BROMSGROVE Sporting manager Brendan Kelly says he is targetting two names to replace outgoing forward Jason Cowley, and paid tribute to the Rousler’s legendary number nine – who this week departed for League Two side Stevenage.
Cowley, who stepped out 127 times in the red, white and blue of Bromsgrove, scored a record 107 times for the club – winning the golden boot in every division that he appeared in for Sporting.
But after being the leading man in three successive promotions, it was his role in Sporting’s latest rise to the Southern Premier League Central, boosted by a worldwide sensation scored in March against Corby Town, that earned him a move to the Football League.
For Kelly, it leaves a huge hole in his side that he must now replace, but says he could never stand in the way of the prolific hit man achieving a lifelong dream.
“I’ve got to try to replace 30 plus goals a season, but also his work rate, his endeavour, and his love for the club – but he’s earned his chance.
“He can kick on again in League Two, we saw it coming, with a rise in interest in the last 12 months in him.
“His actions on the pitch earned him the move, I think the manager over at Stevenage will give him the chance, and I think he’ll take it – he’s come on massively this season.”
Cowley released a heartfelt statement following the announcement of his departure, and thanked everyone involved with the club for the part they played in his development.
“Where do I start with this amazing club – I have loved every single second I have been here.
“Bren, Andy, Mike and even Smudge (Paul Smith), who got me to the club, have done nothing but help me get to where I want to be and that’s playing full time football.
“It’s been my dream since I was six years old and now I have achieved it and want to progress more and become better and better.
“The club will be forever in my heart and I will always class Bromsgrove sporting as home.
“Thank you for the best three years in my football career.
The Rouslers boss says it comes as a shock that his star man did not make a move sooner, but admits that Cowley has provided the club with plenty of exposure during his time at the Victoria Ground.
“It’s surprising that no one else came in for him, it’s a shame that the lads in the West Midlands have to move further away, but he’s up for it.
“It’s great for the club’s exposure, we’ve had a number of scouts at games this season, so people are starting to stand up and take notice of the talent at the club.”
Kelly revealed that he is already looking at a couple of replacements for Cowley, and will look to see what transfer dealings can be done over the summer.
He also admitted that the club did not receive anything financially from the transfer, but assures fans that the club will benefit from the deal.
“There are two targets in mind that have been hand picked, we’re chasing them and we’ll see where we get with them – but they’re still under contract at their clubs at the moment.
“Jason wasn’t under contract, but the club will be looked after in other ways.”
Meanwhile, the club have confirmed six pre-season friendlies, with League Two side Cheltenham Town set to visit the Victoria Ground on July 30.
Warm-up games against Kidderminster Harriers (A), Leamington (A) and Worcester City (H) have also been announced, with Boldmere St Michaels (A) and AFC Wakefield (H) the remaining fixtures named to date.