Lee Townrow excited by new opportunity at Brantham Athletic

Lee Townrow (left) in action for former club Needham Market

Lee Townrow (left) in action for former club Needham Market - Credit: Andy Abbott

Recently-appointed Brantham Athletic player-coach Lee Townrow is excited about the challenge of helping the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit.

Experienced Townrow, equally comfortable as a centre forward or a centre back, moved to Brantham at the start of November after departing Witham Town of the Ryman Premier Division.

A player who has spent most of his career plying his trade in the Ryman Leagues, Townrow is excited about this new chapter of football, with the 29-year-old particularly looking forward to the Imps’ FA Vase quest, which starts this afternoon at Wembley FC.

“This is a different challenge for me, but one I’m really looking forward to and enjoying so far,” declared Townrow.

“I left Witham for whatever reason and had a few offers to stay in the Ryman Leagues but after sitting down and considering my options, decided that the travelling was a bit too much.

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“I’m a bit older now and have always thought about taking up some coaching.

“Paul Abrahams then contacted me and made me an offer of player-coach.

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“I know Paul reasonably well – I made my debut for Wivenhoe alongside him upfront when I was 17 – and he’s a great person to learn the coaching trade from, and it allows me to still play a bit as well.”

Townrow has a host of Ryman experience with Needham Market, Witham, AFC Sudbury, and Heybridge Swifts, and accepts that it may take him a little while to get used to Thurlow Nunn football after getting sent off in the 4-2 defeat to Whitton United last week.

“I got sent off for two bookings,” confirmed Townrow, who should add a bit of steel to a young Brantham outfit.

“The first tackle wasn’t a booking, but the officials are perhaps a little more sensitive at this level which I’ll have to get used to!”

Townrow will receive a suspension in due course, but is likely to play a key role for the Imps in today’s FA Vase Second Round clash at aptly-named opponents Wembley FC.

“I’ve only ever played in the Vase once, but like the Trophy, it’s a competition everyone wants to do well in,” added Townrow.

“It brings in a bit of money for the club and I know Brantham have done fairly well in the Vase in recent seasons.”

Indeed they have, in the last two seasons, the Imps have reached the last 16 and last 32 of the competition, bowing out to Shildon and East Preston respectively.

Today’s opponents Wembley FC currently sit seventh in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, and Townrow is expecting a tough game.

“I don’t know too much about them, but I’m sure they will be very physical and strong,” he continued.

“We’re a young team so we’ll have to stand up to that, but hopefully the experienced players like myself, Ollie Mann, and Ross Norfolk can help steer the lads through.

“We’re a confident group and we’re all buzzing with excitement to play in the Vase, and try and go on another run.”

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