Coombs returns to help guide promotion charge

THE temporary head coach who guided Bury to their last promotion in 2007 will be the man entrusted with attempting to take them into the National League.

Roger Coombs will replace current head coach Dwain Brown at the end of this month when Brown is forced to return to his native South Africa because of visa issues.

And with Bury ominously poised just a few points behind the London Division One North play-off position, there could be more glory on the cards at The Haberden for Welshman Coombs, who will take over until the end of the season.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “The club has progressed and is now one of the better clubs in East Anglia.

“From a club point of view, they are very stable and well organised, so it’s very good as a coach to be going into that sort of environment.

“They have got everything in place to go up, all we have to do is get it right on the playing side.”

He added: “I feel sorry for Dwain, it’s a real shame for him that he has to go back.”

Bury return to London League Division One North action for the first time in four weeks when they travel to Old Colfeians tomorrow (2.15pm).

Just one point separates the sixth and seventh-placed sides ahead of the clash, with Bury looking to keep up an excellent run of form that has seen them win six of their last seven matches.

Coombs will be on the touchline alongside Brown in a bid to make the transition as smooth as possible and will also spend the next three weeks meeting coaches and visiting schools with Brown as he also prepares to take over the South African’s rugby development officer role.

When he was last in charge of Bury, in 2007, it was also in a temporary role. In his few months in charge, he helped Bury win promotion to London Division Two North.

Since the reorganisation of the leagues, Bury now stand on the brink of the National League, knowing a second-placed finish would earn them a play-off match with the second best team in London Division One South for a place in National League Three London and South East.

The Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League will also see action for the first time since December 11, with Division One leaders Stowmarket looking to build on the seven-point gap they have opened up over Cantabrigian at the top of the table.

Stow go into their clash away at second-bottom Fakenham tomorrow (2pm) as overwhelming favourites to record their 10th success in 11 league outings this season.

At the opposite end of the table, third-bottom Thurston will go in search of just their second win of the season when hosting Southwold tomorrow (2.15pm).

Meanwhile, in Division Two, Thetford travel to Hadleigh (2.30pm) hoping to leapfrog their opponents, who they are currently locked on 13 points with.

Bottom-side Mildenhall Eagles welcome promotion-chasing Broadland tomorrow (2.30pm) as they search for their first win at Eastern Counties League level.