Wayne wants another taste of top flight

WAYNE Brown has been there, seen it, done it and got the medals to show for it.The 30-year-old defender has won promotion via the play-offs at Wembley with Ipswich Town and automatically with Colchester United, both very different experiences but each highly enjoyable.

Derek Davis

WAYNE Brown has been there, seen it, done it and got the medals to show for it.

The 30-year-old defender has won promotion via the play-offs at Wembley with Ipswich Town and automatically with Colchester United, both very different experiences but each highly enjoyable.

The centre-half played in both the 2000 semi-finals against Bolton but was dropped for the final at Wembley, a decision he understands.

Brown recalls: “I played on the right side of three against Bolton in the semi-final and it was alien to me. I knew the manager would bring John (McGreal) back so when he pulled me to one side to tell me I was not shocked to be on the bench.

“Wembley itself was amazing. The whole build-up was terrific. It was a fantastic day - one I will never forget, the whole excitement, colour and noise. Winning promotion made everyone's dream come true.”

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Brown also enjoyed promotion with the U's, taking them into the second level of English football for the first time in their history and playing every game of the Championship season before making his £450,000 move to Hull City.

He said “That was a different experience. No one expected us to get promoted, in fact many people were tipping us to get relegated, so to do that well and get automatic promotion as a team, as a player and a club, was an incredible achievement.

“Not one promotion was better than the other, just different. Ipswich were disappointed not to get promoted automatically because on the last day even though we beat Walsall 2-0, Manchester City won and went up. But then we had Wembley.”

Brown played 50 games for Ipswich, including UEFA Cup matches and four games in the Premiership, before being loaned to QPR and Wimbledon and then sold to Watford, where he helped them reach the FA Cup semi-finals in 2003.

He said: “Watford didn't work out the way I had hoped but they got to an FA Cup semi-final when I was there and it is all experience I can draw on now.”

Brown made the decision not to sign a new contract at Layer Road last summer and even though there were rumours that he could join Ipswich nothing was ever made concrete and the chance to join Hull was too good for Brown to turn down.

He said: “There was always going to be speculation but I saw an opportunity to go to a club that I felt could be successful and it has been a very enjoyable time.

“I felt I was going to a new club where the manager convinced me everyone wanted to be a success as an individual and as a team.

“Hull had only just survived the year before and the gaffer had a little bit of money to build.”

He flirted briefly with the Premiership while at Ipswich. He was injured in the opening game against Spurs, then played against Chelsea, Leeds and Arsenal before going out on loan.

The Barking-born defender has always hankered for a return to the top-flight and it is tantalisingly close for him, and Hull who have never played there in their 104-year history.

He insists the players, and the club, should not fear the big step.

Brown said: “From day one there was a three-year plan to get into the Premier League so to be this close now is a remarkable feat.

“People suggest we could wait another year but take it from me we want it asap.

“When I was at Colchester we played Chelsea in the cup, the best in the country, and we loved it. It is those games you thrive in and are occasions to look forward to week-in and week-out.”