For all at Bamber Bridge, last season was one of consolidation.
After promotion from the Northern Premier League Division One North was achieved via the play offs in 2017/18, the aim was to at least stay in their new division. And stay up is exactly what they did, a 2-0 away win over Marine at the end of April securing a second season in the Northern Premier League. That was the fifth game in which Matt Lawlor and Joey Collins took joint caretaker charge. They replaced previous boss Micky Taylor, who had stepped down at the end of March. The duo lost their opening two games in charge but subsequently three wins from three was enough to achieve survival with a game to spare. Collins has taken on the managerial role permanently this season, with Lawlor continuing as both first team coach and club captain alongside his new role as youth development phase lead coach at Fleetwood Town. The new Brig manager has been busy in the transfer market, bringing in four new signings. One of those, Ryan White, played for the club at the beginning of last season under then-manager Neil Reynolds before joining FC United of Manchester. Attackers Gary Pett and Danny Pilkington have also signed over the dotted line. Pett was part of the Brig promotion winning squad of 2017/18. Pilkington arrives with previous Football League experience under his belt, having made over 30 appearances for Stockport County in both League One and Two from 2008 to 2011. Former AFC Fylde left back Adam Sumner arrives as a direct replacement for Adam Dodd, who left the club to join FC United earlier in the summer. Brig’s season starts on Saturday when they make the trip down to Derbyshire to face Matlock Town. That is the first of five games in two weeks to make up a hectic start to the season, concluding with the popular away trip to South Shields on 31st August. Inbetween those fixtures, Brig will be hosted by last season’s beaten play off finalists Warrington Town on 26th August. Paul Carden’s side became the first victims of the ‘super-final’ concept last season. The winners of the Northern Premier League play offs faced off against the victors of the Southern Premier League version, with the winner of that game ultimately going up to the National League North. That structural change stays in place this season, with clubs from both divisions facing the prospect of three play off games to gain promotion. Brig travel to FC United, managed by former boss Neil Reynolds, on 28th September, with the return fixture taking place on 22nd February.