Millbrook make history as FA gives league green light
Western League football is almost certain to be coming to Jenkins Park next season.
28th April 2021
By Lee Hall
Millbrook chairman Mark Pratten has welcomed what he described as an ‘historic moment’ following confirmation from the Football Association Council on Friday that the club will be invited to apply for promotion to the Western League for the first time.
They will be one of more than 100 clubs across the country now eligible to officially register their interest in making the step up as part of the FA’s restructure across non-league football.
Millbrook will begin the application process this week and it is hoped that the FA will be able to confirm the 2021/22 league constitutions by the week beginning Monday May 17.
Promotion to Western League football for the first time in Millbrook’s 133-year history will be a hugely significant step for the club, who only returned to South West Peninsula League football seven years ago.
But under manager Mackenzie Brown and assistant Mike Heron the club has firmly established itself in recent seasons, and it is their results from the last two campaigns which has ultimately earned them the chance to bring Western League football to Jenkins Park next season.
It was decided by the FA that the clubs offered ‘upward movement’ would be determined on a points per game ratio over the last two seasons.
Millbrook accumulated an average of 2.17 points per game over the last two seasons, which were both curtailed by the pandemic, and are one of two clubs from Premier East (the other being Ilfracombe Town), who are now being invited to apply for promotion.
In a statement released by Pratten on Friday, shortly after the FA’s announcement, he said: “This is an historical moment for us all at the club and for you, our supporters, as we have never played at this level and could only dream of this when we took over four years ago.
“I would like to confirm to you all today that our intention is to actively seek upward movement to the Western League.
“This will see so many different sides visiting Jenkins Park, so exciting times for us.”
He continued: “I hope you will join us in congratulating Macca (Brown), Mike (Heron) and the whole squad for their amazing efforts.
“As you all know we continue to build on our fantastic community club with the back bar refurb and the community kitchen/larder run by the Rame Peninsula Trust to help our local families in need.
“We are also introducing new fitness classes, a running club and boot camp style classes, coming in May.
“I hope you will embrace this historic moment and continue to support us as we move into a new era for our special club and community.”
Brown says he is excited to lead the club into unchartered territory, and continue what has been a phenomenal success story for Millbrook in recent seasons.
He said: “The club has always been really popular in Cornwall, but I never realised just how popular.
“The last ten years have been difficult for the club, and when I came in four or five years ago it was at its worst.
“In my first season I wasn’t aware just how bad things were and the state it was in, so it’s taken time.
“But what’s nice now is that this is the same group of people, on and off the pitch, over the last few years, and they all deserve this chance to bring Western League football to the club.”
Millbrook’s resurgence under Brown has certainly come to fruition in recent seasons.
Before the ‘current’ 2020/21 campaign was cut short following the last lockdown in January, Millbrook were third in the Premier East table, having won ten of their opening 11 league games.
Brown said: “We were disappointed that the season was curtailed because we were really in form, it was going really well.
“The last 12 months have been frustrating when you look at the all the work we have put in, but at least it has still been recognised with the points per game we’ve picked up.
“We’ve been held back because of the situation but the players will now get the chance to test themselves in the Western League which they fully deserve.”