Powell wants to be at Brighouse for a “long time”

Brighouse Town manager Vill Powell

Vill Powell has paid tribute to the two chairman he has served under at Brighouse Town for giving him time to build a winning team.

Current vice-chairman Charlie Tolley was at the helm when Powell was appointed as Paul Quinn’s successor in May 2017. In his first job as the outright manager, Brighouse struggled and flirted with relegation in his first campaign.

Tolley and the club backed their man throughout and Brighouse responded last season by infamously winning the NPL North play-off final – only not to go up because of the restructuring policy.

James Howard was named Brighouse chairman earlier this year and Powell says it is a pleasure to work with the pair.

“Charlie Tolley was the chairman when I came in, he’s now the vice-captain and James Howard is the chairman and I couldn’t ask for better people in those positions,” Powell told Non League Yorkshire.

“For me, one of the things when I took the job, it was about pick the chairman, not the club. Because if you get the right chairman, you can achieve things.

“We have already achieved things in our short time together and we’ll continue to stride to do so because we’re all on the same page.

“There’s no pressure to do this or that. We walk, we don’t try and fly because we haven’t got that type of budget. We do what we can within our means.

“From chairman’s perspective, I couldn’t ask for a better pair. In my first season, I think we went nine games without winning a football match, we lost every one.

“The good thing about Charlie, he had my back. He said that he could see that we’re trying to do the right things and that we need a little bit of the rub of the green.

“He stuck with it and it just shows you. Rather than just believing in us when we’re winning, he believed in us at all times.

“I want to show some loyalty back and my mind is totally focussed on Brighouse Town. We talk about legacies, but I can achieve what I want to achieve in football at Brighouse. 

“Ultimately that’s creating a sustainable football club at the highest level possible in Non League. What that league is? Maybe it is this level or the league above.

“We’ll have to see what that is. I want to be at Brighouse Town for a long time and that’s why I’ve signed a long-term contract.”

Brighouse surprised many by challenging for the play-offs and going onto beat huge favourites Pontefract Collieries in the final. 

Brighouse were never talked about as promotion contenders and Powell is refusing to talk about targets for the new BetVictor North West campaign.

“Listen, our aspirations are just to do as well we can in every game and win every game and see where it takes us,” he said.

“We had no aspirations last season. The season before the last we had avoided relegation so going into last season our aspirations were to do better than we did the year before.

“We’ll try and replicate what we did last season. We want to constantly move forward. It will be difficult because it is a difficult league. There’s no we’re going to win the league or win the play-offs from me, it’s about winning football matches.”

Brighouse were not promoted because their points-per-game ratio was high enough. If Pontefract had won they would have been promoted, but Brighouse knew going into the final that they would not.

Although he would not be drawn into the rights and wrongs of it, Powell said his players have responded brilliantly to the disappointment.

“If I say what I want to say on that, I’ll get fined or reprimanded for saying what I truly think about the NPL and the people who made that decision,” he said.

“I don’t want to get into trouble so we’ll leave it at that.

“You saw Monday’s performance and look at Saturday’s performance, the lads have picked themselves up.

“The lads have come in during the summer and said ‘let’s get on with it and move on’. What can you do about it? You can’t cry over spilled milk.”

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