CONCORD RANGERS manager Danny Cowley has agreed to take the vacant manager’s position at Braintree Town.
After eight incredibly successful years with the Canvey Island-based side, Cowley will take the reins at the Iron, who parted company with their manager Alan Devonshire earlier this month.
Danny’s younger brother and assistant manager Nicky Cowley will also make the switch from the Conference South side to the Conference National club.
The former Hornchurch duo both joined Concord at the same time from Brentwood in June 2007, with Danny – who had retired from playing because of injury – coming in as No 2 to Danny Scopes, and Nicky as a player.
Danny, who has helped guide Concord to three promotions and six cups, said: “Concord means everything to me and I leave with a heavy heart.
“But not many managers get to leave on a high, and that is what I am doing.
“I just feel this is the right time for me to move on.
“I think I have been loyal to Concord but now I need to think about my own ambitions.
“I could not turn down this opportunity to test myself as a young manager.”
The role in the Conference National means Danny will have managed at every level up from Step 5 in non league football.
In his first full year as joint manager with Scopes they guided Concord to the Essex Senior League title as part of a treble.
The following year Rangers were fifth in Ryman One North and lost in the play-off final, and they reached the final of the Essex Senior Cup.
But in the next campaign they were promoted via the play-offs after finishing as runners up in the division.
The Beachboys were seventh in their debut Ryman Premier season and fourth the following year, when they won the play-offs.
The 2-1 play-off final win against Lowestoft in front of a 2,500-strong crowd at Crown Meadow in May 2013 remains arguably the club’s greatest-ever achievement – and certainly one of its most memorable days.
Last season they finished ninth in the Conference South and won the Essex Senior Cup and this year they went even closer to the play-offs by finishing seventh in the division. For the first time in their history they also reached the first round proper of the FA Cup, where they were beaten 1-0 in a replay by League Two Mansfield at the Aspect Arena.
Last week Concord retained the Essex Senior Cup with a 5-0 win over Billericay Town at Victoria Road.
Concord chairman Antony Smith said he shed a “few tears” at the news but wished Danny and Nicky all the best with the move.
Antony said: “The inevitable has happened, as we all knew it would at some stage. We knew at some point the right job in Danny’s eyes would come along.
“I have nothing but good to say about these two lads and what they have achieved for our club.
“We will remain firm friends as them and their family have been a big part of Concord the last eight years. They will be hugely missed by everyone here.
“And – as I told them both last night through a few tears – I sincerely wish them all the best.
“But we have to move on and look forward to a new era at the club – with a new manager in charge.”
Concord hope to appoint a new manager in early May and any prospective candidates can email their CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org