Brown and Cougars part ways
Dennis Brown has severed his ties with Devonshire Cougars, one season after leading the club to their first triple crown by winning the league, FA Cup and Friendship Trophy titles.
Brown sent a letter to the club on Monday to inform them that he would not be renewing his one-year contract as coach.
“My contract was a yearly rolling contract and I just didn’t wish to renew it,” said Brown, who plans to spend more time with his Bermuda Brazilian Football School and coaching the Bermuda Under-20 team as well as dedicating more time to his family. For the time being he will take a break from coaching at the club level.
“I want to spend more time developing the young players, especially coming through my Brazilian School,” Brown said. “We are very busy right now and have some big initiatives coming up in the next year. I want to put all my time and efforts into developing the young kids from five right up to 16.”
Brown finished with a better than 50 percent win ratio during his time at the club, winning 30 of the 54 matches in the league, with 14 defeats and 10 draws. He won 12 games in each of his first two seasons at the club as he led them to third place in the standings in 2011-12.
The next season was Cougars’ best ever, winning the three titles after finishing with a 12-5-1 record as they sealed the league with two games to go after going 14 games unbeaten.
Cougars could manage only a 6-4-8 record in the league this season to finish fifth, 11 points behind the champions Dandy Town. Brown was critical of his players’ commitment to training as they struggled to match last year’s standards. The heavy 7-2 defeat to Dandy Town in their final league match was Brown’s final match as coach.
“No circumstance or anyone was a determining factor to making this decision,” Brown insists. “This was solely to spend more time with the Brazilian School, plus I’m coach of the under-20 national team, getting them prepared for [World Cup] qualifying matches in June so there is still a lot on my plate. I’m just emptying my plate a little bit.”
Added Brown: “I had been giving it thought for the second half of the season, but at the end of the season decided to put my attention where my future lies, which is the Brazilian Football School.”
Chris Caisey, the captain of Cougars, admits that losing Brown will be a blow to the team. “It’s sad to see him leave, he gave us some good years and was successful in helping the club achieve so many goals,” Caisey said.
“To win what he did with us in the short period of time is a testament to his knowledge and ability to bring the best out of his players. I wish him nothing but the best going forward.”
Brown enjoyed his first success as a coach in 2001 and 2002 when he led Wolves to the Martonmere Cup and Dudley Eve. However, his six-year stint at Wolves ended in 2002 when they became the first team to win the Dudley Eve and be relegated in the same season.
Brown resigned immediately after their 4-0 loss to Cougars which sealed their fate, saying then: “I’ve done all I can and after six years I’m a bit tired mentally.”
Brown went back to his boyhood club Somerset Trojans the following year as technical director and was soon back coaching again. He had mixed success as coach of Trojans as they were relegated twice in 2008 and 2010, though he twice led them back into the Premier Division at the first attempt.
They also won the Dudley Eve and Friendship Trophy in 2007, beating Cougars in both finals, 3-0 and 4-0.
In the summer of 2011 Brown quit Trojans and later joined Cougars as coach ahead of the 2011-12 season.
He had a strict no-train, no-play policy at the club as he tried to instil discipline within the team.
“If you don’t train, you don’t play and I stuck to that right on up until my last game at Goose Gosling Field,” he said. “Some people may not agree with that but it is not just about football but life as well.
“If you don’t show up to work for a week don’t expect to be paid, and that’s my philosophy as a coach as well.”
Brown dismissed the idea of going back to Somerset where his nephew Danvers Seymour Jr is the coach. “I just want to sit back and enjoy a little time off,” he said.
“I have a two-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son and they need my time too. They sacrificed a lot for me and now it’s about enjoying family.
“I’ll never say never but for now I just want to relax and give club football a back seat. I’ve given good service to Wolves, good service to Somerset and I think I’ve given good service to Devonshire Rec.”
Devonshire Recreation Club issued a statement last night that thanked Brown for his services.
“The executive committee of the Devonshire Recreation Club has received and accepted the resignation of Dennis Brown our head coach,” it read.
“We appreciate his service for the past three years and wish him well in his future endeavours. The club will begin the formal process for the recruitment of a new technical director immediately.”
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