Football in Bracknell
History & Nostalgia

Bracknell Town Football Club’s 21st century managers

Every first team manager at Larges Lane since the start of the 21st Century

Bracknell Town Football Club’s 21st century managers

With the latest managerial appointment news at Bracknell Town, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the men who have taken on the first team role at Larges Lane since the turn of the 21st Century.

There’s certainly a trend for managerial duos at the club – started by brothers Clive and Mark Tallentire in 1999, the pair famously taking the club to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup in 2000.

Clive & Mark Tallentire – 1999 t0 2001

Clive and Mark took over the joint-manager roll at Larges Lane in the summer of 1999 from Steve Roberts after the Robins relegation from Ryman League Division 2. Mark was a former player at the club (and returned as such under next manager Alan Taylor scoring a memorable goal) and the pair stabilised the club. He and brother Clive secured ‘legend’ status when a terrific start to the 2000/01 season saw an FA Cup run that only ended with a 4-0 defeat at then Football League Division 3 side Lincoln City at Sincil Bank.

It remains the clubs greatest day but the Robins ultimately finished 8th in the league that year and the pair stepped aside at the seasons conclusion.

Alan Taylor – 2001 to 2007

Former Bracknell Town manager Alan Taylor. Photo: Richard Claypole.

Former Bracknell Town manager Alan Taylor. Photo: Richard Claypole.

Former Farnborough Town boss Alan Taylor was appointed to lead a buoyant Robins, and set about his task with gusto, winning promotion at the first attempt to a re-organised Ryman League Division 1 South – a jump of two divisions.

A final day victory at Tooting & Mitcham secured Bracknell’s survival the following season and much was expected. However a further league re-organisation saw Bracknell move into the Southern League and fail to settle. The club were travelling regularly to the Midlands, stretching any budget. Taylor though ensured the Robins survival at that level and led the club to a Berks & Bucks County Cup final where they were beaten by Chesham United.

Jon Underwood 2007

Slough Town manager Jon Underwood. Photo: Get Surrey.

Slough Town manager Jon Underwood. Photo: Get Surrey.

‘Unders’ stepped into the hot-seat at Larges Lane, having served the club admirably at centre-back before injury curtailed the former Farnborough defender’s career.

Underwood was number 2 to Taylor and was promoted following his retirement.

Unfortunately for Underwood, results didn’t follow and with Christmas on the horizon, then chairman Chris Nixon wielded the axe.

Thankfully for the Larges Lane favourite, Underwood’s post Robins managerial career saw successful spells at Sandhurst Town, Godalming Town and he has just won promotion to the National League South with Slough Town.

Andy Keen – 2007 (5 games)

Andy Keen.

Andy Keen.

Youth team manager Andy Keen was appointed ‘caretaker’ by the club following Underwood’s dismissal and was in charge for 5 games. Keen’s only defeat during that period was at promotion chasing Fleet Town.

Byron Walton – 2008 to 2009

Byron Walton.

Byron Walton.

Byron Walton was appointed manager in February 2008 with the club improving, but with the spectre of relegation hanging heavily over them. Walton led the Robins to safety, overhauling Slough Town on the final day of the season.

The following year, Bracknell started strongly, but were disqualified from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player and things went downhill from there, with Bracknell effectively relegated from the Southern League on the final day of the season having used well over 90 players.

Bracknell were granted a reprieve by the FA following a reshuffle, but it was to only postpone the inevitable.

Kerthney ‘KC’ Carty – 2009 (2 games)

The Maidenhead United Reserve team manager KC came to the club with big plans and a brand new squad, but left after just two games and two heavy defeats after a disagreement over budget.

David Tuttle – 2009 to 2010

Dave Tuttle is now in charge at Burnham. Photo: getreading.co.uk

Dave Tuttle is now in charge at Burnham. Photo: getreading.co.uk

Tuttle – the former Tottenham Hotspur defender and Millwall boss was appointed manager and swiftly set about building the fitness of the squad and replacing those that left with KC. Whilst results briefly improved, Bracknell ultimately only won two games all season and were relegated to the Hellenic League with no chance of reprieve.

During this period, Bracknell did loan several young players from Reading, one being Michael Hector who made his Championship debut for the club in January 2014.

Tuttle’s son Charley played for Binfield this season and earned a move to Havant & Waterlooville.

Steve McClurg & Richard Whitty – 2010 to 2011

Steve McClurg and Richard Whitty.

Steve McClurg and Richard Whitty.

Following relegation, Bracknell turned to former clubmen and players Steve McClurg and Richard Whitty. The pair steadied the ship and helped the Robins finish in 16th in their first season in the Premier Division.

