Hectic week for Brackley as they now look to friendly clash with Cobblers
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The Saints were on the Isle of Man last weekend for a mini pre-season training camp, which saw them claim a 2-0 success against FC Isle of Man courtesy of goals from summer signings Dan Turner and Danny Newton.
Since then, the Saints have added another addition to their squad in the form of Zak Lilly who has joined from Stourbridge as a direct replacement for Jay Williams.
Brackley signed Williams from neighbours Banbury United earlier in the summer but, before he’d even kicked a ball at St James Park, the club received an approach for him from Sky Bet League Two side Crawley Town.
The deal for Williams to join Crawley was confirmed on Tuesday with Lilly’s arrival being announced soon after.
And boss Gavin Cowan was left to explain what he described as “a unique scenario”.
Obviously we signed Jay in good faith and we were really excited to have him here as a player,” the Brackley boss said.
“But before we’ve even had a training session, before he’s even kicked a ball or been in the building, we’ve been approached by a League Two club and the player knows about it, he wanted to pursue it.
“He’s excited by that, it’s a lifelong dream of his to play in the Football League.
“As a football club, it’s a unique scenario. If a player has played 10 or 15 games and he’s shown his talents and someone comes in for him then they have to come to the table. We wouldn’t be giving players away freely.
“But in this scenario I just feel like we need to see both sides. We don’t want to stand in someone’s way.
“If we’d used resources on the player and invested in him, I’d have understood that we’d need to get to the table with the club.
“But we’re talking about a young man who has aspirations to play in the Football League and it’s part of our integrity that we don’t want to stand in people’s way, we want to make sure they can achieve their dream.
“We felt, as a football club, that standing in his way wasn’t the right thing to do.
“We have done what we feel is right. He didn’t depart until we were sorted but then we didn’t stand in his way.”
Brackley, who also confirmed the arrival of Matthew Barnes-Homer as part of Cowan’s backroom team this week, fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Sky Bet League One side Burton Albion on Tuesday night.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, Alfie Bates scored twice in the second half to secure a draw.