The Big Preview – Bromley

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To be honest, we don’t know why we’re bothering doing a big preview to the new National League season, in which Stockport County have a realistic chance of ending their decade in the non-league wilderness, and returning to the Football League. It is meant to start on October 3rd. But that will probably be delayed until next February, or 2026 or something. Either that, or football will be completely cancelled, with results decided by online games of noughts and crosses. Until then, however, we crack on as normal. We’ve spoken to fans of all the teams County will be facing this season, and we’ll be publishing these every day in the run-up to the eagerly-anticipated 2020-21 campaign. Next up, we’re delighted to publish our interview with Dave Roberts, author of The Bromley Boys, which was also turned into a film starring Alan Davies and Martine McCutcheon in 2018.

Dave is the author of some excellent books, which you can find at his website www.daverobertsbooks.com

What are your thoughts on Stockport County?
Obviously they’ve made some good signings and you can see why they’re favourites. Gannon is clearly a very good manager with a strong squad. I’ve seen Palmer and Mulhern at my local club Guiseley, and both are good players. Rooney was also there and he was excellent against Bromley last season. I actually missed the Stockport v Bromley game last season as I was turned back at Leeds station – they thought the storm would mean there’d be no return trains later. The last time I was there was November 1981 against Torquay. The fans were great, but we didn’t get a chance to see the town.

Best moment of last season?
Beating Notts County at home to go top of the National League on a gorgeous, sunny September afternoon. It doesn’t get much better than that. Honorary mention to Luke Coulson at Halifax, trapping a ball that had gone about 30 yards into the air and beating a defender in one move.

Worst moment of last season?
When the wheels came off. It started at Yeovil. We lost our goalkeeper just minutes into the game and he was replaced by a defender. Despite this we took the lead, only to concede a first half injury time equaliser, an own goal and a header from the smallest player on the pitch. We lost 3-1 and the season went downhill from there.

Covid stopping the season early. Good or bad for your club?
Definitely bad. We were showing signs of turning things around – the last game was a 1-1 draw at Harrogate – and were still in with a chance, admittedly quite small, of the play-offs.

If restrictions have been lifted, what indoor places should County fans check out in Bromley?
Bromley is not a major tourist attraction and most residents would struggle to list anything beyond The Glades, a shopping centre identical to every other shopping centre. For a pre-match drink, the Bricklayers Arms is popular with the home fans and if you have to have a ‘spoons, there’s one opposite Bromley South station.

And if restrictions haven’t been lifted, how about outside places?
The Library Gardens is quite pleasant. For Bowie fans, there are a few places of interest, like his school, his old flat, the scene of one of his first gigs and the pub (which is now a pizza restaurant) he used to play regularly. I believe it has one of those blue plaques there.

Which team do you most want to beat this season?
We always seem to struggle against Eastleigh, so I’d love to get the points from them. Most Bromley fans, including me, are always happy to beat Sutton.

Realistically, how do you think you’ll do this season?
Somewhere between 5th and 10th would be my guess, although we could surprise a few people. Definitely some good attacking players brought in and the defence has been strengthened.

And here’s a few other bits and bobs we’ve added ourselves…..

Last time at County: A 1-0 win back in February, courtesy of a second half Liam Hogan goal.

Last time at Bromley: An exciting Tuesday night 2-2 draw last October.

Where is Bromley? Saaaaaaaaaaf East London. You mug.

How do County fans get there, if they’re allowed? Train, baby. It’s a London away day.

What’s the latest Bromley news? (Well, the thing that came up most recently when we ‘Googled’ Bromley) Maddisons is the best restaurant in Bromley apparently, whose burgers are the stuff of local legend.

When are County due to play Bromley? A festive Saturday afternoon trip to the capital in December, with Bromley heading to Edgeley on Easter Monday.

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