‘Bridge Bags Briggs: Harvey’s Replacement Sees Return of Former Captain

Keith Briggs and Andy Ferne return to Bower Fold

They say a week is a long time in politics. This is also true of Association Football from World Cup qualifiers to the Skrill North. Within the space of nine days, Stalybridge Celtic have replaced their previous manager Jim Harvey with two familiar faces. One of them was Steve Burr’s captain from 2007 to 2010. The second face has had ties with Stalybridge Celtic on a commercial level for 30 years, and scouted for Steve Burr.

From tomorrow, Stalybridge Celtic’s new managerial team will be Keith Briggs and Andy Ferne. Briggs returns to Bower Fold as player-manager, being the ‘old head’ which will enable Celtic’s young side to keep their nerve. His right hand man, Andy Ferne, was Number Two to Steve Burr at Kidderminster Harriers and scouted for him whilst at Bower Fold. He has also helped out with the commercial side, where one season resulted in a sponsorship deal with Cuticura.

Jim Harvey left Bower Fold early last week by mutual consent. Some critics have claimed a handful of bad results and tactical decisions were behind his departure. The full time professional set up and partnership with Kirkless College will remain.

There was 30 applications for the position, with former Premier League players among the applicants. Prior to the return of Briggs and Ferne, Stalybridge Celtic’s training sessions were conducted by former Manchester United favourite Paul Scholes.

Briggs and Ferne will take their positions in the away dugout at the New Windmill Ground, where Stalybridge Celtic play new boys Leamington F.C. Their first home match will be against Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday 22 October, kick off time 7.45pm. Further to this, a ‘Meet The Manager’ question and answer session will be taking place in the Sponsors’ Lounge at 7.30pm on Monday 21 October.

There will also be an exclusive interview with Keith Briggs and Andy Ferne at 6.00pm on Tameside Radio on Pav’s Patch. If you live in Tameside or surrounding area, tune in on 103.6 FM. You can also listen online via http://www.tamesideradio.com, either live or at a later date through Tameside Radio’s ‘Listen Again’ facility.

East of the M60 wishes them well on their return to Bower Fold. Altogether now, 1-2-3… ‘Hail Hail, The Celts Are Here…’

S.V., 18 October 2013.

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