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Athletic are delighted to announce the signing of 24 year-old Czech striker Leoš Loos who has joined us from Dutch Divisie VI side Green-White United for a fee of just over £2 million.

Speaking of the new signing, Marcus said “Leoš is a big lad and is a proven goalscorer. We faced a bit of competition for his signature, so I’m absolutely delighted to have him here”.

He continued, “I think we’ve been a bit light up front since Daniel Hasnaş left, and we’ve needed an experienced striker to partner Onésimo. Leoš will certainly do that, and I think that we now have a very potent front line”.

Marcus confirmed that the new signing will go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s match at Carbrain saying, “When you’ve got a player like him in your squad, you don’t leave him in the stand. He’s been playing regularly, so there’s no problem with his fitness and his inclusion is an easy decision to make”.

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Onésimo Murube reacts first to knock home our third goal and confirm our win.

Onésimo Murube reacts first to knock home our third goal and confirm our win.

Despite losing the services of Daniel Hasnaş last night, Brook Street saved their best performance of the season to last, defeating Pathetic Athletic 3-0 in this afternoon’s play-off to secure their Division III status for next season.

Marcus named an unchanged starting eleven from the side that took to the field in the final match of the regular season against jabbathehut, but while the New Home Park side were clearly taking it easy last Saturday, they came charging out of the blocks this afternoon against Pathetic Athletic.

Brook Street had their opponents on the back foot right from kick-off, and only some smart goalkeeping denied Paul O’Healihy the opening goal from a tenth minute free-kick.

Nemanja Janković’s cross four minutes later then caused chaos in the visiting defence, but Oleg Zhigalov dwelled on the ball too long and the chance was lost.

Brook Street were clearly ratcheting up the pressure on the visitors’ defence, and it finally paid off in the thirty-third minute when Oscar MacVarish shrugged off his marker and buried the ball in the opposition net.

Marcus has instilled a steely determination as well as great patience in his side, and this was evident as they repeatedly probed for an opening to exploit in the second half.

This finally bore fruit in the seventy-fourth minute when Eldvinas Šumlinskas played a killer ball over to top scorer Onésimo Murube who was never going to pass up an opportunity like this, and slammed the ball home to edge Brook Street closer to safety.

Two minutes later and the game could have been wrapped up, but Paul O’Healihy’s free-kick whistled just over the bar. However it was another O’Healihy pile-driver which lead to Brook Street’s third and decisive goal with nine minutes left.

Abel Soffia had charged down the left wing before cutting the ball back to Oleg Zhigalov, who in turn laid the ball off to the on-rushing Irishman who blasted the ball goalwards. Matias Patrakka in Pathetic’s goal pulled off a great save, but was only able to parry the ball. Onésimo Murube, showing all the predatory instincts of a striker was the first to react and calmly knocked the ball into the unguarded net to secure the win, and with it Brook Street’s Division III status.

A delighted Marcus Lövman joined his players on the pitch for the celebrations at full-time before facing the assembled press.

“This result is easily the most satisfying of my career”, admitted the coach who then added, “I’m absolutely delighted for those lads who’ve given their all for this club. They deserve this result as much as anyone”.

Then in a sideswipe at a small section of the support who had questioned the capabilities of the coach and commitment of the players, he said, “Today’s result proves that I did know what I was doing. It’s a shame they weren’t here to witness it”.

He continued, “This is not the time for them though. I want to concentrate on the real supporters who have followed us through thick and thin this season and given us one hundred percent backing all the time. I want to dedicate this result to you. You are the best!”

As was widely anticipated, Daniel Hasnaş has tonight parted company with Brook Street after a £290,000 deal was concluded with Bosnian side Looprevil.

On the move Marcus commented, “It became clear today that his new club were willing to meet our asking price, and although they apparently faced competition for his signature, they got their man in the end”.

“While I’m really disappointed to lose Daniel, he leaves with all our very best wishes”.

During his time at the club, Daniel made a total of forty competitive starts and scored twenty-four goals in the process.

