HomeAyr United

Scott Brown On Management, Leading Ayr United And Reflecting On Fleetwood Experience

Scott Brown On Management, Leading Ayr United And Reflecting On Fleetwood Experience

Part I of a two-part interview with Scott Brown, by Callum McFadden for WFi.

You are the manager of Ayr United having been appointed in January 2024, what attracted you to the job and how do you reflect on your time in charge so far?

“The club’s desire and ambition to go forward and progress in all areas is what attracted me to the job.

“You can see that the infrastructure is improving with the new stand being built at Somerset Park which will help make everything from bottom to top at Ayr United as professional as it possibly can.

“The long-term ambition is to take the club as far as we possibly can but it’s not going to happen overnight.

“I also wanted to come here because coming back to work in Scotland was a huge pull for myself as well. It also means that I am able to see my family and be there with my kids as they are growing up as well.

“That being said, I enjoyed the opportunity at Fleetwood, I loved my time down there, it was really good, and you never know what happens in football, I might go down south again in the future.

“So, for us as a group of staff, from coming in, the lads have taken everything in and gained an understanding from the training sessions and matches of what we want our team to look like.

“We want to play with intensity, have small rotations and movements to get on the ball while ensuring that the players know that they must show composure as well.

“You’ve got to have an idea of where you’re going next and not have that tunnel vision of if you get the ball, it goes long, we’ll just deal with it, it’s not my problem anymore.

“You’ve got a responsibility to play good football and the pitch at Somerset Park is good enough so that you can play most times on it.

“So, for us, we’ve got to have that willingness to do it consistently as well. Yes, we will make mistakes as all teams who look to play out do but we need to make sure that those mistakes are kept to a minimum.”

In terms of your backroom staff, your assistant manager is Steven Whittaker who you also worked with at Fleetwood. How do you work together during the week in terms of training? Do you take charge of certain aspects of training and preparation or is that a joint effort throughout the week?

“It’s a joint effort throughout the week. Pretty much everything is.

“We travel in the car together each day so have time before and after training to chat together and we are pretty much in each other’s pockets most of the time, which is great for me because he is my best friend in football.

“You can’t ask for much better than that as a manager because you need to have full trust in who you work with, and I have that with Steven.

“We have the same desire and understanding of football and how we want our teams to play as well. We work really well together to be fair.”

Photo: Karen Malcolm / Ayr United

How would you describe the way you ideally want your team to play?

“I want us to play front-foot football with high energy, I want to put teams under pressure while at the same time, having a sense of control in games as well.

“We need to get better at playing out and keeping the ball because I always tell the players that if we have got the ball, we can tire them out and eventually find a way through the opposition by finding spaces to hurt them.”

You had a trophy-laden career as a player in Scotland but took your first managerial job in England with Fleetwood Town. How exciting was it for you to take on a completely new challenge?

“It was great because we wanted to go down to England to get away from the whole hype of my career in Scotland and the media coverage that would have followed me and Steven if we had started our journey in Scottish football.

“So, we went down there, and the reaction of the media and the fans was quite chilled and laid back which was ideal because it meant that you could go out for a meal or just go out for a walk, and you could chill out under the radar.

“However, at the same time, you so miss the passion of the fans up here and all that comes with that too.

“Overall, we had sixteen good months down at Fleetwood and it was a shame that it ended in the manner that it did, but these things happen in football.

“It was a turbulent time at the club at times with the chairman going to jail which was very hard for the football club because he was a huge personality who drove the club forward for many years. Then, the younger chairman who replaced him was not the same in how he went about things at the club.

“As a manager, it’s hard when you get different personalities coming out at the same time, but I wouldn’t change the fact that I went to Fleetwood as I have positive memories from my time in charge.”

Do you believe that your experiences from Fleetwood have helped make you a better coach?

“Absolutely because you need to deal with people, and you take people on what they give you and there are a lot of people that hide behind a lot of stuff.

“They don’t want to do the hard part whether it’s picking a new manager or it’s telling you exactly how they feel.

“In contrast, you get honesty and transparency here at Ayr United from everyone across the club, there are a lot of honest people, and they want to tell you the truth.

“They’ll be honest with you if you’ve played well, and I’ll be honest with them as well. I think that’s the best thing about football. We probably did not get that as much down at Fleetwood as what we did up here.”

Finally, Scott, what do you hope to achieve with Ayr United going forward?

“I approach each game one at a time because the Championship is such a competitive league where there are no easy games.

“Longer term, my goal is simply to make sure that with Ayr United, we do everything in our power to grow the club as much as we possibly can.”

Photos courtesy of Karen Malcolm / Ayr United.