Tuesday 2 January 2024


There was a change in management at Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side Arlesey Town in early December as Nick Brown departed with Tommy Cooney coming in as Player/Manager and Zac Guerfi as Player/Assistant Manager. Brown, who had been in charge since June 2022, is now goalkeeping coach at Southern League Premier South side Hanwell Town. 

It's a very exciting appointment for the club who have struggled on the pitch since relegation from Step Three in 2015 and Step Four in 2018.    

It's Cooney's first job in Management and he brings with him a huge amount of experience having played for Brentford B, Boston United, Cefn Druids, Margate, Preston Lions (Australia), Skellefea (Sweden), VPS (Finland), Braintree Town, Bognor Regis Town, Sevenoaks Town, Hornchurch, Leatherhead, Hastings United, Faversham Town and Potters Bar Town. 

Guerfi started his playing career with Stevenage and has since played for Bedford Town, Bishop's Stortford, Codicote, Biggleswade United, Bodens BK (Sweden), US Monastir (Tunisa), Braintree Town, Sevenoaks Town, Tonbridge Angels, Cray Wanderers, Leatherhead, Potters Bar Town and Welwyn GC. He has also been capped by Tunisa at under 18 level and was in their full squad for their 2019 fixture versus Iraq where he was an unused substitute. 

Cooney and Guefri had been busy since their appointment making a number of impressive signings. Their first games in charge was just prior to Christmas which ended in a 0-2 loss at home to Harpenden Town and a 3-1 defeat at Stansted.  

On Wednesday 27th December they welcomed local rival's and tenant's Baldock Town to New Lamb Meadow. 

The home side featured a number of new signings in their starting XI that Cooney and Guefri had made since taking over. Kai Davis who was a first team regular with Walthamstow in the 22/23 season and has also played for Harrow Borough. Central Defender Yasin Boodhoo has also joined and counts Welwyn GC and Colney Heath as former clubs. Melvin Adesida also featured who has played for Bedford Town, Hertford Town and Hayes & Yeading United along with Montel Brown who has played for Stotfold, Harrow Borough, Aylesbury Vale Dynamos and Bedford Town - He started his career with Aldershot Town.

The visitors went into the game on the back of a very impressive 0-3 away win at Biggleswade United but were soon 1-0 down thanks Bruno Brito on 9 minutes who was able to turn and shoot after bringing the ball down from a long throw. 

On 30 minutes it was 1-1 when Baldock's George Devine netted from a hotly disputed spot kick. Some of the comments on social media to the clip have been it was a penalty and some it wasn't which shows how much of a difficult job referees have. 


Cooney came on as substitute for Guerfi on 61 minutes and shortly after Montel Brown scored his first goal for the club to make it 2-1. 

It was a memorable night (for the wrong reasons) for Baldock striker Kit Brown who was sin binned/yellow carded in the second half and then given two further yellow cards followed by a red just prior to the end of the game. The second and third yellow cards followed a challenge on Boodhoo. 

It was good to see a crowd of 148 in attendance - This was their biggest for a league game this season so far. I'm sure getting more fans at games is something everyone involved with the club are working on behind the scenes.  

They followed this important victory with a 1-0 win over Biggleswade United on Saturday 30th December with 127 people watching. 

Arlesey Town's next game comes on Saturday when they visit London Lions followed by a midweek trip to Potton United. 

At the end of the season I can see them finishing much higher than their current 16th position in the table. 

Baldock Town host Harpeden Town on Saturday before another home game against Sawbridgeworth Town on Tuesday. Their Manager Dave McAdam is doing an amazing job and has some excellent young players in his squad. 

The club's main goal at present is off the pitch as they look to find a ground of their own in their home town which is clearly easier said than done.



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