‘I made the change’ – Robin Stanton-Gleaves on Andy Woodman’s success at Bromley and previous EFL approaches

Bromley chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves has hailed the job done by manager Andy Woodman in leading the club into the EFL for the first time in their history, writes Edmund Brack.

Stanton-Gleaves appointed the former Arsenal and Crystal Palace goalkeeper coach in March 2021 and witnessed constant progression in the National League.

In three of his four campaigns in charge, Woodman’s side have finished in the play-offs and the former Newcastle coach also guided the club to their first piece of silverware when they lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley in May 2022.

Woodman’s side won promotion to the Football League for the first time in their 132-year history after a penalty shootout play-off final win over Solihull Moors in May.

“When I first appointed him I got a lot of flak,” Stanton-Gleaves told the South London Press. “We had a manager at the time, Neil Smith, who was very popular with everybody.

“But I worked with Neil for 12 months or so and I decided that Neil wasn’t going to fulfil what needed to be fulfilled.  I had to be honest to say that – I told him that at the time.

“I made the change. Andy had never managed before. I brought him and said: ‘We’re not a Premier League club, but why can’t we operate to Premier League standards?’

“Hard work is hard work. Just because you’re non-league doesn’t mean you can’t work hard or have a standard.

“I brought Andy in for that in the first instance. Secondly, I identified in him that he had a desire to prove he was more than a coach – that he was a manager. He also showed me enough hunger to prove he was willing to listen and learn.

“Andy pushes me and challenges me, but we’re a partnership. He understands the rules and the restraints at Bromley, and he also understands his own desire to get on.

“Since he has been in, we have improved season upon season. He rightly deserves the recognition for the work he has done and the promotion he has got.”
Gillingham, in League One at the time, wanted to talk to Woodman about their managerial vacancy in January 2022 and approached Stanton-Gleaves.

“He’s an ambitious man,” said Stanton-Gleaves. “He’s played in the Football League. His son (Freddie) has played in the Championship.

“We all get flattered when we get approaches. In many of those instances, I have allowed the approach and allowed the conversations.

“If somebody doesn’t want to be with you, let them go. But equally, when he has explored those opportunities and looked at what he is doing here, he comes back to the same decision.

“He likes what he is doing here and he is creating a good name for himself with what he is doing.

“It works for him. I make it hard for him to leave – that’s my job. But I’m a human being and I never want to stop people pursuing what is best for their careers.”

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