It was only matter of time before Danny and Nicky Cowley made national news and Arsenal should beware
PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 February 2017
The brothers from Havering, who played for Hornchurch and Romford, make people enjoying working hard for them and deserve this FA Cup success
When Lincoln City’s Sean Raggett headed home the only goal of the game in the 89th minute of their FA Cup fifth-round clash at Burnley on Saturday, you can only imagine the noise generated by the Imps fans present at Turf Moor and watching on the screens at Sincil Bank.
There should also have been loud celebrations in Havering because the two people masterminding Lincoln’s astonishing success at a Premier League club are two of our own.
Imps boss Danny Cowley and his assistant and younger brother Nicky were born and bred in the borough and what they are achieving right now is simply phenomenal.
Meteoric rises by players from the non-league scene have become more common in recent years, but you very rarely see managers hit the headlines having started low down the football pyramid.
This time seven years ago Danny was managing Concord Rangers in the Ryman North and last weekend he’s overseen a win at Premier League Burnley in the FA Cup.
While the Cowleys exploits in the famous old competition have seen them catch the attention of the public eye, anybody from Havering will not be surprised by this success.
The brothers, who won an Essex Senior League treble as players with Hornchurch in 2005, after spells at Romford, have been pulling up trees for a long time.
They took part-time side Braintree Town to the brink of the Football League last season and look set to lead Lincoln up this time around.
My own first dealings with one of the Cowleys occurred way back in 2005 when I joined Hall Mead School and Nicky was a PE teacher.
I could have never imagined that he would go on to play a massive role in helping a non-league team reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
But even back when Nicky was just a PE teacher in Upminster, he had an ability to make people work hard and give absolutely everything.
He convinced me and others to go in at 8am once a week to improve our long-distance running and looking back, I’ve no idea why I did that!
But Nicky, and Danny, make you enjoy putting in that little bit extra and they are an example to anybody involved in football that if you work hard, you will get reward.
Having followed their careers since Concord were in the Ryman Premier, it is great to see two former local residents getting the success they deserve.
While I’ve never had the pleasure of dealing with Danny directly, I admire his values and honesty and thoroughly enjoy hearing his views on football.
I have no doubt this will not be the first time the Cowley brothers make the back of the national sports pages.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal should prove too strong for Lincoln in the last eight of the cup, but the north London giants should be warned, Danny and Nicky don’t like losing - no matter what opponent is standing in their way.