The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Highlands more than just a fling
Brewster: Footballers should embrace chance to move north
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.”