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Bromley FC: A Preseason Of Change

Bromley have come off their most historic and successful seasons so far, being promoted to League Two for the first time in their 132-year history and becoming the newest member of the Football League.

Playoff Final Recap

Despite getting over the line and gaining promotion to the Football League, Bromley didn't make it easy for themselves despite going into the second half 1-0 up in a closely contested first half thanks to the reliable Michael Cheek. Solihull would level the score shortly into the second half despite Grant Smith getting a hand to the first shot it would parry in the direction of Joe Sbarra to level the game.

Things would stay level until the 58th minute after a defensive mistake would see Nick Hayes make contact with Michael Cheek as both raced for the football, leading to a penalty being awarded and Micahel Cheek creating a brace for himself in the process, with this lead Bromley looked fairly comfortable but somewhat seemed to switch off for the second Solihull Moors goal allowing Jamey Osbourne to run through the team, strike from distance and level the score.

The remainder of the game would be extremely close between the two sides, with both sides creating many chances but just not being able to capitalise on their chances, with many being unfortunate not to find the back of the net, and ultimately, the game would be decided by penalties.

The penalties would be taken in the Solihull end, and their fans would move behind the goal, looking to help put off the Bromley players; however, Bromley were able to hold their nerve and were certainly helped by Grant Smith's two saves in the shootout, which well and truly gave Bromley all the momentum. However, it would still be decided by the last penalty before sudden death.

The pressure would land on Byron Webster's shoulders, but he looked unfazed as he walked up to the spot. Wearing an EFL captain's armband, he let out a smirk as Nick Hayes attempted to get into the defender's head. As coolly as you like, he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and sent Bromley into the Football League.

What's Next For The Club?

The first and main change that is currently taking place is the removal of the artificial surface that has been a part of the club since its promotion to the National League in 2017, as well as being an important part of the community serving a variety of different sessions across the week. However, since the new week begun after the club's Wembley triumph the work on removing the surface and putting in the new hybrid pitch begun and as a result has had an effect on preseason as the club will play the majority if inot all of their preseason away from home.

However, the club will still have the pitches to use, as they plan to relay them on another part of the land in addition to another smaller artificial surface so that community sessions can continue regularly and the first teams and academy can train on-site.

An additional piece of work needs to go ahead, but has been a problem due to the club's proximity to a green belt zone is the work that needs to take place on their east stand where the tv gantry is located, and a revised planning application has been sent to the local authority so this work will most likely take place and be completed closer to the end of the year, as the club looks to maximise space on this stand to house more community activities.

Another major change to the matchday experience will change due to the club's promotion due to EFL, SGSA Green guide guidelines, and local authority, meaning that there will be some changes to how a matchday operates, with the first one being what is often a staple of most non-league grounds is the ability to switch sides depending on the goal your team is shooting towards; however, this now needs to change as zoning comes into effect and pending approval will be split into two zones, this also changes the away end which was a small part of the east terrace, but now due to EFL rules 10% has to be given to away fans which will extend the away end into that corner of the ground taking up part of the north terrace.

Whilst understandably the retained list is yet to be announced as well as the clubs preseason fixtures, the sudden change that is taking place at the club is surely for the better.

Bromley head into the Football League, Andy Woodman has certainly transformed the club during his time at the club and in the following weeks more information about the incomings and outgoings at the club will be revealed. The fanbase needs to be patient as he has proved time and time again that he will be able to use the loan and transfer market effectively adapting to the new rules in comparison to the National League.

This period is daunting but exciting for Bromley and given the numbers of people that turned out to their promotion parade, the support of the borough and the people in it that will back Andy and the boys all the way in the upcoming season and whilst it is not clear who may be competitive in the upcoming League Two season, Bromley are a team that shouldn't be taken for granted.

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