Jody Brown takes over as first-team manager of Heybridge Swifts
Heybridge Swifts have announced Jody Brown as their new first team manager.
Brown has been out of the game since leaving fellow Ryman North outfit Maldon & Tiptree at the end of last season and takes charge of Heybridge from today with his first game in the hotseat set to be against Dereham Town on Saturday.
Brown is a well renown and highly-regarded figure who has achieved remarkable success managing and coaching in the game.
Having coached within the Norwich City Academy and with Colchester United’s Youth Development system as well, one of Brown’s biggest accomplishments in the non-league scene was helping Tiptree United to the FA Vase Final as part of the coaching staff at Villa Park in 2002 where they were narrowly defeated.
After a successful two and a half years at Tiptree United, Brown moved to Halstead Town and used his links to build a young, hungry outfit that narrowly missed out on promotion in each of the three seasons he was in charge.
Brown has always had a driving passion for youth development and progression and joins a club with a successful youth development system who are already building for the future.
The Swifts currently have a promising under-21 team who are in their debut season in the new Ryman Under 21 League and Brown is expected to work closely with director of football Wayne Bond and under-21’s manager Gary Perkins as the club look to continue to integrate their talented youngsters and give them the opportunity to break into the first team.
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After another successful spell as firstly manager and then coach at Redbridge FC following Terry Spillane’s appointment, Brown helped save the club from relegation before assisting them on a high-profile FA Cup run that saw them get as far as the second round in 2011.
Still working under Spillane last season for Maldon & Tiptree, Brown helped the side reach the Ryman North play-off final against Thamesmead Town, only for the club to fall at the final hurdle.
Brown, a UEFA qualified coach, takes over the reigns at Scraley Road from director of football Wayne Bond who has been in temporary charge of affairs recently after previous boss Mark Hawkes left to take over Chelmsford City.
Heybridge triumphed by one goal to nil over Waltham Abbey and currently sit in fourth place in the Ryman North, four points off top spot.
And Brown is set to make his Heybridge managerial debut and be unveiled to fans before kick-off this weekend as seventh-placed Dereham Town visit with the Swifts looking to complete a league double over the Norfolk side and cement themselves in the race for promotion in an ever-exciting league.
Following Saturday’s game, all eyes will be on the Boxing Day local derby when the Swifts travel to Essex-rivals and Brown’s former club Maldon & Tiptree, where Brown will pit his wits against former footballing colleague Spillane.
The appointment adds even more spice to a fixture that is certainly a fitting one as both sides are vying it out for promotion to the Ryman Premier.