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Torquay look to appoint from within as Chris Brass bids farewell

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 17, 2013

By David Thomas

Chris Brass

Chris Brass points the way to Bury. Picture: Steve Bond/Pinnacle

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Youth-team coach Robbie Herrera could step up and help fill the void left by the departure of Torquay United’s assistant manager Chris Brass to their League Two rivals Bury.

Herrera, 43, the Torquay-born ex-Queen’s Park Rangers, Fulham and Gulls defender, has been a key member of the Plainmoor Academy since its re-launch five years ago, and he is currently technical development coach with the south Devon club’s scholars.

United will receive compensation for losing Brass, but they do not plan to introduce an immediate successor.

Herrera has never made any secret of his ambition to coach at senior level at some point, and the current stage of the season – Football League Youth Alliance fixtures go into a mid-season break – could open a ‘window’ for him to do it.

Torquay boss Alan Knill said: “We’re not looking to replace Chris at the moment, and we have been asked to utilise the current coaching staff for the time being.”

New Bury manager David Flitcroft would have liked Brass to join him last week, but Brass insisted on remaining at Knill’s side until after last Saturday’s crucial League Two home game against Southend United.

It turned out to be a good decision and a good send-off for him, for the Gulls upset the promotion-chasers 1-0.

Knill commented: “Chris was happy here, but he was offered more money by Bury, and it’s much closer to home for him.”

Considerable investment has gone into Bury, under new chairman Stewart Day, and Brass has been tempted back to Gigg Lane by former Shakers team-mate Flitcroft, who was sacked by Barnsley recently, for a fourth time.

Brass previously worked there as a player, Academy coach and as Knill’s number two from 2009 to 2011.

Flitcroft is also trying to prise Mike Pollitt away from Wigan Athletic as goalkeeping coach.

Although he agreed a permanent deal, along with Knill, at Plainmoor last summer, father-of-two Brass’s family remained at their home in east Lancashire.

There had been no hint of a return there for Brass until Flitcroft’s recent appointment, but a move back makes a lot of sense for the former Burnley and York City defender.

Ironically, Brass will travel back down to Devon almost immediately, for Bury play Plymouth Argyle this Saturday.

On the playing front, Knill is waiting for a fitness report on new loan striker Jayden Stockley.

The 20-year-old AFC Bournemouth forward went down with a calf injury which knocked him out of the Southend match.

Knill said: “Jayden went back to Bournemouth for treatment, and we should know by Wednesday whether he’ll be OK for Dagenham at the weekend.”

United, still bottom of League Two but now within striking distance of a gaggle of fellow strugglers, travel to the East End on Saturday before tackling an intriguing Christmas and New Year programme of Westcountry derbies against Bristol Rovers and Exeter City at home and Plymouth Argyle away.

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