Former Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley has paid tribute to his former club, as he confirmed his next move will be announced “within the next few hours”.
Confirmation of Cowley’s departure from the Avanti Stadium came on Thursday night, with rumours circulating for weeks now that the thirty six year old was set for a move to a number of professional clubs.
The likes of Notts County, Tranmere Rovers and perhaps most prominantly Lincoln City have been linked with a move for Cowley’s services, but he was keen to stress what his time at Braintree meant to him, as he prepares to make his next move.
“Firstly I want to make it clear we are very grateful to Braintree Town, to the directors, to the supporters, to everyone at the club for the opportunity they gave us.
“We got support throughout the season and there are some fantastic people at the club, I can’t tell you how much of a privilege it was to manager Braintree.
“The supporters, although they are small in number, were massive in heart and really behind the club.
“I will be forever thankful for all of their support and I leave with a heavy heart.
“This is an opportunity we couldn’t turn down and one that will be announced in the next few hours”
It’s just over a year since Cowley left Concord Rangers to take over at Braintree.
In the time since the club has surpassed all expectations, flying to a third placed finish in the Vanarama National League, with only champions Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers ahead of them.
And Cowley expressed his hope that he leaves the club in a strong position to develop in the near future.
“It’s been a great season and it has surpassed all of our expectations.
“We are hugely ambitious and we always felt we could go to Braintree Town and add value but certainly finishing third in the league and take Grimsby Town as far as we did was a monumental effort.
“We just wanted to get to fifty points, working on limited funds, so we just wanted to stay in the division.
“The club want to move to a new ground, that is well-known and we just wanted to bridge the gap so if the move comes, it is an easier one to complete”
There have been many highlights for Cowley in his time with the Iron.
Many would point to their brave FA Cup exit at the hands of SkyBet League Two runners up Oxford United.
A 1-1 draw at the Avanti Stadium saw the tie replayed at the U’s Kassam Stadium.
A might effort from Cowley’s side saw them take the lead through a Kenny Davis penalty in the first half.
However the U’s class told in the end as a Liam Sercombe equaliser and two second half goals from striker Pat Hoban finally broke the Iron’s resistance.
And although Cowley looks back fondly on their defeat to the U’s, it was his players’ consistancy throughout the season that gives him the most satisfaction from his time with the club.
“Taking Oxford United to a replay and matching them in the FA Cup was a highlight. They were an excellent side and one that have deservedly been promoted to League One.
“But what pleases me most is the consistency of the players, their will to win and improve was great.
“We had some brilliant wins against big clubs likes Cheltenham Town, Wrexham, Tranmere and Grimsby Town. They were great days and will live with me forever, I will look back on them fondly”
As he prepares to take the next step in his short managerial career, Cowley revealed that there have been “three or four offers” for his services in the past week.
After taking time to consider his options, he feels happy that he has selected a club that will help him reach the next level in his career.
“We have an opportunity to go into full-time football and that is something we just couldn’t turn down.
“For us, we never want to live with regret and opportunities like that don’t come along very often.
“This week we have had three or four opportunities to do that and now it is just about selecting the one we feel is most suitable to help us make the next step as managers and I think we have done that”
Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)