England hero Hurst joins Brackley's celebrations
Sir Geoff Hurst was the special guest as Brackley Town threw open the doors of their new clubhouse
World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst helped make it a day to remember for Brackley Town last weekend.
Sir Geoff, who scored a hat-trick in England’s 1966 World Cup final win over West Germany, was the special guest as the Saints officially opened their new clubhouse – The Venue.
Fans had the opportunity to quiz the England legend during a question and answer session before they all headed out to the pitch to watch a special match between a Glenn Walker XI and a Brackley Town XI to honour the player’s achievement of becoming the club’s record appearance holder.
And it was Walker’s team, made up of past players, who triumphed 3-2 thanks to goals from Elliot Sandy, Tendai Daire and Ashley Chambers.
Shep Murombedzi and James Armson were on target for the Brackley XI, which was managed by current boss Kevin Wilkin
Looking ahead to the new season, Wilkin is confident Brackley Town will be able to fill the voids left by the departures of two key players this summer.
The Saints will be hoping to launch another promotion challenge when the new National League North season kicks off on August 14.
But they will be doing it without Shane Byrne and Ethan Coleman.
While the majority of the Brackley squad have agreed to stay on at St James Park, Coleman has left to join National League side King’s Lynn Town while Byrne ended a five-year stint with the club when he agreed to join league rivals Boston United.
And while Wilkin admits his preferred option was for both players to stay on, he insists he is up for the challenge of trying to find the right people to replace them.
“It always sits a little bit easier if players move on to a higher level so Shane leaving is tinged with a bit of disappointment,” the Brackley boss said.
“Boston are clearly a progressive club and want to move forward and, make no bones about it, they have signed as good of a midfielder as there is at this level.
“It’s a fantastic signing for them and we are disappointed to have lost both Shane and Ethan. We feel we have helped develop them and progress their games and this is always the battle you fight when you work with players and help them and then they move on. It’s part of football.
“The thing for us now is trying to identify other players who can come and make a difference for us.
“I think the environment we create at the club is one where players can continue to flourish and grow and progress their games.
“Ideally I would have liked Shane and Ethan to stay but that’s not the way it’s worked out.
“We will now look to identify players to fill those gaps. We have to be a bit patient at the moment but hopefully we can bring in lads who can help maintain the standards we have set for ourselves here.”