Returning Swifts boss is keen to prove himself all over again

Jody Brown

Jody Brown

New Heybridge Swifts boss Jody Brown admits that he wants to prove himself as a football manager again.

Brown was re-appointed as Swifts boss at the end of September, after previously leading the club to the Ryman North Division play-offs in season 2013/14.

But after leaving Scraley Road to manage Grays Athletic, in the Ryman Premier Division, and Welling United, in the Conference Premier, last season, the highly-rated boss has now returned – and is keen to prove himself and Heybridge’s credentials once more.

“Obviously my last managerial job didn’t go great at Welling (United gained just one point out of a possible 27 under Brown’s reign), and there were question marks about me from outside,” said Brown, who takes his side to Tilbury this afternoon.

“I just want to prove myself as a manager again and there’s no better challenge than taking over a club that was bottom of the Ryman North (when Brown was appointed).”

Brown’s first game back in charge of the Swifts was a victorious one as they progressed in the FA Trophy.

The Essex club’s league fortunes have also seen rapid improvement – with victory at previously unbeaten Bury Town (3-1) the stand-out result.

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Heybridge also narrowly lost 1-0 against league-leaders Cray Wanderers, and drew 1-1 with AFC Sudbury under Brown’s command, with the boss promising Swifts fans that he is at Scraley Road for the long term.

He continued: “People have questioned ‘Is he going there for the long term or is he just going there to get himself back on the map as a manager and then leave like he did last time’.

“I think you can see by the staff that I’ve recruited that we are all here for the long term and we want to try and build something.

“In Steve (Pitt), Paul (Abrahams), and Danny Clare, who has come with me from Concord, where I was assistant, we’ve got some really experienced staff and if we can get the right players who we can spend the right amount of time with, I think we can build something impressive.”

However, Brown’s first task will be to get the club away from the Ryman North relegation zone, after a largely difficult season.

“First and foremost, our target is to get to safety, and to get away from the bottom three,” he continued.

“If we can be mid-table at Christmas, we can then re-assess.

“We’ve got to make some sort of stability because it’s been like a rotating door at this club.

“They’ve had 106 players play for them in 60 games since I left (June 2014).

“We need to create a football team where everyone knows each other, and wants to play for the football club.”

Brown has added Witham captain Lewis Godbold to his squad today.

n Elsewhere in the Ryman North today, James Webster will take charge of Brightlingsea Regent for the 300th competitive time.

The R’s travel to Phoenix Sports and Webster will hope it is a game to remember after a number of successful years at the helm.

Witham Town host fellow strugglers Barkingside, and Maldon & Tiptree host Waltham Abbey.