Promotion is a ‘fantastic opportunity’ says Brown

Promotion is a ‘fantastic opportunity’ says Brown

Could Millbrook be playing Western League football next season?

14th April 2021

By Lee Hall

Millbrook manager Mackenzie Brown admits that he would be “amazed” if they turn down the chance of promotion to the Western League - and complete what has been a remarkable journey for a club which was playing East Cornwall Premier League football just seven years ago.

The FA released a statement on Monday regarding the restructuring of the non-league pyramid, which could see more than 100 clubs playing higher level football next season. And that could include Millbrook, who were third in the South West Peninsula League Premier East table, but with promotions being decided on a points per game ratio over the last two seasons, Millbrook are second behind Ilfracombe Town (2.29) with 2.17 points.

The restructure was due to take place at the end of the 2019/20 season, before being deferred after leagues were declared null and void.

With steps three to six of the National League System being curtailed this term, the FA want to move forward with the restructure by using results from the past two campaigns to rank teams, and that would see Millbrook promoted.

Brown said: “I’d be amazed if the club turned around and said they didn’t want it. It’s a fantastic opportunity, the form of the club, the form of the players over the last two seasons has turned what has been a disappointing and unusual couple of seasons into something which can be really positive.”

Millbrook’s possible promotion would complete what would be a remarkable rise for a club, which was competing in East Cornwall Premier League football in 2014.

Brown said: “They were in the East Cornwall League before I was involved with the club. When we got involved with the club there were so many problems in our first season. We walked into the club and obviously there was news of the debt. The club was literally a few days from going out of business. It was going to completely fold.

“Then obviously 12 months later we won the West League and obviously we just looked to consolidate ourselves in the South Western League and now this.

“It’s the same group of players really, it’s the same team that won the 2018 West Division, and literally 80 to 90 per cent of the players remain the same. A big chunk of the players were playing five, six, seven years ago in East Cornwall One for Edgcumbe.

“It’s been a delight to not only do it with Millbrook but with the same players we’ve done it together, which has been fantastic.”

Brown also believes that last season’s FA Vase run has also provided proof that this group of players are capable of competing at a higher level.

He said: “We can use our experience from when we won the West and we came up to the South Western League, that first season I think we probably were one of the favourites to go down and finish in the bottom two or three places. I think we ended up finishing eighth or ninth in the end and an amazing season, so that’s an experience we can use.

“This year the Vase experience has been fantastic, and I think there is a reality check, when it’s a Vase game you are completely up for it. It’s a one-off game.

“But we said this when we came up, it’s about doing this every week.

“We lost in the FA Cup to Bridgwater and we were the better team by far that night and lost 1-0. That was an FA Cup fixture everyone was buzzing for, we pulled out a fantastic performance and still lost the game.

“We know we can go up and give a good account of ourselves if that’s what the club decides to do. We’re in a much better position than we were a couple of years ago. All the players are better, we are better for the experiences which we’ve had and it’s something we would really look forward to”