IRISH LEAGUE: Banbridge Town building bright future with landmark appointment

Peter Watson. Pic by Edward Byrne.
Peter Watson. Pic by Edward Byrne.

Peter Watson’s decision to become the first Director of Football in Banbridge Town history has been motivated by a desire to build a bright future on the foundations established across the past 70 years.

Watson can call on experiences developed across a playing and coaching career that covered time across the water, domestic success and European adventures.

His hope is to establish a clear pathway for the area’s promising prospects that will allow future generations to taste similar highs thanks to long-term links to Banbridge Town.

Watson’s role will centre on youth development from the juniors up to senior ranks - and beyond, with the goal to have players rise up the internal ranks to represent Banbridge Town at Irish League level or even progress to more established domestic teams or into the professional scene thanks to the club’s grassroots work.

“With the juniors now established within Banbridge Town, I feel we cannot lose the opportunity presented,” said Watson. “We need something for our young players to aim towards and this structure will present the motivation to succeed.

“We are not a rich club so we need to ensure that talented players cannot only see the pathway forward but also embrace and seize the opportunity.

“This structure will not only ensure the progression of players but will also instil a philosophy which will be of enormous benefit in future years.”

Watson is keen to build on the hard work in place across all levels of Banbridge Town life.

“It is about feeding players into the firsts but with my focus on the foundation from below that level,” said Watson. “It is about sharing the same idea across the whole pathway, with our coaching staff’s focus on development, with winning not the priority but a natural outcome if you get the development right.

“In the past we have lost players to other clubs, many have returned to Banbridge Town and what we want is to get the structure right so that our club is the one players want to stay with all the way up the age groups.

“If we can get players to forge an identity to Banbridge Town due to the belief we will continue to provide first-team opportunities that is the ultimate aim.

“The work has already started ,with a meeting of the coaching staff to come as we start to introduce our philosophy.

“It is very exciting and we have the facilities and approach to prove competitive.”