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Official Blog, 26.6.13

26 June 2013

Cheltenham fan and blogger Matt Pegg discusses the introduction of Troy Brown and the promise of more to come.

Replacing something valuable is perhaps one of the most problematic conundrums anyone can face.

A treasured car, a cherished house or even a prized item of clothing can be tough to substitute. However, this statement is no more apt than in football and for Cheltenham, the problem of replacing quality has reared its head twice in the past few months.

Much respected skipper Alan Bennett left a large hole in the middle of the Robins defence when he departed for Wimbledon in January. I for one was concerned as to how we were going to be able to find a sufficient replacement in good time. But I was proved mightily wrong.

Michael Hector arrived on loan from Reading and surpassed all expectations. He was a stalwart at the back, a perfect youthful compliment to the more experienced Steve Elliott and was a key factor in the success of our defensive record. However, Hector’s Berkshire based parent club have decided to keep him for their Championship campaign next season, leaving the Robins looking thin at the back.

The remedy this time? Troy Brown, who has signed a two-year contract from recently relegated Aldershot. 

Now, while this highly regarded 22-year old certainly has the quality to be a fantastic defender in this league, there is also much pressure on his shoulders to step into the shoes of two formidable players who impressed so much during their time at the ABS.

With Cheltenham now surely a favourite for promotion in League 2 after a couple of narrow misses in the past 2 years, the squad for 2013/14 has to be better than ever. Troy Brown is going to be thrown in at the deep end, should he be considered a direct replacement for Michael Hector. Evidently, this should not be a problem for the former Ipswich youngster. He could not wish for a better partner at the back than Steve Elliott, who commands his line as adeptly as anyone I have seen at Whaddon Road. Brown has also had 2 years’ experience at this level with Rotherham and the aforementioned Shots. While his time in Yorkshire did not go exactly to plan, his 18 months in Hampshire showed just how much talent the London-born centre back has.

With Yatesy still studying in the Turkish sun, Neil Howarth spoke yesterday of the progress being made by the club to bring in new faces stating that the club are “a fair way down the line” with a couple of players. This is promising news for the club. As I suggested last week, the team is looking rather thin, so it is always promising to see few heading for the exit and many heading for the entrance. 

However, wrapping up Jamie Cureton and Troy Brown already is a signal of intent from the club and an indication that replacing departing quality will not be a problem this summer.

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