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Briggs On The Run In...

3 years ago By Steve Hobson

James Burch speaks to the Robins veteran midfielder about his move to Hurst Cross.

“The dressing room at Ashton United is right up there with some of the best!” Keith Briggs, Midfielder.

Coming into such a young and vibrant squad, eyebrows were raised when 33 year old Keith Briggs walked through the doors at Hurst Cross on the 19th March 2015. Having enjoyed a 16 year career at 10 clubs, the midfielder has a wealth of experience and quality, but there were some sceptics as the veteran hadn’t kicked a ball in anger for over three months.

The quality Briggs possesses has been evident since he joined the club and his level headed approach to games has been a breath of fresh air in the heart of the Robins midfield. With over 150 professional appearances to his name, the former Norwich City man has been a calming influence in the side, in the process mentoring the likes of Gary Gee and Ashley Young.

Having left his managerial post at Stalybridge Celtic in March, Briggs has returned to playing action like a duck to water and despite limited minutes on the pitch so far, the midfielder has loved every minute of his Robins journey so far.

“It’s been very good so far, the results have been positive and it is a pleasure to play for such a well-run and driven club. It took me a few weeks to get ticking over in training, but I have adapted quickly and it was great to play my first game a fortnight ago.

I made my debut and felt good and I was disappointed to only play 55 minutes against Stamford as I had to come off with an injury. I can’t wait to be back playing again though and it has been a pleasure to play football with such a great group of lads.”

Briggs has been a mainstay in some of the best dressing rooms up and down the country over the 90’s and 00’s, rubbing shoulders with numerous great players. Robins fans have seen on social media that team spirit at the Tameside club is second to none and the sides most recent acquisition, believes the atmosphere created by Paul Phillips and Steve Halford is just that.

“The dressing room at Ashton United is right up there with some of the best. Winning breeds confidence and that leads to a great atmosphere all around the club. We are going into games full of confidence and when you know you can play well, results come with that.”

Having played twice for the Robins this month, Briggs hopes his experience will continue to boost the squad and an extra pair of legs at the club could be vital with three games to go in the next nine days.

“I hope I can continue to help benefit the club. I signed to bring experience, to play and to help out the squad any way I could. I do feel like I can continue to play and I feel like I still have an important part to play in our run in.”

Briggs continued by saying; “Phillo and Ackers wouldn’t have it any other way, the squad is full of good players that want to play and win for each other. They all have ability in abundance and their will to win is there for all to see."

Ashton United currently sit five points off top spot and at least a point this weekend away at Whitby Town should secure a consecutive play-off place for the Robins. With all options still possible, Briggs believes his side need to continue to focus and win games, as anything can happen between now and the 25th April at 5 o’clock.

“With three games left, anything can happen and we just have to keep picking up three points. We’d love to continue putting pressure on FC United and hopefully we can pip them to the title, if not we will be ready for a play-off campaign, we will just have to wait and see!”

Where next?

Take 2! James Burch previews Tuesday's Evo-Stik League fixture at Ramsbottom United.

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