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From the Bridge on to the Cross

By Steve Hobson

James Burch talks to the former Stalybridge Manager.

“I just want to get some football under my belt again and to enjoy it. ” New signing, Keith Briggs.

Having played for eleven different clubs over a sixteen year career, midfielder Keith Briggs is just the man to guide Ashton United over the line and help them gain promotion this season.

Having signed on Thursday evening, the former Kidderminster Harriers and Norwich City man resigned from his player/manager role at Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference North and is now focused on helping the side from Hurst Cross climb into the Conference North.

Paul Phillips and Briggs have known each other for years, having both played at Bower Field and with the duo teaming up once again, the midfielder hopes he can repay his friend by helping the Robins achieve their goals this season. “I’ve known Paul Phillips since our Stalybridge playing days. I left my position at Stalybridge on Sunday but I didn’t want to call it a day there as I believe I’ve still got more games left in me. I’ve come to help Paul any way I can and at the end of the day, by helping the side achieve promotion.”

Briggs continued by saying; “They've done great. Ashton United are a very good team and they’ve been playing very well this season. I’d like us to push for the play-offs and if we stick together I’m sure we can.
Paul Phillips and Steve Halford make sure the team always works hard and I’ve heard there is an incredible team spirit in the camp. I hope I can add to the team and bring a wealth of experience. I’m just happy to be helping an old mate out too.”

The 33 year old lives just eight miles away from Ashton in neighbouring Glossop and told the website he regularly drives past Hurst Cross on his travels. Now though, he will be driving into the ground instead of away from it and stated he is ‘determined’ to help the club push on. “I’m a local lad so I’m often going past the ground. I’ve always known Ashton United as a well-run club and I can see under Paul and Steve they are trying to push on now and gain promotion. They were unlucky in the play-offs last year but hopefully we can go one step further now.”

Having made nearly 300 club appearances for clubs in the Premier League, Championship and league’s stretching down to the Conference North, Briggs will of course be a huge help, with only nine games left of the season to go. “I will add experience to the team. I’ve played at a high level and I hope to give guidance to the younger lads and to help them any way I can. I’m comfortable on the ball and hopefully I can bring that calm influence that Paul has been looking for.”

With the Robins currently finding themselves nine points off top spot, some would say FC United have automatic promotion in the bag. However, there are still many more twists and turns to go and Briggs finished by saying he believes if the Robins continue their good form there is no reason why they can’t go up come late April “I just want to get some football under my belt again and to enjoy it. To get the club promoted is the aim and if we carry on the way we are going, I don’t see why we can’t.”

Note: As always any signing is always subject to formal League approval

Where next?

Harrop Becomes A Robin! James Burch talks to Max Harrop, the latest edition to the Ashton United squad.

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