One of the most recognizable players in the league and once referred to as the “David Silva of the Northern Suburbs”, Ally Brown forms a key part in the Northern Tigers side which has bounced back after some early set backs in 2021.
Sitting third on the table when COVID brought things to a halt, the Tigers will be hunting promotion when things resume. Speaking on the season so far, Brown reflected.
“Getting promoted to the top tier of the NPL is hugely important for us. That’s what drives us every session. There’s been challenges along the way for sure – we lost a few key players to long term injuries, but everyone has stepped up and we were hitting a good run of form prior to lockdown. We can’t complain being in 3rd with 6 games remaining.”
According to Brown, a large part of that success comes down to head coach Adam Hett.
“Hetty is fantastic. There’s a good balance between him pushing us to get the most out of us as well as him instilling confidence in us as individuals and as a group. I think tactically he’s nailed it this year.”
Reflecting on his own performance, the now 23-year-old warns there’s more to come.
“There’s been a few games where I’ve been really happy with my performances but there’s definitely games where I know I can be better. So, for me it’s about trying to consistently perform at the level I know I can play at. I’m always watching our games back to see where I can be better or what I did well and take that into the next match.”
But of course, football is a team game and Tigers are well known for a strong character in the group. When asked about that, he added.
“This is what makes Tigers so great. We’re such a tight knit group and genuine mates off the pitch, not just teammates. A lot of us have been playing together for a while now and so we work for each other on the pitch, not just for ourselves.”
“However, it’s definitely strange going from seeing everyone almost every day to not being allowed to see anyone. There’s a team WhatsApp which I have to say is inconsistent with the quality of banter. With the euros being on recently it gave us a good excuse to FaceTime each other during those games so we’re still in touch.”
Well into Stay-at-home life, Brown has kept himself busy both as a player and coach. While also enjoying some time to relax.
“From a football perspective, we obviously have training programs to get through that we’ve been given. I’ve also been training by myself working on some aspects of my game that need improvements. It’s a good opportunity to come back as a better player.”
As a coach I’ve been having zoom calls with a couple of tigers teams that I coach as well as helping some young players in 1on1 sessions.”
“Outside of football it’s been nice to relax at home and watch some Netflix or play some FIFA. I’m currently re-watching Peaky Blinders.”
-By Justin Smith