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Bromley FC: Can they Truly Contend For The League Title?

At the beginning of the season, Bromley were one of the favourites for a top 7 finish in the National League and certainly most predicted that they would repeat their efforts of the 22/23 season and potentially go one step further this time, despite their rocky start to the season with back to back loses the ravens now sit in 2nd place in the National League table with 45 points and are now 8 points of Chesterfield in 1st, can they keep up this momentum or is the possibility of winning the league just a dream.

Loan Signings

Over the last few seasons, thanks to manager Andy Woodman Bromley has had some good quality loan signings join them, such as the likes of Lewis Leigh and Kido-Taylor Hart this season; however, as most fans know, you never fall in love with a loan player as your heart will be broken when they return to their parent club, and with some of Bromley's current loanees only contracted till the start of the new year this could spell a problem for Bromley's second half of the season.


The list is pretty extensive, but the ones that have stood out massively since being part of the setup at Hayes Lane have been Chin Okoli from Millwalls U21s to gain more experience in men's football and, throughout the season, so far, has been a solid and reliable player in Bromley's defence; additionally, another key to Bromley's defence is Deji Elerewe who returned on loan a few months a go seeking more game time after a managerial change at Charlton, and he has picked up were he left off last season with his impressive darting runs up the pitch as well as scoring soon after his return, however, he also faces a return to his parent club in January, and if these players do depart back to their parent clubs then Bromley will lose some of pace and power behind their style of football and possibly reduce the chances that they are able to create in a game.


However, despite their potential departures, Bromley still have strong and experienced defenders in the likes of captain Byron Webster and Callum Reynolds, so nothing will drastically change as Bromely will still have Alex Kirk, a loanee from Arsenal U21s who whilst he has only appeared briefly, will be there waiting to get more chances in the new year alongside his arsenal teammate forward Kido-Taylor Hart who both are on season-long loans and will become a crucial part of the team going into the business end of the season.


However, fans will not be worried as they know Andy Woodman will do whatever it takes to keep some of this season's short-term signings for as long as he can, and if not, he will delve deep into the loan market and find suitable replacements, which he has done on multiple occasions in the last few seasons with the likes of Ryan Stirk and Ali Al Hamadi being a few memorable second half of the season loan signings.


Cup Runs

Bromley currently only remains in the FA Trophy out of the three cup competitions they entered, having lost 5-1 to Dartford in the Kent Senior Cup,2-0 to League 1 Blackpool in front of the TV cameras in the FA Cup and most recently on penalties to Met Police in the London Senior Cup


Whilst Andy Woodman insisted that they planned to take all the cups seriously, they certainly did, and whilst it is disappointing, maybe having your eyes on fewer games can be a positive for Bromley if they want to go further than playoffs and compete for the title, as it stands league leaders Chesterfield are still in the FA Cup and will just be starting their FA Trophy campaign alongside Bromley however being top of the league whilst for now, 8 points is a comfortable margin surely it will make it a struggle for Paul Cook to regularly rotate his side enough.


Whilst the quality is there, it won't be easy or a guarantee that his best starting XI is possible, giving Bromley an opportunity to capitalise in their league games which could spell the game between the two sides at Hayes Lane being a vital decider if there is to be any form of the title race this season, however whilst Bromley will have one eye on promotion they will want to try and have a decent FA Trophy run which is a competition very close to the fans hearts having won the 21/22 final against Wrexham at Wembley and will want to rewrite that history rather than their first round exit to Hereford last season.


Mentality

If you have seen Bromley over the last few seasons, their mentality has definitely shifted and show a real never-say-die attitude even when games are looking tough, which has contributed to their success so far this season as they well and turkey give it everything each and every game and even when it doesn't go in their favour they pick themselves back up again, such as losing their first two games of the season they would then go 11 unbeaten eventually losing out to league leaders Chesterfield and then go 6 unbeaten in the league, have an upset losing 3-2 to Aldershot and are now currently on back to back wins.


This ability to carry on so strongly, especially after defeat, is as key as it is to put out the best starting XI each week to have a winning team, you need not get bred of winning, and when it doesn't go your way, you look at it and move on which is drilled into the players each week as even ones that may not be chosen help instill these positive attitudes into the squad.


Playoff Or Bust?

The realistic target for Bromley has to be a playoff finish, preferably 2nd or 3rd, as they would have a home playoff game and have one less to the final, which would be making even more history for the club and improving on last season, however, if you had told Bromley fans they would be 2nd on 45 points and 8 behind the league leaders they most likely wouldn't have believed you, but I think as the manager has gained more trust from the supporters I think they have really bought into his project and fell in love with his brand of football.


Bromley will not be written out of the title race; they simply wouldn't allow it, and the way the National League is, anyone can truly beat anyone; as we have seen with previous title races, the tiniest of margins so there is no guarantee that Chesterfield will win the league.

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