NPL Division One East
A year ago the idea of Bridlington Town player/manager Brett Agnew scoring a hat-trick in the NPL was unlikely.
Agnew had still not fully recovered from a serious knee injury dating back to 2018.
Yet last Saturday, Agnew hit a treble in Brid’s 4-2 defeat of Lincoln United.
“For me personally it is a massive achievement because of the injury,” Agnew told Non League Yorkshire.
“If you said a year ago (when we were an NCEL club) that I’d (score a hat-trick in an NPL game) I would have laughed and said you’re mad.
“When you put it in that kind of context it is a good achievement.
“I didn’t think I would play again after my injury because it was so severe.
“People do their ACLs but I fractured my kneecap and all the meniscus because I played on for the rest of the season.
“I played on with a torn ACL, a fractured kneecap and wrecked meniscus so it was all shredded inside.
“I literally have no cartilage.
“I did my rehab and I got quite fit and I felt good so I thought I’d give it a go.
“I didn’t think it would be the same but recently (my knee) has got really strong.”
Agnew threw himself into battle after unhappiness over how Brid succumbed to defeat at Pontefract Collieries several days earlier.
The Brid boss had hoped to mount a charge for the play-offs but those hopes are a distant dream as the Seasiders are fourth bottom with six points after nine games.
“We’re going to have games where it isn’t going to happen for us and we’re going to lose,” he said.
“It is a very tough league and sometimes I’m my own worst enemy because I put too much pressure on myself and my teams.
“I openly say that I was expecting us to be in mid-table and near to the play-offs.
“It is going to be difficult for us to go on runs for four or five games like we did in the NCEL but hopefully we can get a few results against the sides around the bottom of the league.”
Brid are in FA Trophy action this weekend with a battle against Sheffield FC at Queensgate.
That tie is the focus of Agnew’s mind along with recruitment.
“It is so difficult out here trying to get people to come to Bridlington,” he said.
“Resources-wise we are ok but the catchment area is the North Sea and it is so difficult because you’re fighting out with Scarborough, Pickering, Ferriby, Barton, Selby.
“Every-time you talk to someone from Leeds, they look at Google Maps and it says two hours to Brid and they think ‘I’m not doing that’.
“It is hard to get people in but I’m not going to put passengers (on-the-pitch) anymore.
“I think I’ve been too nice to players in the past.
“Rather than a manager I think I have been more of a friend.
“I’d definitely say there will be some going out of the door and I think we’ll look at bringing some in.
“It is just who we can bring?
“We don’t want to be bringing folk in for the sake of it.
“We need a bit of quality.”