Joe Rodwell-Grant to stake claim for Brig after Ewan Bange exit
Joe Rodwell-Grant has the opportunity to become Bamber Bridge’s main man in attack, says boss Jamie Milligan.
Brig’s NPL Premier Division promotion aspirations were dealt a blow this week when Blackpool recalled striker Ewan Bange from his loan stint at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
The forward has been in sparkling form since arriving at Irongate at the start of the season.
He has struck 10 goals to help Brig soar to fourth in the league table.
However, the Tangerines have decided now is the time to recall the youngster and test him at a higher level. He has gone out on loan to National League North outfit Telford United.
While disappointed to lose Bange, Milligan said that it was the perfect opportunity for 19-year-old Rodwell-Grant – who arrived on loan towards the end of last month from Preston – to take over as Brig’s talisman in attack.
“Ewan has done brilliantly this season,” said Milligan, whose team is without a game this weekend.
“He was our top scorer and he gave us something different that we have probably lacked over the last couple of years.
“Somebody who can occupy centre halves and he can get you goals as well.
“I think Blackpool wanted him to test himself in a higher division and see where his level is at the minute.
“It’s fair enough. They need to see how far up he can play.
“As a player he has still got a lot to learn and he knows that, but he is willing to learn. He’s a great lad.
“He’s going to be a big loss for us but it’s also a big opportunity for Joe Rodwell-Grant to step up and score some goals for us.
“He’s a little bit of a different type of player to Ewan. He is more of a player who looks to get in behind defences.
“We had been trying to get him for a while. The chance to get him came up and we couldn’t turn that opportunity down.
“He will get his opportunity now and it’s up to him to take it.
“It’s coup for us to get Joe because a number of clubs at our level wanted him.
“I think it helped that he came here on loan before. He was here last season before the season got cancelled.
“I think he enjoyed it then and he’s looking forward to showing what he can do. He’s another really good lad.”
Last weekend, Brig move3d up to third in the table after a 2-1 away win over Stafford Rangers, although they have since dropped a place after Buxton won in midweek.
“It wasn’t the greatest of games,” said Milligan. “The conditions were tough, it was windy and rainy so we couldn’t get the ball down and play like we want to play.
“We had to adapt our game a little bit and won it with a great goal from Rob Apter and the winner from Sheldon Green.”
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