The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

High­lands more than just a fling

Brew­ster: Foot­ballers should em­brace chance to move north

- BY ANDY SKIN­NER Sports · Soccer · Scottish Premier League · Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · Notts County F.C. · Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. · Championship · Inverness · Stoke City F.C. · Denmark · Football League First Division · Adam Rooney

Craig Brew­ster feels Ross County and Ca­ley This­tle face a con­stant bat­tle to con­vince play­ers to move to the High­lands.

Pre­mier­ship side County and Cham­pi­onship out­fit In­ver­ness are search­ing for re­in­force­ments this sum­mer, with the two clubs hav­ing both lost a num­ber of first team play­ers.

Al­though both clubs are hav­ing to cut their cloth amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, for­mer Ca­ley Jags man­ager Brew­ster says ge­og­ra­phy presents an­other chal­lenge to the High­land sides in their ef­forts to re­cruit play­ers.

Brew­ster said: “Ross County have done well over the last few years to con­tinue in the Pre­mier­ship. It’s tremen­dous.

“Hav­ing been man­ager at In­ver­ness, I know that try­ing to get play­ers is not easy at times.

“As soon as there are two clubs in­ter­ested in a player, the player tends to go more lo­cal. If it’s the only club a player has got, then he will usu­ally come. It’s frus­trat­ing, but it’s just part and par­cel.

“Hav­ing been at dif­fer­ent clubs, you are al­ways search­ing for play­ers. You think you’ve got a chance of get­ting one player in and then you get scup­pered.

“That’s just what hap­pens in foot­ball. You’ve got to hope they re­ally want to come – and fi­nances ob­vi­ously dic­tate things ma­jorly too.”

Brew­ster re­gards strik­ers Adam Rooney and Craig Dargo among his most suc­cess­ful re­cruits dur­ing his two spells in charge at Cale­do­nian Sta­dium.

The 53-year-old, who was also Derek Adams’s as­sis­tant at County, in­sists gems can be found.

He added: “Adam was a young boy at Stoke City at the time. I had pestered (then Pot­ters man­ager) Tony Pulis for a while, prob­a­bly four or five phone calls.

“I man­aged to get Adam up and we went straight to

Den­mark for pre-sea­son. He wanted to come up for a week and see what we were all about but, af­ter that, he signed.

“He was just a young boy when I signed him so he just wasn’t ready.

“The club went down to the First Di­vi­sion and I think that gave him con­fi­dence be­cause he scored a lot of goals.

“That was his ca­reer back on track and he was a great ser­vant to In­ver­ness.

“An­other one I re­mem­ber was a re­ally good sign­ing for the club was Craig Dargo, who scored about 30 goals in two sea­sons.”

Brew­ster feels play­ers of­ten find their feet af­ter set­tling in the north of Scot­land.

He added: “Gen­er­ally when play­ers do go up to the High­lands they ab­so­lutely love it – be­cause it’s a mag­nif­i­cent place to live.

“But play­ers don’t gen­er­ally know that un­til they go up there them­selves to wit­ness it and live there.”

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