North Wales football is in mourning over the loss of former Menai Bridge Tigers and Glantraeth manager and CPD Gaerwen assistant-boss Sean Brett.
In May 2019, Grassroots North Wales website’s forerunner, Sgôr blog, interviewed Sean about his big decision to step down as Tigers boss after a successful 2018-19 season.
Menai Bridge Tigers honours under Sean Brett
Elias Cup winners 2012-13
Megan Cup winners 2012-13
Anglesey League champions: 2013-14
Megan Cup winners 2013-14
IPP Cup winners 2013-14
Gwynedd Cup winners 2014–15
Bob Owen Memorial Shield winners 2015-16
Gwynedd League champions 2018-19
Gwynedd Cup winners 2018–19
Sgôr interview 26/5/2019
Why are you stepping down as manager of Menai Bridge Tigers, with next season potentially the most exciting in the club’s history?
SB: Toughest decision in football I’ve ever had to make, and may well be the daftest ! To be honest it’s not one particular reason, the Tigers have always been slightly different to other clubs as we’ve never really had a committee. For the majority of the time the club has been run by myself and club secretary Graham Hughes, which meant I had many roles from the manager to treasurer, to marking the pitch, washing the kit and sorting all sponsorships etc, and it’s just become too much.
How do you feel the 2018-19 season has gone? Did you expect to win the Gwynedd League title? League champions, Gwynedd Cup winners, finalists in two other cups and semi-finalists in the NWCFA Junior Cup. It must be viewed as almost a dream season by the club?
SB: The 2018-19 season has been fantastic. We were written off at the end of the previous season but after some hard work pre-season in recruitment by myself and assistant-manager Aaron Rowlands, we knew we had a strong squad.
We started brilliantly, blowing everyone away in pre-season and at the start of the season but still from the outside the opinion was the wheels would come off.
We won the league convincingly with only one draw and one defeat but doing the double over all our nearest rivals.
The league was 100% our priority with cup success a bonus. We won one cup and lost in two finals, both deservedly as in the Nefyn final especially we were awful. The Junior Cup again we deserved to get beat at the semi final stage as we didn’t turn up! But perhaps coming immediately after our final defeat to Nefyn the timing wasn’t great.
Overall we achieved what we set out to, but I know within we were slightly disappointed not to win more as we felt we could have.
What have been the key ingredients in your successes this season?
The key ingredients this year have been simple, the success is down 100% to the players.
They’ve shown an amazing willingness to buy into what we wanted to do, they’ve worked so hard all year and for a new squad they came together immediately. They have been a pleasure to manage and the “us against the world” attitude when at times we felt everyone wanted us to fail definitely drove us all on.
How much has it benefited having an out-and-out goalscorer like Dean Redmond, in what must rank as the best season of his career?
SB: Dean has been amazing all year, he’s a player I’d tried to sign a couple of times but he was loyal to his previous team.
I know how hungry he was to do well this year and prove people wrong. His attitude and work rate has been phenomenal but I know how much he admires his team mates and formed a great partnership with Sion Hogan.
He was rewarded at our presentation where he cleared up the end of year awards and fully deserves his success this season.
How long have you been Menai Bridge Tigers manager? How tough will it be not to be involved next season?
SB: I’ve been involved since the start (2009/10) and just completed 10 years of managing and in that time I’ve done every role as once I’m in I’m 100% – nothing less.
This is the first time in 40 odd years that I won’t be involved in football and that’s going to be very strange. Not being involved next year, especially if our appeal is successful (for promotion to the Welsh Alliance) will be the hardest thing as I’ve lived and breathed the Tigers for so long but I’m sure I’ll be down to watch some games.
How do you feel the Tigers will fare in Welsh Alliance Division Two – provided the club’s appeal against its promotion refusal is successful?
SB: If successful the Tigers will more than hold their own in any league. The squad of players have great quality in every position and a great attitude and willingness to play for each other. Obviously the Welsh Alliance is a strong league with some great clubs and the lads will have to be fully committed which I’m sure they will be.
What have been the main highlights of your Menai Bridge Tigers career as manager?
SB: There have been many highlights over the years – from winning our first-ever trophy and doing the treble the year we won the Anglesey League.
This season has also been amazing, but personally I’ve really enjoyed the fact that we’ve been successful over a prolonged period of time with different squads of players and had to rebuild 3 or 4 times.
Also another thing I’m especially proud of is the young players I’ve brought through and given senior debuts to and setting them on their way.
Players like Danny Brookwell, Brendun Hogan, Sam Faulkner, Sion Hogan, Andy Barker to name a few all started their senior careers at the Bridge as 16-year-olds.
Will you remain involved with the club in any capacity?
As for next season I honestly don’t know if I’ll have any involvement.
Obviously I want the club to succeed but don’t want to interfere as the club needs to move on and Aaron (Rowlands) and Karl (Roberts) need to do things their own way without feeling as if I’m looking over their shoulder, but I’m always available for any advice they need and who knows in football what’s round the corner – who knows what opportunities can appear.
Finally, a message for the players for next season?
As for next year to the players, I’d just like to say stick together.
This club is fantastic to play for and be a part of; you’ll have offers from elsewhere as your great players but say no!! And stay together as you can go onto achieve more success.
Finally I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who has helped the club over the last 10 years from sponsors, supporters, Graham and Aaron mainly for their commitment. But mainly to every player that has put a Tigers kit on – thank you for your efforts!
You left Menai Bridge in the same way you left this world Sean – as a champion and a winner! ❤️
You will never, ever be forgotten and are loved for eternity. Our mate Sean Brett ❤️
A JustGiving fundraising page to help the Brett family cope with their heartbreaking loss will remain open for a few more days in case anyone wishes to donate. The link is posted below.