together and we were mates before we started working together, having known each other since we were kids.

“The relationship works well, Mark is the lead voice in the changing room, he makes the team decisions, we bounce off each other.”

Mulraney is clearly another who is Brockworth through and through and Evans said the club has a hardworking committee who put Brockworth Albion first.

“We’ve got some younger guys on the committee but we’ve also got some people with experience,” said Evans. “It’s a good mix, everyone chips in.”

And everyone is certainly chipping in on the field as well after a bright start saw the first team up among the Northern Senior League pacesetters.

“We’ve got some good players,” said Evans. “Liam Mayo at the ripe old age of 38 has played for Brockworth all of his career. He’s playing right midfield this season but in the past has played in centre midfield and in defence.

“David Wilkinson, our first team captain, is still putting in a good shift in central midfield and is another one within reaching distance of the big four-O. He’s a great player who played for Gloucester City when Chris Burns was in charge.”

Burns, of course, made it all the way to the top of the professional game, including playing for Portsmouth in an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool in 1992, and as well as managing Gloucester he also played for and managed Brockworth.

But while Mayo and Wilkinson provide experience along with Sean Payne, Evans says that Brockworth are a fairly young side.

“Byron Lloyd is a young boy,” he said, “and brothers Jordan and Dan Alderman are both very talented. We’ve also got Stan Brown playing up top with Shane Burford and they all give opponents’ defences a torrid time.”

And while the aforementioned players are all very much in and around the first team set-up, Brockworth Albion are not just all about the flagship team.

“Our second team play in Division Two of the Cheltenham League, and under the guidance of manager David McChristie won the league cup last season which was the first trophy in 36 years for any second team squad so a great achievement” said Evans, who is married to Gemma and works in the construction industry.

“And our third team play in Stroud League Division Six under the management of Mark Price who does a great job as this is the place where the older heads help to integrate the fresh faced 16-17-year-olds into men’s football which ultimately leads to them appearing for the second and first team squads.

“We’ve also got a strong youth set-up and are currently running teams from under-6s through to under-14s. We want our youth system to be a conveyor belt of talent.”

Evans’ young sons Zachary and Noah are already part of that youth set-up. They are at the very early stages of their footballing development but it’s fair to say that if they contribute half as much as their dad to the club in the years to come, Brockworth Albion’s future will surely be in very safe hands.

Other Images

Dave Wilkinson
Brockworth Albion 2nds celebrate their cup win last season
Mill Lane

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