BRACKEY Town FC manager Jon Brady believes Australian coaches have to earn respect first to get an opportunity in English football.
Brady, an Australian who played for the likes of Rushden & Diamonds, Swansea, Chester City, Hayes, Stevenage, Brentford and Cambridge United, has been the manager of Conference North club Brackley Town FC since 2009.
Under Brady, the club has been promoted once and reached the play-off final last season.
He spoke out today after Socceroo captain Lucas Neill’s recent comments about Australians coaching in Europe - and Brady says there is a respect factor to consider.
“I think you’ve got to gain respect,” he said. “Coming from Australia, no disrespect, but it’s so far removed in terms of world football.
"And I think the problem is you have to gain that respect by what you do. As soon as you mention Australian football there’s more of a, nearly a tut. And a 'What do they know?'”
Brady is one of the rare Australians currently coaching in the UK. Scott Miller is the first team fitness and assistant technical coach at Fulham while Australian-born manager David Oldfield is the reserve and development coach at West Bromwich Albion.
In the past Tony Popovic spent time as an assistant at Crystal Palace and Graham Arnold knocked back the manager’s job at Sheffield United.
While Australian footballers remain common across all levels of English and European football, Australian coaches are very hard to find.
“Hopefully I can go some part of disparaging that and fly the flag for Australia,” Brady said. “Europe’s the place to be. Really, a coach would need to be here quite a while [to be established].”
Brady, an Adamstown Rosebud junior, has spent the past 20 years playing and coaching in the UK.
The former Northern NSW Football representative has big ambitions as a coach after doing starting his coaching badges as a 23-year old and learning off the likes of former England internationals Mark Wright and Brian Talbot.
“I’ve immersed myself in it,” he said. “I’ve built those contacts, those experiences over 21 years. I’m learning all the time but I’m loving it.
"With my management, I believe I can go a lot higher than I what I do right now.”
Playing in the sixth tier of English football, Brackley Town FC currently sits in sixth place just two points off league leaders Hednesford.
The club has just reached the first round of this year’s FA Cup where they will face League One side Gillingham.
“This year we’ve started off well again,” he said. “We’ve started to gain some momentum now.”