BROWN RELAXED AT CROSSING GLOUCESTER DIVIDE
ADELE Brown knows a good manager when she sees one – after all, she did work with Mark Sampson as a teenager.
Brown is working her way up the pyramid, swapping childhood club Stoke Lane for Cheltenham Town two years ago and, just this week, joining their Gloucestershire rivals, Forest Green Rovers.
Before all that, however, the midfielder spent a year with Bristol Academy – now Bristol City – during England manager Sampson’s reign.
“He was really good,” she recalled. “He coached us as a team but also individually and took his time to help us improve. It was a really good time in my footballing career.”
Then there is Brown’s dad, Steve, a coach at Stoke Lane who has mentored her rise to the Premier League.
“When I first came back from school and said I wanted to play football, he was straight on it,” recalled the 21-year-old. “He says I’m sort of the son he never had!
“He coached me right through my early teens until I
left for Bristol Academy and he has constantly pushed me to be better.”
Which brings us to Brown’s latest manager, Josh Giddins, who spotted her when he went to watch Cheltenham in action against Longlevens in the county cup last month.
Jumping the Gloucestershire divide may be taboo in the men’s game – Rovers and the Robins are not only geographical rivals, but also competing for promotion this season – but, for Brown, stepping up a level was a no-brainer.
“My parents were speaking to Josh and said I was looking to train twice a week,” she said. “He said I was more than welcome to come along, so I did.
“There was more of a rivalry last season when Cheltenham and Forest Green were in the same league, but you still get a bit of stick if you go either way.
“Having said that, a lot of the players are friends and all the girls have wished me well.”
Her first opportunity to play at this level could come as soon as this afternoon, when Brown is hoping to take her place in the match day squad against QPR.
Forest Green are six points adrift of Premier League safety as it stands, but Brown has her sights set on survival as an important stepping stone, for her and the club.
She added: “QPR are immediately above us so it’s a must-win game on Sunday.
“Josh has got really big ambitions for the club and that means staying up to start with and establishing ourselves.”
MOVING UP: Adele Brown