Brown: Bad behaviour must be stamped out
Dennis Brown, a former Bermuda captain, is calling on football authorities, clubs and coaches to work together to stamp out bad behaviour.
Brown took to social media yesterday to express his concerns after reading about Shaquille Bean’s conduct at the end of the Dudley Eve Trophy curtain-raiser between Somerset Trojans and Devonshire Cougars on Monday.
Bean, the Trojans goalkeeper, was sent off in the 84th minute and then later was handcuffed and then arrested by police after returning to the pitch.
“Association, clubs, coaches, you must deal with bad behaviour of players,” Brown wrote on Facebook. “How long will this behaviour be tolerated?
Brown, a former Trojans captain and coach, remembers good examples being set by the more experienced players in the team and other club members when he was coming through the ranks at the West End club.
“When I came into the Somerset team as a 16-year-old, we had players like George Brangman, Lance Brown, Lew Simmons and [Dwaine] ‘Tricks’ Richardson to keep you in line,” Brown told The Royal Gazette.
“One who really brought me down to earth when I was was Vaughn ‘Pop George’ Dickenson, who pulled me aside and told me about myself and my behaviour. He always mentored me from then up to when I finished playing senior football. He was a former centre back for Somerset and mentored me in that position. Players learn what they see.
“When I was growing up in Somerset, all I saw was a disciplined first team, training week in and week out. When the juniors came through, we had no excuse but to fall in line with what they were already doing.”
Brown, who also coached Wolves and Devonshire Cougars, is the technical director at Premier Division side Robin Hood, coaching their under-15 team.
He believes the win-at-all-costs mentality by clubs is sending out the wrong message.
“It’s a major concern for me to see lots of behaviours, not just what I read about yesterday [Tuesday],” he said. “Different behaviours have been accumulating over the years and haven’t been dealt with.
“We have to get away from a must-win mentality at the expense of [good] behaviour. I’ve seen players threaten coaches, curse coaches, even at the youth level where I’m coaching now. It’s bad and if we don’t come to grips with these behaviours and address then in the future, we’re not going to have any type of football. I don’t care how much talent somebody has, if the attitude is not right then it needs to be dealt with.
“If you’re not disciplined off the field, then how can you be disciplined on the field?”
Brown, now a retired prison officer, often encountered young men in the prison system with disciplinary problems.
“It’s very concerning because I used to coach that young man [Bean], from the age of 13 to when he made his senior debut at about 17. He had behavioural challenges then but nowhere near to what I am seeing now, so it has to be addressed.
“I never waited for one of my clubs to discipline or suspend a player. If one of my players got out of line I dealt with it myself.
“I refuse to invite my under-15 and under-13 players to watch senior football, because the behaviour of a lot of players is not acceptable.
‘If my best player on the pitch is misbehaving today and I see him playing the next game then it’s a problem.
“We have to get to the root cause of the problem and deal with it. There is no excuse to behave like some of these guys are behaving on the pitch. I tell my young players that if you don’t expect to be kicked playing football then you should go and play tennis, or some sport like that.
“Back in the day we used to kick the pants off each other, but after the game we would shake hands and that would be it.”