STAR man Ritchie Allen has decided to stay with Bamber Bridge.
It is a major boost for the Lancashire Trophy finalists, who this week snapped up Morecambe’s reserve team skipper Gavin Clark.
“It is a real relief that Ritchie has decided to stay, it is very good news,” said Brig’s assistant boss Neil Crowe.
“If Ritchie had gone it would have put a massive dent in our season, he would have been difficult to replace.
“He makes things happen, he has so much skill.
“Ritchie is a different person to last season, he has grown up and matured, and I think he has made the right decision staying here.
“There’s bound to be a lot of interest in Ritchie, he has so much talent, and I don’t think he has reached his peak as a player.
“He is only 25, so he is still learning his craft.
“I also think he owed Bamber Bridge some loyalty because Tony Greenwood gave him a second chance this season.
“It really doesn’t surprise me that other clubs are looking at him, wanting to take him, and Ritchie will definitely play higher than this league before his career is over.”
Clark, who had a two-month loan spell at Kendal, has come on a month’s loan from Morecambe, and was pencilled in to make his debut in last night’s home game against Witton Albion.
Brig have also bolstered their ranks with the capture of 19-year-old winger Steven Murty, from Stockport County’s youth academy.
“They are a couple of good prospects and the lads will give us some extra options in midfield,” added Crowe.
“Warren Beattie is suspended for another three games, and we also need cover in there because Warren will be leaving the club next month.”
Brig face two away trips now – they go to Prescot Cables on Saturday, before visiting play-off chasers Skelmersdale United on Tuesday.
Crowe said: “Prescot’s always a difficult fixture. Their pitch isn’t the best and they always make it hard, they are a team who keep going.
“But I’d back us against anybody in this division, because we are playing well and the spirit and morale in the camp is excellent.
“Reaching the final of the Lancashire Trophy has made a huge difference to our season, because everybody is fighting for a shirt for the final – and we are still in the play-off hunt.
“We have a lot of games to play, and fifth place, the final play-off berth, is definitely up for grabs.”