Home   Sport   Article

'Confidence will be key' – South African based coach takes reigns at Bonar Bridge

By Niall Harkiss

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

The newly named manager of Bonar Bridge Football Club – Bobby Breen – believes that confidence will be the key to the club's recovery ahead of their latest North Caledonian League campaign.

Club officials confirmed the appointment of the South Africa based coach today, along with his son Robbie Breen and former club captain Tommy McClenaghan forming a three-man management team.

Bobby Breen and son Robbie Breen have taken the reigns at Bonar Bridge Football Club
Bobby Breen and son Robbie Breen have taken the reigns at Bonar Bridge Football Club

Fraser Heath, the club's last permanent manager, left his post midway through the 2022-23 campaign which had seen them win just one league game – a 4-2 victory over Nairn County reserves last October. He was succeeded by former supporters' player of the year McClenaghan as caretaker for the remainder of the season.

A spokesperson for the club said: "The Bonar Bridge Football Club board are pleased to announce that our first team management team will be strengthened with the addition of Bobby Breen and Robbie Breen.

"Bobby having played professionally at the highest level in South Africa and also coached extensively to the highest standards with a significantly successful record, will add a huge degree of knowledge and experience to our club. Bobby’s son Robbie has also played to a high standard in South Africa, with experience in the United States, Australia and Europe as a player and a coach.

"The board are also delighted to confirm that Tommy McClenaghan will remain part of the management team for the upcoming North Caledonian League season."

Dundee-born Bobby Breen's coaching highlights include several years as manager of South African sides Camps Bay FC and Greenpoint FC. He is also credited as helping to set up a Liverpool FC Academy when the EPL club wanted to establish themselves in Cape Town.

His new club, Bonar Bridge, have finished bottom of the North Caledonian League pack for the past four seasons.

Speaking from Cape Town ahead of his arrival in Sutherland, the 65-year-old says he is acutely aware of the task his management team face as they aim to turn the club's fortunes around.

He said: "When we looked at Bonar Bridge, we thought the opportunity was ideal. This is a really young team, with lots of younger players who are willing to learn. This is a progressive community club and we are very excited to be a part of it.

"I was very impressed with the clubhouse and that they have bought the car park too. They are a club with ambition and that suits me and Robbie.

"Being realistic, the club won one game last season, so we would like to get that up to double figures at least. As soon as you start winning, its infectious. Confidence is a huge factor in football. We need to get the team through pre-season with the right players in the right positions all playing for each other, and understanding that it's okay to make mistakes.

"We must not be scared. Don't be afraid of losing. We've been losing for seasons now. We need to enjoy it. Now let's make a habit of winning. I don't want to be unrealistic or overconfident that we can do this, but if we could get to mid-table, who knows? If we can pick up some wins early in the season, who knows with confidence what we can do?"

Brothers Robbie and Cameron Breen will sign with Bonar Bridge for the forthcoming season.
Brothers Robbie and Cameron Breen will sign with Bonar Bridge for the forthcoming season.

Bobby's sons, Robbie and Cameron, will also join the club as playing members.

Left-sided defender/coach Robbie's past clubs include Australian National Premier League side SWQ Thunder. The 29-year-old, who also had a spell playing collegiate soccer in the United States, is described as a threat in the air who is expected to bring some aggression to the side.

Younger brother Cameron (19) – a hot prospect who can play in midfield or as a full-back – has also joined the club.

The new manager plans to rely on colleague Tommy McClenaghan in a bid to maintain links with the existing players when building a squad and identifying local targets.

He added: "Tommy is a fan's favourite and ex-captain who sadly can't play any more due to injury. We are really looking forward to working with him as he'll add that inside knowledge of all the players and that shall be so valuable."

Bonar Bridge will be one of 12 teams in attendance at tonight's North Caledonian League AGM.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More