Brook Street received a timely boost ahead of Saturday’s play-off showdown with Pathetic Athletic with the news that both Ville Yrjölä and Emanuel Bohucký are likely to be fit for selection.

Ville wasn’t risked, however Emanuel played the full ninety minutes of this morning’s 4-1 friendly win over Cypriot side Tifonas Katrina FC and put in a man of the match performance in the middle of the park.

On the down side, Rab Henderson was taken to hospital with suspected concussion following a collision. His season is over now, but this won’t be seen as too much of a setback as Marcus admitted afterwards.

“It’s highly unlikely that Rab would have been in Saturday’s squad as it’s not the type of game to throw youngsters into”, said Marcus, “so his close season starts today. He’s a bit groggy but he’ll be fine in a few days”.

Turning to Ville and Emanuel he said, “With the lack of a third keeper, I felt it was too much of a risk to play Ville today. In case Ville didn’t make it for Saturday it was important that Zee got the match time hence the decision”.

He continued, “The decision to play Manny was a lot more straightforward however in that we’ve got plenty options in the middle of the park. He rose to the occasion magnificently and put in a commanding performance”.

“So long as he does not have any adverse reaction, he’ll be in the squad for Saturday”.

Brook Street opened the scoring in fourteen minutes through Garabed Palasyan, and Jake MacConnechy doubled the lead six minutes later.

Ernest Dziębowski pulled a goal back for the visitors in the twenty-fourth minute with a bulleted header from a corner, but there was to be no equaliser before the break.

Oleg Zhigalov, who had replaced the unfortunate Rab Henderson in the fifteenth minute, grabbed our third goal of the game with a fine solo effort in sixty-nine minutes, before Daniel Hasnaş wrapped up the scoring with four minutes remaining.

The coach was pleased with the performance, saying, “We played a different formation today, but despite the confusion which was to be expected, we played very well”.

When asked if there was any truth in the rumours sweeping the town that Daniel Hasnaş had been transfer-listed, he went on to confirm that they are true.

“Yes, I can confirm that Daniel has requested a transfer, and I can also confirm that we are open to offers”.

He continued, “While I’m disappointed in the request, and in particular it’s timing, I understand the reasoning. Daniel wants regular first team football and I simply can’t guarantee him that”.

“We’ll continue to talk, and I’d genuinely be delighted if Daniel chose to stay, but if we receive an offer which meets our valuation, then we won’t stand in his way”.

Onésimo Murube side-foots the ball home to open the scoring and send us on the road to victory against kaos this afternoon.

Onésimo Murube side-foots the ball home to send us on the road to victory against kaos this afternoon.

Brook Street moved closer to securing a play-off place with an excellent 4-2 win away to kaos c.f this afternoon. The win effectively puts us within three points of avoiding automatic relegation.

When interviewed on the pitch at full-time, a clearly delighted Marcus said, “The lads were magnificent today. Our gameplan worked perfectly and we’ve got an invaluable win as a result”.

He continued, “On paper we shouldn’t have taken anything from the game, but yet again this group of players have proved our doubters wrong and secured the victory. A couple of them are bruised, but that won’t take the shine off what is an excellent performance”.

He concluded by saying, “We’ve got some very tough games coming up, but we’ve played ourselves into a great position and now we’ve got to kick on and secure that play-off place”.

Brook Street opened the scoring in the thirty-sixth minute through Onésimo Murube when he knocked home Nemanja Janković’s early cross, and we were two up just before the break when Jake MacConnechy finished off a fine move.

The home side pulled a goal back six minutes after the break through Tas Sztarenki, but Onésimo restored our two-goal advantage three minutes later.

With the game raging from end to end, back came kaos, and substitute Jeremiah Cael finished off a fine move with eleven minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish. However Brook Street were not to be denied, and Daniel Hasnaş put the game beyond doubt with eight minutes left, thundering the ball into the net with an excellent volley.

Daniel Hasnaş knocks home his, and our, second goal of the match.

Daniel Hasnaş knocks home his, and our, second goal of the match.

