Gallen tips Iron to show their mettle in the Conference

FORMER QPR striker Kevin Gallen has today tipped his new team mates at Braintree Town to thrive in the fifth tier of English football after the Iron won promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Farnborough’s inability to beat Woking on Saturday crowned Braintree as champions and ensured Cressing Road will be one big party for the visit of Welling United – and the trophy presentation – this afternoon.

And Gallen, who signed for Braintree on last month’s deadline day, believes he has already seen enough of his new team to believe they should not fear visits to the likes of Wrexham and Cambridge United.

Gallen, who played in the Conference for Luton Town before being released this season, said: “I think Braintree are more than capable of holding their own. It is hard to tell how well they will do but it is a great opportunity for the players.

“They are stepping up a level and playing against some great clubs including the likes of Wrexham and Luton. I am sure the club will be looking to improve, whenever you go up to a higher level you are always looking to bring in more players.”

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The championship was sealed in a dramatic 24 hours, Braintree beating Hampton and Richmond thanks to Glenn Poole’s 69th minute winner and then Farnborough losing at home on Saturday afternoon.

While his appearances for Braintree have been limited since signing up last month, Gallen revealed he chose Braintree over Farnborough – because of Town boss Rod Stringer’s nagging!

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“When I left Luton, I wasn’t really looking for another club. My wife had just had a baby and I wanted to be around for that. I wasn’t planning to play but Rod got on the phone and didn’t leave me alone for a few weeks,” Gallen joked.

“He said it was the last month of the season and would I help out. I haven’t been here long but the spirit is good and the manager and players have been very friendly. It has been an enjoyable few weeks.”

Gallen, who scored 90 goals for QPR during his two spells at Loftus Road and also played for Huddesfeld and the MK Dons, is in the squad for today’s celebrations but admits he is keeping an open mind about next season.

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