Jamie Milligan wants Richie Allen to be leader of Bamber Bridge’s pack

New signing Richie Allen
New signing Richie Allen

Boss Jamie Milligan has challenged new signing Richie Allen to be a leader in the Bamber Bridge dressing room.

The former Fleetwood Town, AFC Fylde and Salford City player has been a top striker during his non-league career.

However he also comes with baggage, but Milligan believes now that Allen has reached the ripe old age of 37, he can impart the benefit of his experience on the rest of the squad.

It is not the first time Allen has worn the colours of Brig – he enjoyed a stint at the club under Tony Greenwood around 2010. And Milligan – having played with him in the past and also through his experience of owning a coaching business for many years – believes he knows what makes him tick.

“Richie’s been great wherever he has been,” said Milligan. “Whether that’s AFC Fylde, Fleetwood, Salford.

“I have dealt with loads of players like Richie over the years. It’s just a matter of knowing how to handle them and manage them.

“ Richie is an experienced player and I have told him that he’s not a young lad any more.

“He’s got to be the one who is helping the younger lads in the dressing room.

“He has to be an example and Richie knows he is going to have to step up. He’s going to have a big part to play and is buying in to what we want.”

Milligan has also bolstered his squad further for this weekend’s clash at home to Matlock Town by the signing of Blackpool forward Rowan Roache on loan.

“I signed Roachy for Blackpool from Manchester United when he was 15-years-old,” said Milligan. “I know what he can do, we just need to get him going again.”

Milligan was installed as Brig boss last week and he certainly had an immediate impact, guiding them to their first away victory in the league at Whitby Town thanks to Chris Marlow’s solitary effort.

“Going into the game, I was not over concerned about the result,” he said.

“I was more bothered about the way the lads responded to me and my assistant John Hills and what we are trying to do.

“But the three points was a massive bonus and to be fair they worked their socks off.

“But I just told the lads to relax and just go out and play. I wanted them to work hard for each other and enjoy working hard for each other.”

This weekend’s opponents Matlock will be buoyed by their FA Trophy success over Chorley in midweek although they are only just above Brig in the NPL Premier Division.

“It’s a massive game,” said Milligan. “They are only just above us in the table, so we can leapfrog above them, but they had a great result over Chorley.”

Squad-wise, Ryan White remain unavailable and 
McCauley Wilson is nearing full fitness