Departing Danny Cowley will always cherish the togetherness and spirit of Braintree Town

Danny Cowley pictured after Braintree had been knocked out by Grimsby in the Braintree v Grimsby (Na

Danny Cowley pictured after Braintree had been knocked out by Grimsby in the Braintree v Grimsby (National League Play-off semi final second leg) match at The Avanti Stadium, Brsaintree, on 08 May 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

As Danny Cowley begins what he hopes will be a long and successful career as a professional football manager, the former Braintree boss knows he is leaving behind a group of players with a spirit and togetherness that he may never encounter again.

Cowley was in demand after a stunning first season at Cressing Road, which saw the part-time Iron surpass all expectations to finish third and make the National League play-offs, with Lincoln City beating off competition from a number of clubs to entice the former PE teacher into his first full-time management role.

The move comes at a time when the duo are still getting over the disappointment of a play-off exit at the hands of Grimsby a week ago and, while insisting he was excited to now be able to concentrate full-time on football, Cowley admitted he was unsure if he would ever have the fortune of working with a squad as close and as dedicated as the one he is leaving behind.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a week, we were still getting over the disappointment of the play-offs and then we’ve both had a really tough decision to make,” he said.

“We had an excellent season at Braintree and we were under no illusions of how tough it would have been to improve on that, but once we were aware of a full-time option for us it was something both Nicky and I felt strongly about.

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“Braintree Town were successful before we arrived and they will be successful now we’ve gone, I have no doubt about that.

“We’re leaving behind a wonderful group of players, I can’t speak highly enough of them, they’re togetherness and their will to win is amazing and inspiring.

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“I hope I go on to manage in football for a long time and have many successes, but I’m not sure I’ll have a group as hard working and committed as the squad at Braintree.

“But it’s not just football, we’re coming out of our careers as teachers to go into football management. With respect to the football we know it can chew you up and spit you out, we’re respectful of that and know it doesn’t have the same security as teaching does.

“We’ll miss our teaching jobs dearly, we’ve had a fantastic time at a great school with great children so it’s a real wrench to live.

“But we couldn’t turn this down.”

Lincoln have now been out of the Football League since 2011, with the likes of David Holdsworth, Gary Simpson and recently departed boss Chris Moyses unable to lead them back, but Cowley is confident Sincil Bank is the perfect place for he and his brother to begin their careers in the full-time game.

He said: “It’s an excellent club with great potential, a Football League club in most respects, but a string of good managers haven’t been able to get them into the League for whatever reason.

“That’s the challenge, we know that, but we’re winners and we’re going to win. There’s not a magic formula but we know if people work hard enough to achieve success then you are on the right side of it.

“We’re excited to take our work into a full-time environment, which will allow us to focus on one thing. We both have had management responsibilities at the school and now that focus will go entirely on football.”

Braintree have already received plenty of interest as they look to replace the Cowley brothers, with interviews likely to be held at the start of this week as chairman Lee Harding looks to make a quick appointment.

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