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Bromley: The 23/24 Season So Far

After a preseason with key players from their playoff run moving on to new pastures and injuries to many of their key players, Bromley began their 23/24 campaign with back-to-back loses against FC Halifax Town and Barnet, but since have gone on an impressive run of six unbeaten games seeing them move from near the bottom of the table back into the top half of the table.

Preseason

Bromley began their preseason well, taking part in the annual Glynn Beverly Memorial Cup against Dulwich Hamlet that saw a fairly young side of mostly U21 players come back to draw 2-2 in normal time and go on to win 5-4 on penalties, retaining the preseason trophy.


Their preseason was a good test against a variety of opposition, including two local derbies at home against Maidstone and Dartford; their preseason also included visits from premiership and championship u21 sides, which saw the likes of Millwall, Fulham & Crystal Palace visit Hayes Lane as well as League 2 side Crawley Town.


Player Departures

However, during the preseason off the field, the club tried to retain a handful of important players, including Harry Forster, Omar Sowumni, and Reice Charles-Cook. Whilst it was disappointing not to be promoted last season, it was clear that their ambition was to be playing in the EFL. Ultimately, Omar signed with London rivals Sutton United, Harry Forster signed with Crawley Town, and Reice Charles-Cook left, hoping to find offers from other clubs.


Whilst it was disappointing not to resign these players, ultimately it was understandable that they wanted to test themselves in the football league, and another such player who received an offer from a bigger club was Kellen Fisher, a product of the Bromley Academy system, who shot into the first team, and ultimately Andy Woodman's faith in choosing him in the majority of fixtures and Kellen's ability to improve week after week would get him a move to Norwich City.

New Signings

To combat the late player departures and injuries, Andy Woodman didn't have long to get signings through the door, with one of his key signings being Grant Smith, signing for free after he departed from Yeovil Town, who, despite the Glover's relegation from the National League still playing well regardless of his former team's performance.


Additionally, another star of the National League that Andy Woodman had persuaded to join the club was Sam Woods from Barnet, where he played over 40 appearances for the Bees and was a crucial part of their midfield, playing in both meetings against Bromley in the 22/23 season.


There were still holes in the squad from where Omar and Harry had left during the summer, and as a close like-for-like replacement, Cole Kpekwa was through the door; having signed after he departed from Maidenhead United a part-time club, he is now getting used to full-time football and is also a player that Bromley fans know well having scored the only goal of their 1-0 defeat at York Road last season.


A similar replacement for Harry Forster would eventually arrive in time for the second game of the season, and that would be Todd Miller after he departed from Brighton & Hove Albion. Miller is a pacey winger who made his Bromley debut against Barnet in the second game of the season; despite the loss, Miller came on in the second half and showed blistering pace, showing fans his ability as an impact sub, with him netting his debut goal for the club against Altrincham in a 2-1 win.


In addition to these highlighted permanent signings, Andy Woodman has dived into his long array of contacts across the pyramid to bring in a lot of talented youngsters from high-level clubs, such as the likes of Teddy Sharman Lowe from Chelsea, who featured in pre-season and made his league debut against Halifax in the first week, Bim Pepple from Luton Town is another promising loanee having made his debut away at Kidderminster Harriers these are just a few of the talented youngsters that have been given the opportunity to develop at Bromley like others have done before them such as Deji Elewere who is now regular starting for Charlton's first team.


Eight Games In:

Bromley's had a rocky start to the season with two back-to-back 2-0 losses against Halifax and Barnet, injuries and player departures playing a factor in those two games, giving Andy Woodman a very limited squad to choose from for the first initial games of the season. However, things would gradually change over the next three games, with Bromley drawing their 1-1 against Wealdstone, 0-0 against Kidderminster Harriers, and 2-2 against Rochdale; despite not winning these three fixtures, this beginning an unbeaten run giving players, staff, and the fans hope that Bromley's luck was starting to change.


This would be the case as players started to return from injury, and extra players came in on loan to strengthen the squad, giving the coaching staff a better variety of players to pick from. This fresher and complete squad would show what they are really about as they would go on to beat Southend 2-1, picking up their first overall win of the season; they would then repeat this away to Altrincham and then back at home convincingly beat Maidenhead united 4-1 a team that is often Bromley's bogey side whenever they visit Hayes Lane, making it six games unbeaten and putting Bromley back in the top half of the table at 9th place currently and on 12 points.


Next Up: Oldham Athletic

This Saturday, Bromley is set to take on Oldham Athletic at Hayes Lane, who, compared to Bromley, haven't had a great start to the season. In the last meeting at Hayes Lane, Bromley won 3-0, so they should be the favourites, especially at home and with the addition of coming off of a 4-1 win the previous week, they should have the confidence to continue their unbeaten run of games.




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