GOALKEEPER Jonathan Brown admitted competition with Reece Francis for the No.1 jersey is a good thing, declaring: “We drive each other to be better.”
Brown returned to Southern League Division One Central side Bromsgrove Sporting following his release from National League North outfit Kidderminster Harriers in the summer.
The former Rushall Olympic shot-stopper did not play in the opening three games of the campaign but was given the nod in the 1-1 draw with Sutton Coldfield on Bank Holiday Monday before playing a part in the 5-1 victory over Aylesbury United on Saturday and the 1-0 defeat to Alvechurch in the Southern League Challenge Cup last night (Tuesday).
Although trying to keep two keepers happy might be seen as difficult, Brown sees the positives behind the competition.
“I have known Reece for a few years now and when Bren (Kelly – manager) asked me to come into the club he did stress Reece was going to start the season as No.1 because of how well he did in the previous campaign,” he said.
“I told him, though, that I wanted to come back to the club as I enjoyed my football when I was last here and since the FA Cup game against Church, I have been given the nod.
“Myself and Reece are really good friends and we drive each other to be better.
“If I am playing, Reece works harder, and if he is playing, I work harder in training to try and get a place in the team – the competition is great.”
Brown was a popular figure in the 2016/17 campaign as he helped guide the Rouslers to the Midland League Division One title as ‘Invincibles’.
At the time the shot-stopper joined on loan from Harriers to cover for the injured Chris Jay and made 15 appearance in all competitions, keeping nine clean sheets.
Fast forward almost two years, Brown told the Standard he could tell the difference in quality between the squad he was a part of then and the squad he is part of now.
“There’s a few new faces to when I was here before but this team is certainly more clinical when it comes to clear-cut chances,” he added.
“We have got the likes of Richard Gregory and Cameron Peters who have came in to join Jason Cowley and I think you’ll struggle to find a better strike force than those three in this division.
“They make a massive difference and it gives you such a relief when your strikers take their chances.
“We’ve also got some great players in Will Shorrock and Charlie Dowd too which adds to our attacking threat which we know we can use to exploit teams.”