There were several notable catches including Ben Knight and Rob Yorke-Goldney who both joined from Finchampstead.

Steve McClurg & Andy Keen – 2011 to 2012

Whitty took up a role at Binfield during the summer, and McClurg opted to appoint former youth team and caretaker boss Andy Keen. A poor start to the season though saw Windsor & Eton coach Mick Woodham join the pair in the dugout.

Unfortunately the team couldn’t halt the slide despite a fantastic run of form that included wins over Cheltenham Saracens and Ascot United at the end of the season, and the club were relegated on the final day at Reading Town.

Danny Oliphant & Steve Nebbett – 2012 to 2014

Steve Nebbett and Danny Oliphant. Photos: Connor Sharod-Southam.

Steve Nebbett and Danny Oliphant. Photos: Connor Sharod-Southam.

Largely thanks to McClurg and assistant Bob Langridge, the club appointed former players Danny Oliphant in 2012 in a bid to revitalise the club, now playing in Hellenic League Division 1 East.

The pair hit the ground running with a re-shaped squad, reaching the County Cup semi-final, and finishing fourth in the league. Bracknell were granted promotion though when it emerged Rayners Lane, Headington Amateurs and Woodley Town did not have the facilities to progress.

This season, the duo exceeded expections. Bracknell won their first three games and topped the table and a brilliant run of form at the end of the year saw them lose just two of 15 games. They reached the final of the Hellenic League Supplementary Cup and semi-final of the Reading Senior Cup.

Ed Carpenter – 2014

Keith Pennicott-Bowen, Ed Carpenter and Lee Simpson unveiled as the Bracknell Town management team in the summer of 2014.

Keith Pennicott-Bowen, Ed Carpenter and Lee Simpson unveiled as the Bracknell Town management team in the summer of 2014.

Carpenter successfully guided the Robins Reserves to second in the league and won the President’s Reserve Cup. He stepped up to the first team in the summer of 2014 but left by mutual consent in in October of the same year.

Then chairman Chris Day said: “Ed is a great manager and a great guy. He has been unfortunate to work in such difficult circumstances. We thank Ed for all of his efforts.”

Keith Pennicott-Bowen – October 2014 to October 2015

Bracknell Town manager Keith Penicott-Bowen. Photo: Neil Graham.

Bracknell Town manager Keith Penicott-Bowen. Photo: Neil Graham.

KPB stepped in to the role as manager at Larges Lane and led a young Bracknell side led at the back by Garry Aulsberry and at the front by Shane Cooper-Clark to a then best Hellenic League finish of 9th while Cooper-Clark deservedly won the player of the season award from the league.

Pennicott-Bowen of course went on to lift the FA Vase with Thatcham Town at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Mark Tallentire – October 2015 to September 2017

Bracknell Town FC manager Mark Tallentire. Photo: Richard Claypole.

Bracknell Town FC manager Mark Tallentire. Photo: Richard Claypole.

A former player and one of the first names on this list, Tallentire returned to haul the Robins away from the bottom of the Hellenic Premier Division and made some astute signings, not least Adam Cornell and Carl Davies who both remain with the club today.

‘Tally’ had been very successful at Binfield and had recently been in charge of Burnham in the Southern League. He ended Bracknell’s silverware drought of 23 years winning the Hellenic League Challenge Cup, the Berks & Bucks County Cup and the Reading Senior Cup at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Is once again back at the club after being appointed ‘Head of Football’ in the recent restructure at Larges Lane.

Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty – September 2017 to February 2018

Jeff Lamb, Derek Sweetman and Paul McGrotty. Photo: Neil Graham.

Jeff Lamb, Derek Sweetman and Paul McGrotty. Photo: Neil Graham.

When Tallentire left by ‘mutual consent’, the job of earning Bracknell promotion fell to the former Ascot United management duo of Jeff Lamb and Paul McGrotty.

The pair had been very successful at the Racecourse Ground and twice led the Yellamen to the quarter finals of the FA Vase – a feat they replicated with Bracknell only to see the side knocked out by Marske United in front of a full house at Larges Lane.

Carl Davies – February 2018 to present

Bracknell Town manager Carl Davies. Photo: Neil Graham.

Bracknell Town manager Carl Davies. Photo: Neil Graham.

When Davies was appointed player manager in February his task was clear, win promotion. He was certainly confident when he spoke to FiB in March saying: “I’m very confident, we’ve done it before, we’ve gone on a run before. Last season we went on a 14 game winning streak and I am confident we can do it again.”

Of course he was very right to be and led Bracknell back to step four as well as lifting the Hellenic League Challenge Cup for the second season in a row.

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Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror. Manager of Binfield Ladies in the Thames Valley Women's League.