Brantham Athletic chairman tells players to win FA Vase match for departing legend Colin Grogan

Brantham progressed to the FA Vase Fifth Round last year

Brantham progressed to the FA Vase Fifth Round last year - Credit: Archant

Brantham Athletic chairman Peter Crowhurst has told his players to win their upcoming FA Vase match on Sunday for departing manager Colin Grogan.

After 20 years of service to the club involving a number of different roles, Grogan shocked the Thurlow Nunn scene on Tuesday morning by resigning with immediate effect.

A UEFA licenced coach who worked tirelessly on and off the pitch for the club over the years, Grogan’s departure disappointed and saddened Crowhurst.

“Colin is a massive loss to us, he had bags of integrity.

“He is a really unique character and a real gentleman as well as being an excellent football coach.”

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Crowhurst refused to comment on why Grogan stood down but sent the club legend, who had only been appointed recently following Tony Hall’s absence, his best wishes.

He said: “For one reason or another Colin has decided to move on and everyone at the club would like to thank him and wish him all the best.

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“He did an incredible amount for this football club and he will certainly remain one of our best friends.”

Grogan oversaw a number of young players progress into the Brantham first-team after managing the under-18 side for a long while and his departure upset a great deal of current first-team players.

Upon hearing the news a number of players took to Twitter to voice their disappointment and shock of the news, including top scorer Lee Grimwood who tweeted – “Bit disappointed to a man who put everything in to club training match days. Whether people agreed or not with way he worked he gave 100%”

Crowhurst understood the player’s frustrations but has insisted that the players have now got to grips with the news and are fully focussed ahead of this weekend’s vital Second Round FA Vase tie away at Hadley, Hertfordshire.

“Everyone loved Colin, the players were in a bit of a shock because he was more than just a manager but football moves on,” said Crowhurst.

“Whatever situation we find ourselves in, there is no lack of ambition here and the players are really up for the game, I’ve told them to win it for Colin.”

Brantham went on a fantastic run in this competition last year, eventually bowing out in the fifth round – one fixture short of a quarter-final match up.

And although Crowhurst acknowledges this weekend’s game, which is strangely being played on a Sunday, will be a tough one he is hopeful of a similar run.

“When I first heard who we were drawn against I thought we were in for a local derby!” joked Crowhurst.

On a more serious note, the chairman declared: “It’ll be a challenge for us away from home but we’re all looking forward to it – cup runs give off a such a great buzz to everyone involved in the club and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Ex-Colchester United player Paul Abrahams will be in charge on Sunday and Crowhurst is keen for the ex-pro to stay at the club.

“We now have an excellent interim manager in Paul Abrahams and we’re certainly hoping he’s part of our long-term plan here because he’s a superb individual.

“He joined us about six weeks ago to support Colin and he has a great aura about him that instantly demands respect.

“We’re grateful for him in taking the role on for now, and after a terrific first training session in charge, he is looking forward to leading the team to triumph on Sunday.”

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