No cold shoulder for Wayne
IPSWICH Town may have discarded Wayne Brown eight years ago, but Hull City will not be showing the same cold shoulder to their star defender.Ex-Town and Colchester United centre-half Brown hopes Hull's promotion to the Premier League will finally allow him to prove that he can mix it with the best.
IPSWICH Town may have discarded Wayne Brown eight years ago, but Hull City will not be showing the same cold shoulder to their star defender.
Ex-Town and Colchester United centre-half Brown hopes Hull's promotion to the Premier League will finally allow him to prove that he can mix it with the best.
Brown, now 30, suffered a kick in the teeth when, after helping Ipswich win promotion in 1999-2000, he was deemed surplus to requirements by manager George Burley.
Now, thanks to Hull's play-off final victory over Bristol City, Brown will be heading back to the top flight next season to face some of the top strikers in Europe.
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Despite reports linking Hull with veteran Spanish international defender Ivan Campo, manager Phil Brown has insisted that the players who won promotion will be given an opportunity to prove their worth.
That should be music to the ears of defender Brown, who still has two years on his contract after joining the Tigers in a £425,000 move from Colchester United last summer.
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Brown said: “You don't know what's going to happen this summer. The club has got some money now and, who knows, might bring in six defenders.
“But, hopefully, touch-wood, I will get the chance next season to play against the big players. Every player wants that opportunity to perform in the big arena against the world's best.
“When I went to the Premiership before, I was told by the manager that he didn't really fancy me in the Premiership. I went out on loan for five months and missed out on playing against Manchester United, the big teams, and Inter Milan in Europe,” revealed Brown.
Brown never started a game for Ipswich in the top flight and made only four appearances as substitute against Tottenham, Chelsea, Leeds and Arsenal.
He spent the following season with Milton Keynes Dons and Watford in the Championship as Ipswich tumbled out of the Premiership in his absence.
Although he returned to the Ipswich side for three months after relegation, and played three games in the UEFA Cup, Brown joined Watford on a permanent basis in December 2002. After two years at Vicarage Road, he moved to Colchester for three years and then Hull last summer.
“I came here because I wanted to be successful, but I didn't anticipate this happening so quickly,” he admitted.
“Everyone would have been happy with mid-table or even survival this season, there was no real expectation. But the more this season has gone on, the more our belief in our ability has grown. This is definitely the greatest achievement of my career.”
Although the bookmakers will install Hull as one of the favourites for relegation next season, Brown does not think that will erode the belief among the club's players.
“I don't care about the bookies. We have had belief in our ability all season and I don't care who writes us off. For now, we have to enjoy today and worry about next season later.”