Jobs4Football meets Jonathan Brown
Jobs4Football spoke to Bonnyrigg Rose Football Development Manager, Jonathan Brown, about his role working with 800 players, his previous position working as a coordinator at Team United Autism Football, as well as his goals and ambitions for the future.
During his playing days, Brown played for several Scottish clubs including Hearts FC, Livingston, Stirling Albion, Brechin City and Bonnyrigg, scoring against Rangers and also representing Scotland at U16 to U19s level.
His current role at Bonnyrigg involves him creating a football-centred curriculum to help coaches and young players to achieve their desired outcomes, both on and off the pitch.
Discussing his role at Bonnyrigg, Brown said: “My job consists of helping develop kids based on what they see on the pitch, but also what they hear in interviews and make them the best they can be. Whilst my role is about developing them in a football environment, it’s also a social aspect and being able to connect with the kids is vital in terms of if I’m to be successful in my position.
I focus on working with the kids in a group but also individually, this is important because everyone is different and so getting to understand the player is necessary for my role and being a good people person as well. It is very rewarding to see players I have worked with go on to develop, not only in the world of football but in general life too, this is one of my favourite parts of the job.
As well as his work for Bonnyrigg, he also has experience working as a coordinator for Team United, which is a voluntary organisation that supports young people with disabilities to access sports, which is a role that is close to Brown’s heart.
“I’ve been a part of it since the start, it was my mum that founded the organisation and how we branched out to regions in Scotland. I have a brother who is autistic, so it was a sort of natural progression for me when I came out of football because I understood it. This experience provided me with great experience and skills because, whilst the circumstances were different, it was still all about development for these kids in a social aspect, as well as showing them that this sport is for everyone.
It also involved coaching basics which are transferable to mainstream football, and once you’ve worked with kids with autism, it only makes my job going forward easier.
Whilst Brown’s career since his playing has been around development, this hasn’t stopped him from working on his development away from his role including, working towards his UEFA coaching license, currently studying Football Coaching, Performance and Development at university and being involved in the Jobs4Football mentoring programme.
“I’m determined and eager to succeed in football, but I know I still have a lot to learn so through my development I will be able to help more kids and coaches with their development in the future, so this is very important for me to get as much experience and knowledge as possible. The mentorship with Jobs4Football is great because it opens a lot of opportunities for me, whilst allowing me to be mentally prepared and progress in my current role. The open communication and experiences with Nick McCreery have made it an enjoyable experience so far because, just like in my role, he takes his time to get to know you, which as previously mentioned is something I feel is important and I’m excited to see where this opportunity could lead.”
Brown has obtained a high level of knowledge and experience in the game, especially working with younger players, players with disabilities and those from ethnic minority backgrounds. These experiences and his desire to improve make the Scottish-born set for a long and successful career in the game.
“I would like to continue working within academies and helping develop players and coaches, still focussing on the progression and transition from those age groups because I find that they are the most critical in terms of your influence as a coach, so this is where I feel I can have the greatest impact on players with my knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the game.”