GREAT SCOTT

Scott Brown makes a big im­pres­sion on his re­turn to Chel­tenham

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Ben Baker

SCOTT Brown has spent a third of his life at Chel­tenham – and, while he is lov­ing his sec­ond spell with the Robins, the goal­keeper ad­mits he has un­fin­ished busi­ness with Wy­combe Wan­der­ers.

Brown re­turned to Chel­tenham on loan in Jan­uary having spent a decade with the club be­fore leav­ing for Aberdeen in May 2014. He then signed for Wy­combe in the sum­mer.

The 31-year-old has cer­tainly had an im­pact. When he joined, Chel­tenham were in the League Two rel­e­ga­tion zone, but he helped them to a 3-0 win over Ac­cring­ton on his de­but in mid-Jan­uary and the Robins have been soar­ing ever since.

They headed into yes­ter­day’s clash at Ex­eter in 18th place, seven points above the drop zone.,

Brown has more than played his part. He went into yes­ter­day’s game off the back of four clean sheets, not to men­tion a penalty save and a man-of-the­match per­for­mance in a 1-0 win over fel­low strug­glers Leyton Ori­ent last month.

But, as Brown laughs in the face of the old adage that you should never go back, the shot­stop­per ad­mits his fu­ture is still very much up in the air.

Thank­ful

“I am 31 now and I have spent ten and a half years at Chel­tenham,” he said.

“That’s a third of my life go­ing to the train­ing ground and do­ing the drive up and down the M5.

“The club feels like a sec­ond home to me and I am thank­ful to the gaffer (Gary John­son), the lads and the fans who have all been great with me.

“I am en­joy­ing my time at Chel­tenham, but I am look­ing for­ward to go­ing back to Wy­combe next sea­son.

“I never missed a sin­gle game through in­jury dur­ing my ca­reer and then, in my first game for Wy­combe, I got in­jured and was out for 12 weeks.

“To be fair to Ja­mal Black­man, he came in and did well, which meant I had to go else­where.

“I am grate­ful to Wy­combe for al­low­ing me to go out and get games as they could have kept me on the bench.

“I have an­other year on my con­tract at Wy­combe. Ev­ery­one at Chel­tenham keeps ask­ing me ‘could I stay?’ and I can’t say yes or no.

“At the mo­ment, I am head­ing back to Wy­combe and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it. I think the man­ager, Gareth Ainsworth, is sec­ond to none. He has done a bril­liant job with the low bud­get he has.

“They looked after me while I was there and I can’t wait to get back. I have spo­ken to the gaffer and the goal­keep­ing coach, so we will see what hap­pens.” There is plenty of football to be played be­tween now and the end of the sea­son, with Brown’s par­ent club still in with a shout of play­ing in League One next term.

That could have an ef­fect on Brown’s fu­ture, not to men­tion that of Black­man, who has in­stalled him­self as the Chair­boys’ No.1 while on loan from Chelsea this sea­son. But, for now, Brown is only fo­cused on the task at hand as he bids to en­sure Chel­tenham avoid an im­me­di­ate re­turn to the Na­tional League.

“Our re­cent run has been great, but we are not tak­ing any­thing for granted as the ul­ti­mate aim is to stay in the Football League,” he added.

Mas­sive

“The Leyton Ori­ent game was great. We knew what a mas­sive game it was.

“They could have been level with us if they had won, but a win would see us open up a six­point gap.

“So to help us do that with the penalty save was great.

“I have loved the games since I came back and, if you look at the form ta­ble of the last ten games or so, we would be sixth or sev­enth.

“We are play­ing well and just have to keep this up. I re­ally want to make sure Chel­tenham are play­ing in the Football League next sea­son.”

PIC­TURE: Antony Thomp­son/ProS­ports

SPOT OF BOTHER? Not for Scott Brown who saved a penalty against Leyton Ori­ent and looked suit­ably pleased PRAISE: Gareth Ainsworth

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