The reserves lifted our second ever Brook Street Cup with an emphatic 6-2 win over Zwart-geel at New Home Park this morning.

Brook Street effectively killed the match off in the first half, with two Daniel Hasnaş goals and a Fraser Carragher strike had Brook Street three up just after the half-hour mark. Although Atilio Pérez pulled a goal back for the visitors two minutes before the break, Emanuel Bohucký restored our three-goal advantage straight from the re-start to give us a 4-1 lead at half-time.

Kenny Corney made it 5-1 five minutes after the break, and Fraser Carragher got his second of the game three minutes later as it looked increasingly like it could turn into a rout.

Brook Street clearly took the foot off the gas at this point and although Loïc Vandeurzen, who had come on a minute earlier, slammed home the Belgian side’s second goal just after the hour mark, there was never any danger of a comeback.

“The lads were excellent out there this morning, and went about their business in a thoroughly professional manner”, beamed Marcus at full-time.

He continued, “We’ve played very well throughout the competition, and I think we’ve been worth our win. The lads are getting into a real winning mentality, which is good for the club”.

Admitting that there was something of a feel-good factor forming at the club, he said, “We’ve been through the mill a bit this season, but there looks like light at the end of the tunnel, and the general mood around the club seems to be lifting”.

That general improvement in mood became all to clear when he was asked about whether Athletic would be the first to break the hoodoo of the Brook Street Cup and become the first to successfully defend the trophy when he laughed and said, “Let’s not get too carried away here… we’ve got the league title to win first!”

While there was some doubt as to whether this would be the last edition of the Cup to be run, the knock-out format seems to have worked out well, and it has been confirmed this afternoon that Brook Street Cup 11 will take place the season after next.

A spokesman for the club said, “The old format had probably seen its day, so changing to a knockout format could have been a last throw of the dice for the tournament”.

He continued, “It seems to have worked very well however, and I am therefore delighted to confirm that the knockout format will be retained when the Cup returns the season after next for Edition 11”.

Andy Hunter blasts home the equalising goal against OS Maninkerque this afternoon.

Andy Hunter blasts home the equalising goal against OS Maninkerque this afternoon.

Goals from Andy Hunter, Daniel Hasnaş and Andy Harte powered the reserves to a 3-1 win over OS Maninkerque in France this afternoon, and into a Brook Street Cup final against Belgian side Zwart-geel next week.

“We really bossed the game today and showed great patience”, said Marcus after the game. “We knocked the ball about well, and created plenty of chances, while keeping things tight at the back. I can’t ask more than that”.

The player/coach will be limited to simply ‘coach’ for the next two weeks or so after he sustained a bad knock.

“It’s one of those things”, he admitted, “you go in for a 50-50 and you end up being helped off the pitch. It’s all part of the game”.

He continued, “The doc says I’ll be out for a couple of weeks, but it would not surprise me if it was longer”.

Turning back to the game, Marcus said, “OS were trying to hit us on the counter, so when they took the lead, that kicked us into action”.

“From the moment Andy Hunter hit the equaliser however, our tails were up and I knew there was only going to be one winner”.

Brook Street will now face Belgian side Zwart-geel in the final next week, although it is undecided at present whether the match will go ahead at New Home Park or if it will be played at a neutral venue.

A spokesman said, “Normally, the final is played at New Home Park, but as we would technically have home advantage we have offered to play the tie at a neutral venue. We’ll wait and see what the Zwart-geel management say before confirming any arrangements”.

The sides have met on three previous occasions, with Brook Street winning all three, however Marcus admitted that we can’t afford to take the match lightly.

“Yes, we’ve got a very good record against them, but the winning margin has reduced every time we’ve played. They are having a very good season, so it all adds up to being a very good final”.

Daniel Hasnaş slides the ball home to open the scoring and send us on the road to our first league victory of the season.

Daniel Hasnaş slides the ball home to send us on the road to our first league victory of the season.

