Bicknell lined up as new coachBy Alan Manicom
May 20, 2008
Adam Bicknell has emerged as a front-runner to take over as Bracknell Bees’ player-coach for next season.
The club’s highly-respected captain is seen as the perfect replacement for Dwight Parrish, who quit last week after running out of patience at waiting to be offered a new deal.
Bees notified the English Premier League officials at the weekend that they intend to continue competing semi-professionally, despite concerns over lack of sponsorship.
And Bicknell, who has a full-time job as a PE teacher, could still be accommodated within the club’s new leaner budget.
He has already proved himself as an excellent bench coach, helping out there the season before last when he was ruled out for five months with a serious knee injury.
His contribution in helping maintain team morale when the club was on the brink of folding was acknowledged by Parrish.
And Bicknell would certainly be a popular choice as coach among the squad, who voted him their player of the year.
He said: “I’m aware of the rumour and I have told the club I would like to be back.
“But I can’t make any decision until the club’s finances and future is secured.
“I think they are still waiting for support from the league and are chasing a couple of sponsors.”
Bicknell is well aware whoever takes charge has a tough act to follow as Parrish won the EPL Cup in his first season as well as guiding the team to the Championship play-off final.
And Parrish’s predecessors Ryan Aldridge and Mike Ellis both won silverware.
Bicknell said: “Dewy was a great coach and Aldy too. But if I was offered the coaching job it is not something I would be scared of doing. I am totally open to it.
“It is certainly something I am interested in doing at my age,” added the 28-year-old forward.
“I think I could pull the majority of last year’s team back to the club – the ones we want anyway.
“If it was offered to me, I think I would have enough respect from the players.
“I have seen a lot of negative things that I would like to change and I have my own ideas.
“If I do not coach at Bracknell, I will somewhere some day.
“But it is a great opportunity for someone.”
Bicknell’s budget, should he take charge, would be a lot smaller than previous seasons.
Bees’ general manager Stuart Robinson, who insists he has no idea as yet who will replace Parrish, said: “We are moving ahead positively next season.
“The budget is being reassessed. The key thing is that we do not endure another season like the last.”
Bees only survived folding last December thanks to the intervention of businesswoman Katie Eleftheriou and £27,000 in donations from fans.
The cash was needed to keep the club afloat after they were left without a benefactor by previous owners David Taylor, who walked out still owing players money.
Robinson said: “It would have been completely unfair on the fans and the players to have made promises without making sure 100 per cent that we can deliver financially. We told the league on Sunday that it is our intention to compete next season.
“That is of course still dependent on Katie satisfactorily completing negotiations with the Nike Group to renew the operating licence.
“We also want to make sure that we don’t just have a team, but a competitive one.
“The budget the Taylors ran was disproportionate for a team of our size and attendances.
“We are working incredibly hard at getting sponsorship which will help with the budget.”