Consett begin run of home friendlies by hosting Birtley and welcoming back Brysa

Consett begin a run of five home friendlies on Saturday by welcoming back former player and assistant manager Paul Bryson.

Brysa, who’s one of the most well-respected coaches on the North East non-league scene, helped Consett to promotion twice – as player-coach in 2003-04, and then again last season as assistant manager to Andy Coyles.

The pair steered the club through a crippling injury crisis to eventually clinch promotion to the Northern Premier League with a 2-1 play-off win at Histon.

coyles bryson
Andy Coyles and Paul Bryson after the play-off win at Histon.

Last month the popular coach left for another former club, Birtley Town, where his good friend Paul Foster has been appointed as manager, and they bring their team to Belle View Stadium on Saturday 9 July for a 3pm kick-off.

The clubs’ previous meeting was in April 2021, when, after four months of inactivity due to Covid-19, we met in the Durham Challenge Cup, with Birtley running out 2-1 winners.

That game saw Daniel Marriott, pictured top, make his first start for Consett, while Darren Holden played his 100th game for the club and Arjun Purewal his 150th.

Birtley have a new chairman, management team and several new players for the coming season in Division Two of the Northern League. Among their squad are ex-Consett pair Alex Francis and Harry Pilkington.

Admission to Saturday’s game will be £7 for adults, £5 for concessions and £2 for under-16s. The same prices will apply to all home friendlies.

After Birtley we host Workington on July 16, Whitley Bay on July 21, West Auckland on July 23 and Morpeth Town on July 26.

Gary Welford