David Bryson has been announced as the new County Down Junior Dale Farm Milk Cup manager. With trials taking place in March, preparations are already well under way with the current Ards first team coach to take charge effective immediately.
Bryson replaces Kyle Spiers who has decided to end a ten-year on/off affiliation with the County. Spiers, who reached the Semi’s of the main Dale Farm Milk Cup competition twice, enjoyed considerable success with County Down. He, along with ex-manager and current Chairman Paul Ritchie and John Bailie, has been responsible for bringing a new level of professionalism to matters on and off the field in the County.
Looking to build on that development, David Bryson, the ex Comber Rec and Bangor Reserves coach has a big task ahead of him and during the week I caught up with him to discuss the challenges ahead.
It is Bryson’s first role as Manager, but the Donaghadee man is not fazed, “ I’ve been working in local football for over 20 years and have been very fortunate to have worked under two very successful managers in Niall Currie at Ards and John at Comber rec and Bangor Reserves. I have also spent the last 4 years working under John in the Milk Cup set-up. During this time we have won 3 trophies and were beaten finalists the other year. So we have enjoyed success and it is something I will be aiming to achieve with the junior side. Both Niall and John have been very influential on my coaching career and I’ve learned a lot from working under them. I’ll be using those lessons along with my own experience of the Dale Farm Milk Cup to ease the transition from coach to manager. There is obviously a big difference between the two roles but I understand the challenge ahead and am looking forward to the opportunity. I am very thankful to the committee for placing their trust in me and I will be looking to repay that through developing a strong, well-organised and efficient County Down side.”
In terms of the 2015 Dale Farm Milk Cup, I asked the measured Bryson what his aspirations are for this years crop of young players, “Well first and foremost I want to continue the good work of Kyle Spiers, he has done a great job as both coach and manager over the past number of years and has really brought the County set-up along. Secondly the Dale Farm Milk Cup is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious youth football tournaments, so we will be looking to produce a team that can represent and shine a positive light on local football. The kids will have a great opportunity to showcase their talents on a big stage and the focus has to be on selecting 18 hard-working, committed and skillful individuals who are capable of uniting together as a team in order to go as far as possible in the Dale Farm Milk Cup. For example Liverpool, Rangers and Middlesbrough were all involved in last year’s junior competition. The chance to test yourself against such high quality opposition does not come along often in your career and it is important the players realize the significance of this. However it is important not to get too far ahead of yourself. Trials for this year’s
competition have not even begun therefore; in the meantime we will cross one bridge at a time. First the squad will be selected then it will be about taking each training session and match, one event at a time. As long as we focus on ourselves then I am confident we will represent the county well at this years Dale Farm Milk Cup”
Time will reveal how successful Bryson will be, but it remains clear that the Donaghadee man is well placed to deliver more success to the County Down outfit. With a wealth of experience behind him the popular Bryson will be looking to stamp his name on County Down folklore. But for now Bryson and Premier Team manger John Bailie will be conducting trials at the beginning of March. Details of how to register for the forthcoming trials can be found on the official County Down website.