Kelly Brown: More to come from Sarries as season enters crucial period
Kelly Brown knows exactly what it takes to secure silverware at Saracens from his illustrious playing career, and now he is plotting the same route as part of the coaching staff.
Quotes from this interview came from The Fezcast, a podcast produced by the Saracens Supporters Assoication.
The former Scotland captain re-joined the club as a coach last year after a spell with Glasgow Warriors and is now firmly focused on ensuring the return to the Premiership is a successful one.
The Men in Black are currently second in the table after an eventful opening to the 2021/22 campaign, and Brown believes that the start has been encouraging.
“We’ve gone ok. We know from previous seasons that it’s a marathon not a sprint and in the first eight or nine months it’s all about setting yourself up for that sprint finish.” Said the man who made 154 appearances for Sarries.
He continued: “There are a number of good performances that jump out, Bath away, Bristol away for example but there are also a couple where we haven’t quite fired. They have given us a lot to work on but all in all we’re sitting in second which is a good spot to be in!
The games we’ve played well is when we’ve been very accurate and clinical, and also in a good place mentally. It’s very difficult to sustain that over a 10 or 11 month period but over the years we’ve finished in different positions so as long as you get in that top four it gives you a shot.”
Brown returned to StoneX Stadium ahead of the Championship winning season, and he believes that year showed exactly how strong the group is which will stand them in good stead moving forward.
“It was an interesting time last year but ultimately a good experience for us. My first day back at the club was the Thursday before the Pirates game which obviously didn’t go to plan but the exciting part was how we all pulled together and it really showed the spirit that we’ve got.”
Despite the promising start to the season there have been some matches which frustrated the squad such as the London Irish and Exeter Chiefs matches, and Brown addressed the discipline issues which overshadowed the match at Sandy Park.
“We’ve spoken about it as a group and it was addressed by the players. Ultimately we’re all in it together and we know it wasn’t good enough but will be much more wary of it moving forward.
There were a few opportunities we didn’t take and the performance wasn’t where we wanted it to be but it’s gone now and the big thing is that we learn from it.”
When asked about setting targets for the season, the ex back-rower was adamant that the whole year is taken week by week.
“It’s not something we’ve spoken about. The most important thing is the next game and that’s how it’s always been.
We don’t set targets. I remember the 2013/14 season whence lost the Premiership and European finals in the space of a week, but was it deemed as a success? It got us to a milestone that the club had never done before and we built from there.
That Premiership final we lost in the last minute, and it just takes me back to the point that the next game is the most important. If you look too far in the future you lose sight of the now which is why we focus week by week.”
Brown’s role combines coaching the first team and academy, and one player in particular has caught his eye with the season four months old.
“Andy Christie has had a good season so far and has taken his from from the Championship in to the Premiership which is great to see.
The challenge for the academy is to keep bringing players through and then they can kick on from there. You saw Harvey come on against Edinburgh for his first game in Europe, what a challenge for him to be so young up against a very experienced tight-head, and these are the kind of things that really help us to build for the future.”
Brown was a key part of a number of the title-winning campaigns during his playing days at Sarries, and if he was to help navigate the club back to the top of the game it may well rank alongside all of those achievements.
Listen to the full interview on the latest issue of The FezCast here.