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Fans divided after Brackley appoint new manager just days after playoff final defeat

Fans have been left divided after Brackley appoint new manager Gavin Cowan just days after their National League North playoff final defeat.

The 41-year-old hasn’t been a manager since he left AFC Telford United back in October 2021, but joins the Saints, who loss at home to Kidderminster Harriers at the weekend.

He will replace interim manager Gareth Dean, who took over following the sacking of ex-Premier League and EFL player Roger Johnson in April.

Cowan previously guided Telford to an FA Trophy semi final in 2021/22, a season his side narrowly missed out of the playoffs.

In the two seasons that followed, Covid struck, and a poor start saw him leave and replaced with Paul Carden.


Brackley Town Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Gavin Cowan as first-team manager.

Gavin, 41, takes over as Gareth Dean steps down as interim manager having led the team to the Promotion Final. The club wishes to put on record its sincere thanks to Gareth, Martin Woods, and Jimmy Armson for stepping in and we welcome Gavin to St James Park.

As a central defender, Gavin enjoyed a successful playing career at clubs including Shrewsbury Town, AFC Telford United, and Nuneaton Town before stepping into management at National League North AFC Telford from 2018 to 2021.

Gavin said, “I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this brilliant football club. I’ve been fortunate to be in and around the place supporting these last few weeks which has given me an insight into what can be achieved here. The community feel coupled with serious ambition is what has attracted me and I look forward to getting started!”

Welcome to St James Park Gavin!


Questioned if he had any interest in taking on the job as manager, Dean replied, as per Northampton Chronicle: “No, that’s the honest truth.

“I have been open and transparent since day one. It’s not something I have ever wanted to do.

“I think everyone thinks you’re naturally a captain and a leader and you want to go and evolve into a manager.

“I have got three foster kids who live with me, a wife I haven’t spoken to for five weeks and it’s not sustainable for me at this stage of my life.

“I am looking forward to doing some of the nitty gritty boring things in life now.

“Before my injury, I still felt good and I felt I was still one of the most competitive centre-halves at this level of football and until I feel like I am letting my team-mates down, I will continue to lace my boots.

“I want to be back on the pitch. Watching that game (against Kidderminster), I felt like I could have made a difference to other people emotionally more than anything.”

“Firstly, I think it’s respectful,” he said on coming back out to see Kiddy celebrate.

“They have won, we shake their hands and get on with it. That’s life.

“I will never forget losing a play-off final against Telford. I came off the pitch injured late in the game and I have pictures of people consoling me after that game.

“A year later I was at Gainsborough doing what Kidderminster were doing at the end of the game.

“So watching their celebrations, if it doesn’t galvanise you to want it then you’re in the wrong place. You should always watch failures and other peoples’ success.”

As mentioned, fans were left divided after Brackley appoint their new manager just days after playoff final defeat…

@realguysmith: A warm welcome to you @GavCowan4 👍 Let’s hope you are the one who can finally get us into the NL 😁 🙏 Good luck!. And serious thanks to @dean_gaz, Jimmy and Martin for all their hard work during their spell looking after the team. They gave it their all 👏👏👏

@hall2013_mike: Where are Telford now Guy? Their fans have moaned about the club for a few seasons now. I must say I’m disappointed with this appointment, I’d rather have seen Jimmy & Woodsy given a go if that was the only application the board had.

@afctua7: right…

@kiddyguest: Best of luck for next season and thanks again to all the Brackley fans who behaved so graciously on sunday despite the disappointment. It allowed us to celebrate and enjoy our promotion which may not have been the case had we played someone else.


@bobbycameron0: Well done and thank you Gaz, Jimmy and Martin, and welcome Gavin 🔴⚪️

@BucksFanForLife: 🫣🙄🫣🙄

@kieranjc7: Holy shit

@joshwithers108: Buzzing with this! Think he has the potential to be a great appointment, very clear he had the respect of the players on Sunday!

@shewardjon1: Seriously he’s not… talk to the Telford fans 😬

@Lee__P32: Banter Club 🤣

@uw353529: Fantastic news. Welcome @GavCowan4 and massive congratulations to @dean_gaz for a seriously impressive job as caretaker. The season was imploding a few months ago. It was great to see the improved football and atmosphere. Hugely impressive 🙌

@steafctelford: Be gone by Christmas.

@Josh_09_T: good luck 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

@willyepp: Good luck! Come on Brackley!

@AlGreenBTFC: Massive welcome @GavCowan4, exciting times ahead.

@N100CKA: Good luck mate! About time you got back out there!

@jacksb7: 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

@leemacca25: April 1st?

@StephenHally11: Great appointment! All the best @GavCowan4 ⚽️🙌🏻

@mvclayton: Ha! Good luck…

@SouthamPatrick: Interesting appointment…certainly has a point to prove after his spell at Telford.

@NashManBlues: Interesting appointment, Did well at Telford then went sour for him, but that doesn’t surprise me at Telford. Will do well at Brackley I think.

@the_real77: You mentioned that he was Telford Manager, but no detail of what he achieved? 🧐🤔

@ccliffy90: Nothing, that whys they didn’t

@the_real77: Exactly. I’m a Telford fan and watched it week in week out

Ian Thomas: Didn’t he start Telfords decline before your old manager finished the job off? 🤷‍♂️

Gary Cutler: Oh dear he is useless

Fatima Patel: Wrong appointment

Jason Lee: hope he proves me wrong, but doesnt excite me this appointment

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