HE LIFTED Hungerford Town up two levels in the non-league pyramid and went on to enjoy further success with another National League South side, Wealdstone, writes Dave Wright.

Now highly-rated manager Bobby Wilkinson has been given the task of trying to take ambitious Bracknell Town on a similar journey.

The Isthmian League club are on a long-term project and forward-thinking chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse believes Wilkinson is the right man to build a winning culture at Larges Lane.

“We share the same ambitions as to where this fantastic club deserves to be,” said the new manager who was appointed last week.

In a statement, the club said: “Bobby arrives with huge pedigree, experience and a wealth of knowledge around the non-league circuit.

“His track record of success at every club he’s been at is second to none and his passion for the game is infectious.”

Wilkinson - the club’s sixth manager in two years - will lead a whole new management team with his number two, Mike Percival, having assisted him at Hungerford and Wealdstone.

Lea Barkus, who played professionally for Reading and Fulham, comes in as coach, with former Weymouth player and manager Jason Matthews coaching the goalkeepers.

Barkus started work this week, while the other three were in the dug-out on Saturday when the Robins held table-topping Hanwell to a 1-1 draw at Larges Lane - the result ending a run of three successive Isthmian League defeats.

“I wanted to make sure we didn’t get beaten today,” Wilkinson told the News after the game.

“The team competed well. I learned a lot, so was really pleased.

“hey need a little bit more belief in themselves, along with a bit more fitness and energy, and I will bring that to them.

“The team did show a bit of passion, so that was good.”

Wilkinson is not making any bold predictions as to how the rest of the season will unfold for Bracknell, revealing he is part of the “taking one game at a time” brigade.

But, discussing his team, he did admit: “It will take four to six weeks to learn what characters I have around me because it’s just not about what they do on the pitch, I need to see what they’re like off the pitch.”

New signings will be made with the manager stating: “I will definitely have to strengthen the squad. We’re short of numbers as we have a lot of injuries

“The way I like my teams to press, players will pick up niggles, so I need to bear that in mind, but being short of numbers is no problem, we will get that sorted.”

Wilkinson had been out of the game since leaving Wealdstone in May, but felt the time was right to look for a new challenge and Bracknell came calling.

He said he shares the same ambitions as Steinborn-Busse and describes Bracknell as a “fantastic club”, adding: “We both know where we want to be and what we have to do.”

He continued: “I love this football club already. I will wear the badge with pride. The aim is to move them up the leagues, which they deserve.

“Everyone knows my experience and what I have achieved in the past, but it doesn’t happen overnight - it takes time.

“The coaches I’ve brought with me are an experienced team and a team of winners. They’re all happy to be here.”

Wilkinson, who brought along his family to Larges Lane on Saturday, concluded: “I’m very lucky to have a fantastic Chairman and people around me at this club.

“The supporters are great and we now need to start winning games for them.”

The first of Wilkinson’s new signings is forward Joseph Chidyausiku, who has come from National League South side Chelmsford City.

The 21-year-old has also played for Romford, Bradford Park Avenue and Havant & Waterlooville.