FORMER Norwich City youngster Richard Brindley has urged his Chelmsford City team-mates to bring success to Melbourne Stadium to put the club and its players on the map as Glenn Pennyfather's team return to Blue Square Bet South action at leaders Salisbury City this Saturday.
The Clarets have been lauded by national media through their extended FA Cup run which came to an end at Crawley Town last Saturday in front of 1,096 away fans, having already disposed of Colchester United.
Right-back Brindley, who joined in pre-season, has reinforced that league honours have always been the priority, and there would be side benefits for the young players if they succeeded.
“Although I’m still young I’ve been playing football for a long time and I just want to win things now,” he said, heeding advice from his manager that team success will put players in a shop window.
“I know if I help the club gain success it will help me as well. We need to have a successful team to get the scouts down and watch us, because we definitely have a lot of players in this team who could play at a higher level.”
City have had other cup interests on their mind recently, with a midweek FA Trophy replay against Hampton & Richmond Borough to concentrate on ahead of Salisbury, plus the news that they’ll travel to Concord Rangers in the Essex Senior Cup Quarter-Finals in coming weeks.
This weekend’s trip to Wiltshire, however, has the potential to be a milestone in the campaign for fourth-placed Chelmsford.
Salisbury are nine points in front, having played two games more. But City have already beaten them once this season, and Brindley said: “It’s not going to be easy, but we’re definitely ready for this.
“On our day we’ve seen what we’re capable of, and they’ll be fully aware of that too. The cup is brilliant but the league is something we really want to win. It feels like a while since we last played a league game.”
On the 3-0 Crawley defeat, where City played for almost an hour with ten men, he added: “It was just one of those matches where nothing went our way.
“We were so unlucky with the sending-off and we couldn’t compete after that because we were just pinned in.
“At half-time Glenn said to us that we should just go out and play and I think even the more experienced players in our team learned something from the game.”
Brindley originally joined Norwich at the age of nine, eventually breaking into the touth team in September 2009 and scoring against Aston Villa as a substitute.
He’d moved up to their academy as a scholar in June of that year and he arrived at Chelmsford over the summer upon his release from Carrow Road. “I first spent a season playing with my local youth team, and one of the dads knew a scout at Norwich,” he recalled.
“I was scoring loads of goals so he said ‘you’ve got to come and have a look at this kid’!
“I was lucky I had the support of my family and I had some very good coaches who had faith in me.
“It was a good experience, and it wasn’t easy. I just played football and didn’t worry about academies and all that stuff. Then I’d taken it step by step and didn’t realise that suddenly I was training with the first team!
“When I was released I got a lot of support from people like Grant Holt and Anthony Pilkington who told me they made it by rising up through the leagues, and so could I.
“There were other clubs interested in me but they could only offer me reserve team football. I felt like I needed to be playing among more mature players in a first team in order to progress rather than with young players my own age.”