ALAN Brown is desperate to sign off four years in charge of Hartlepool Rovers on a high – for himself and the club.
Brown leads Rovers into the Durham Intermediate Cup final tomorrow night at Consett where the Friaragemen are chasing their first county trophy since 1992 (kick-off 7.15pm).
The build up to the all-Durham Northumberland One contest has been dogged by Rovers’ anger at Consett being awarded the staging rights to the showpiece, rather than it going ahead at a neutral ground – just like next Wednesday’s Durham Trophy final between Hartlepool BBOB And South Tyneside College.
Brown is an unhappy man – and has had his say – but insists now the focus is on getting the right result.
And he says the motivation is two-fold as he looks to end his spell at West View Road on a triumphant note.
“First and foremost, I want to go out to see the players perform as I know they can,” Brown told SportMail.
“If we do that then I’m confident we can bring the trophy back to the Friarage.
“I have loved my time at Rovers and it would be a nice way to finish off my time here.
“But, more importantly, it would be a brilliant way for us to sign off the season with a bit of silverware.
“This club has not had their hands on a cup since 1992 – it’s been too long and I’m hoping tomorrow night this group of players can end the wait.”
Brown will leave Rovers with both the best season in the club’s history and the worst on his CV.
This season has been something of a transitional one after being forced to re-shape the squad after losing a third of last season’s team to other clubs.
But the team has grown in strength and quality as the campaign has progressed and they finished a respectable seventh in the final table.
They finished two places above Consett, making tomorrow night’s cup final possibly too close to call – Rovers league superiority perhaps being evened out by their rivals gaining home advantage.
Consett came close to winning at the Friarage last November before being edged out 28-27 by a last-gasp Michael Barnfield penalty.
Rovers scored in the first minute of the return fixture at Belle Vue through Ada Smith, only to succumb 14-5.
“We just didn’t turn up that day,” explained Brown. “This is a different ball game.
“Don’t get me wrong, Consett have a half-decent pack and I remember they have a bit of a flier on the wing and a good full-back who comes into the line well.
“But I have every faith in our lads that we have the ability to do it.
“If we’re disciplined and switched on, we’re capable of playing good rugby.
“But, as the saying goes, talk is cheap it’s about getting out there on the night and producing it on the park.”
Rovers are meeting up tonight for a training session at the Friarage, where they will finalise their squad.