Today, one of the toughest jobs in football is being a coach.
Many struggle to finish off a season with the demands of clubs so high, let alone spend a few years in the same dugout.
Brian ‘Bomber’ Brown is into his eighth season at PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s side the Bonnyrigg White Eagles, a commendable feat for both club and coach.
Brown took over the reigns with long time assistant Cliff Pointer mid-season in 2009, with the club languishing in second bottom on the ladder, and relegation beckoning.
Since finishing in a respectable ninth that season, the White Eagles have made the finals every year since then, taking four Premierships and two Championships.
“It’s outstanding for a club like us.
“It has now become unacceptable not to be up the top or in the Finals for the coaches and players”, Brown said.
Bomber has become a popular figure for the White Eagles faithful and he describes what keeps him going year after year at Bonnyrigg Sports Ground.
“The people at Bonnyrigg motivate me in lots of ways, as well as Cliffy and the players through their commitment.
“The volunteers at the club all work hard every week and give money from their own pockets so we don’t want to let them down along with the loyal supporters.
“The real motivation though comes from the players, when you put the team together and it gels and results come.
“I give the players everything I got and I expect them to give it back.”
The White Eagles mentor has a simple motto that he has followed throughout his life.
“Since I was a young boy I’d walk like a winner, talk like a winner, act like a winner and you’ll be the winner.”
The Bomber-Cliffy duo has endured much success, winning various Premierships and Championships at Sutherland Sharks and Blacktown City, where they contested six straight Grand Finals.
“Cliff and I maybe be older but we try to think younger, you have to change with time and with what’s happening in the world.”
This season seemed destined to break the White Eagles run of consecutive Finals appearances but the boys in red somehow snuck into the Top 5.
“It was very tough and the first person I look at is myself, what I’ve done, what the teams done, right formation, right team etc.
“Through the year I’ve made some errors, but the day you stop looking should be the day you stop coaching.
“Cliffy and I are already preparing to change a few things for next year that we did this year, It’s all about correcting mistakes.
“Throughout the season we were plagued by things you can fix and things you can’t.
“The ones we can we will try to fix, the others we can’t and have to live with that.”
Many thought that it would be hard for the team, to recover in time from last Wednesday’s disappointing Westfield FFA Cup loss to Blacktown City but instead the White Eagles showed true character and fight.
“The boys were so pumped I didn’t do much, it’s these moments the Robbie Younis’, Jimmy Chronopoulos’, David Vrankovic’s, Nikola Zonjic’s, Aaron Peterson’s and Sammy Gallaway’s step up and show what they can do so it all came together.
“We don’t want (Robbie) Younis and (Nikola) Zonjic to go out not being Champions.”
The last league defeat that kick started this good form came against local rivals Sydney United 58 and Bomber knows how his team will approach this clash.
“It’s a cup game, knockout, we’ll approach it how we approached last Saturday with everything to gain and we’ll play it to win it.
“We’re a big chance and if we can reproduce Saturday night, I’m confident we will go to the Grand Final again.”
This season Brown has given first grade debuts to two teenagers, Asmir Kadric and Martin Lo, with one word to describe them.
“Outstanding potential both of them, they still have plenty of work to do but are more than capable of going to the next level.
“They’re great kids and I think next year they will be key players for us.”
There are more youngsters brewing at Bonnyrigg Sports Ground with the under 20’s team flying high also.
“There are 3 or 4 players, maybe even more so close and knocking on the door.
“Despite losing 2-0 last Saturday night, I was proud to sit in the stand and watch how well they played with seven players that could’ve played under 18’s and that’s the future of Bonnyrigg.
“We are in the position to do that and the coaches have done well.”
Wining the Championship from fifth place would be some achievement and with the words of another Scottish managerial giant, Brian Brown signed off.
“I definitely believe we can win it.
“As Alex Ferguson said, ‘my job is to make everyone understand the impossible is possible’, three-four weeks ago it would be said it is impossible to win it and now we’re one win away from a Grand Final.”
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