What a difference a week makes… Last week, the fans were calling for Marcus’s head, today they were singing his praises as the coach played a tactical masterstroke to lead Brook Street to our first league win of the season.

The coach had named himself in defence while Daniel Hasnaş returned to lead the line with Onésimo Murube dropping to the bench, and it was Daniel who was to prove the matchwinner, scoring both our goals.

In contrast to last week, Marcus was back in place to face the media at the post-match press conference, and his delight with the performance was clear for all to see.

“That was a huge win for us”, he admitted. “We needed that sort of performance to bounce back after the kicking we got last weekend, and I’m delighted for the players”.

Commenting on the changes in personnel he said, “I felt that Daniel would give us far more options given the conditions, and so it proved. However, it was a very good all-round team performance on a pitch that wasn’t conducive to playing good football. I couldn’t ask any more of the lads; they were superb”.

Daniel Hasnaş fires home our equaliser to set the reserves on the road to victory.

Daniel Hasnaş fires home our equaliser to set the reserves on the road to victory.

The reserves fought back from a goal down to win 4-1 against Brigate Rosso Nere(1975), our visitors from Montenegro at New Home Park this morning.

Trailing from Bud Gassmann’s fourth minute strike, it took the home side over an hour to break down the stubborn visitors’ defence, Daniel Hasnaş making the breakthrough with only twenty-one minutes remaining.

However, it took until the final ten minutes before Brook Street turned their domination into goals.

Daniel hit his second of the game with nine minutes left and coach Marcus Lövman made it 3-1 a minute later. Jake MacConnechy wrapped up the scoring from the penalty spot six minutes from time after Andy Hunter had been up-ended in the box.

The coach was pleased with the performance, despite playing in an unusual 3-4-3 formation.

“We got ourselves a bit confused at times, but on the whole I think it was a worthwhile exercise playing in this formation”. He continued, “Its selection was borne out of necessity rather than choice as we had three defenders and three forwards needing trained, and it made sense to use this line-up”.

He later admitted that it was unlikely to be used in a competitive match however, saying, “It’s not the type of formation that tends to work well for us, and in our Division we would be absolutely crucified. I see no problem in using it in friendlies though”.

He continued, “It was good getting Jake [MacConnechy] back today. Hopefully he’ll have no adverse reaction and will be available for Saturday”.

Ville Yrjölä and Nemanja Janković remain sidelined, but it is hoped that at least one will be back for the weekend.

With six minutes remaining, Onésimo Murube slams home his sixth goal of the season to earn us a point.

Brook Street had to settle for a share of the spoils this evening, drawing 3-3 away to Schwarzenegger Allstarz. While the result kept our unbeaten run going, Marcus was less than happy with the outcome.

“Although the match was very finely balanced, I’m disappointed that we’re heading home with only a point”.

He elaborated saying, “We were sloppy at the back and wasteful up top. Following our excellent performance last weekend I’d hoped that we’d kick on and get a good result today. Instead, we showed our ugly side”.

“We need to ensure some consistency if we are to challenge for the title, but at the end of the day, a point away from home is better than nothing”.

The coach was however concerned with the injuries picked up by Nemanja Janković and José Eransus; Nemanja limped off five minutes before half-time while José managed to struggle through to full-time after picking up a knock ten minutes from time.

“We feared the worst, but it transpires that José is just a bit bruised and will be fine for next weekend”, said Marcus. “We’re not sure about Nemanja though”.

He added, “It looks like a muscle pull, but we’ll have to wait until he gets a scan to see the extent of the damage. Hopefully it won’t keep him on the sidelines too long”.

Roberto Oña Vivar opened the scoring in four minutes before Daniel Hasnaş levelled in the twelfth minute.

Fabian Pinzoni looked to have ensured that the home side would go into the break ahead when he scored three minutes from the break, however Andy Harte stunned the home crowd by levelling straight from kick-off.

Achim Köb fired Allstarz back into the lead back in front before the hour mark, and with time running out, Onésimo Murube salvaged a point for Brook Street six minutes from time.

NEXT MATCH

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