Remembering Sean Brett (1972-2022) – interview with Dave Jones in 2015

Sean (front row – plain yellow t-shirt) lines up with Menai Bridge in 2015-16

Seven years ago Grassroots North Wales editor Dave Jones interviewed Sean about his football career.

When we spoke, Wales’ amazing achievements at Euro 2016 were still seven months away! Sean was optimistic that we’d do well.

Sean Brett is manager of Gwynedd League club Menai Bridge Tigers.
He is also heavily involved with the club’s youth set-up which has produced many fine players who have gone on to operate at a high senior level in North Wales.

Firstly please tell us a bit about yourself and your footballing background

My name is Sean Brett, I’m 43 years old and from Menai Bridge. My mum is from Bangor and my dad from Nottingham where I grew up and also developed my love for Nottingham Forest FC!

Like most boys I grew up loving football and always had a ball at my feet. I moved back to Bangor when I was 14 and joined Maes-y-Bryn where we had huge success and I played alongside some great players like Colin and Neil Hughes and Nigel Barry to name a few.

Like most I had ambitions of playing professionally and at 18 when those dreams ended I walked away from football for few years.

I got back into it at the age of 23 playing Sunday league with friends. However, when the manager quit after half a dozen games I found myself as player-manager. The side I managed was the same team but played under different pub names. Over 12 years we won numerous league titles and cups, mainly as the Albion and Castle.

I then played in the Anglesey League for two seasons with Llandegfan and really enjoyed my time there. I then played one final season in Sunday league as player-assistant-manager for the Vic Menai Bridge, winning the Presidents Cup.

This last season was used to set up Menai Bridge Tigers, who joined the Anglesey League the following season (2009/10).

Halfway through the season I took over as manager and immediately quit playing to concentrate on managing. I’m now in my seventh season as manager as well as my 11th season with my Menai Bridge Tigers junior side who are now second year under-16s.

Like many junior coaches I stepped in to manage my son’s team as nobody else would do it.

How do you feel the 2015/16 season is going for Menai Bridge Tigers so far?

Our season has been very stop-start, which is something we get used to as our pitch although getting better is terrible and this means we have a lot of postponements which is very frustrating.

When we have played we have been a bit inconsistent this season but still find ourselves very much in the mix for both league and cup honours.

We have a very talented squad and a great coaching team and if we play to our best it will take a good side to finish above us.

Sean Brett

Are you impressed with the standard of the Gwynedd League? Who can you see winning the title this season?

The Gwynedd League standard this year is excellent and competition is very tough as there is nothing between half a dozen sides.

It reminds me of the Football League Championship where everyone is capable of beating each other.

As far as league winners I think we have as good a chance as anyone but main rivals would be Y Felinheli, Bodedern, Llanystumdwy, Bontnewydd, Cemaes Bay and Waunfawr.

As an Anglesey-based manager are you concerned with the difficulties the Anglesey League is facing? There are just eight teams this season, two from off the island. Do you think the league can keep going under the present situation, given what’s happened to the Caernarfon League?

I find the Anglesey League situation really sad. The league is brilliantly run and both Dennis Bryant and Dave McCann deserve nothing but praise.

However, under the current situation where nobody is ever relegated back to the league and one or two teams getting promoted each year inevitably the league will eventually run out of teams and that would be such a shame.

What has been your highlight as manager of Menai Bridge Tigers so far?

Now that’s a tough question. Highlights? Actually getting the team together to start with was definitely one of them. Obviously winning our first trophy was also a great night and winning the Anglesey League was amazing.

Also for me personally seeing the youngsters coming through and playing for the senior team is a real proud feeling.

I know you are heavily involved with the youth at Menai Bridge. Is there a lot of talent coming through that can benefit the first team in years to come?

My role with the juniors is something I’m really proud of.

As a club we have always given youth a chance and seeing these players come through and then moving on to higher leagues proves we are doing the right thing as a club.

I’ve given plenty of young players their chance at the Tigers and lads like Sam Faulkner (now at Bangor City), Danny Brookwell (Caernarfon Town), Brendun Hogan (Holyhead Hotspur) and Andy Barker (Pentraeth) to name but a few started their senior careers with us.

From my under-16s this year two players, Guy Hughes and Tom Scorer, have broken into the first team and have excelled and another player Sam Jones is definitely one to watch for the future as a striker who has been prolific at junior level.

The U16 Anglesey age group this year is very strong and some exceptional players will burst onto the senior scene over the next few years away from Menai Bridge. Tom Innes from Llangefni and Adam Evans from Llanfairpwll are two I really rate.

How ambitious are Menai Bridge Tigers? What targets has the club set for the future?

The club is ambitious and would like to play as high as possible but our facilities do hold us back and we accept that.

I do feel, however, that with the current success the Welsh national side is having the Welsh FA should do more to help improve grassroots facilities to help the next generation.

As far as targets, short-term is to continue promoting the youth and developing the club both on and off the field.

Our long-term aim is to build and build and be as big as the other successful Anglesey clubs like Holyhead Hotspur and Llangefni Town.

What do you think of Wales’ group for Euro 2016?

I’m really pleased with Wales’ group. I think it’s a group we can definitely progress from and I am really looking forward to travelling to France next summer.

I’ve been travelling to watch Wales for 20 odd years and after so many poor campaigns I’m making the most of our current success.

What are your future footballing ambitions as a manager?

As a manager my ambitions match the club’s. I obviously would like to manage at as high a level as possible, ideally with Menai Bridge, but who knows what the future holds.

Copyright Dave Jones © All rights reserved. CoverNews by AF themes.
%d bloggers like this: