Phil Brown: Lancaster City is a club close to my heart

Phil Brown had a successful spell at Lancaster City as Tony Hesketh's assistant.
Phil Brown had a successful spell at Lancaster City as Tony Hesketh's assistant.
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New Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is delighted to be back at a club that means so much to him.

A former player and assistant manager the head of football at Myerscough College has been handed the task of taking the Dolly Blues forward after the departures of Darren Peacock and Trevor Sinclair.

Phil Brown played under Tony Hesketh at Giant Axe before later becoming his assistant.

Phil Brown played under Tony Hesketh at Giant Axe before later becoming his assistant.

Brown is under no illusions about the challenge that faces him but can’t wait to get going.

Tony Hesketh’s former number two said: “I enjoyed my previous two spells here and it’s a club really close to my heart.

“I’m really pleased to be back and looking forward to getting stuck in.

“It’s not going to be easy. I’m not kidding myself.

“It’s going to be a challenge but I’m up for it.”

Brown has not rushed into setting any immediate targets with City 16th in the Evo-Stik First Division North with 11 points from their first nine games.

Also a Preston North End academy coach, the Blues boss is keen to take good look at his squad having taken training for the first time on Tuesday night.

Brown said: “I’ve not set any targets yet.

“When I spoke to the board I said I was going to take some time to assess the squad and the position we’re in.

“I will set some but at the moment I don’t think it would be right because I need to have a look.”

During his last spell with City as Hesketh’s right-hand man Giant Axe became the home for several of his promising Myerscough players with the likes of Morecambe’s Alex Kenyon and Rochdale’s Joe Bunney going on to turn professional in the Football League.

There are no plans for a formal think this time around but Brown will tap into whatever resources he can as he looks to fire the Blues up the table.

He said: “I’m coming in to manage Lancaster City.

“Like any manager I’ll use the resources I’ve got and I’ll sign players from wherever.

“There’ll be no direct link-up with Myerscough but if there are players good enough for Lancaster City then that’s fine but if they can come from elsewhere that’s fine too.

“I’ll get players from wherever I can.”

Brown, whose previous experience as a manager was with Atherton Collieries in the North West Counties Premier Division back in the 2006-2007, was most recently with Stockport County in the National League North.

He acted as Alan Lord’s assistant for around 15 months before finishing last season as caretaker manager.

Brown said: “It helped me immensely.

“I learnt a lot. It’s a big club and was a lot of responsibility.

“They might be part-time now but a lot of things there are still professional.

“There’s big expectations and they want promotion.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to do it while I was there.”

Now Brown is back at a club where he hopes to add to the already fond memories he has from his time as a player and assistant manager at Giant Axe.

He said: “When I was playing here I was in the twilight of my career.

“I was here under Tony and Barrie Stimpson around 2001 and was fortunate to play with players like Andy Whittaker, Brian Welch and Dean Martin.

“It was a great time and it was more than just Saturday afternoon football.

“Then when I came back as Tony’s assistant we had some great players who have gone to play higher up like Andy Teague and Paul Jarvis and others who are playing even higher like Alex Kenyon and Joe Bunney.

“It’s good to be back.”