Simon Brown enjoying debut season on Eagles coaching staff
Simon Brown was an integral part of the Sheffield Eagles side that reached the 2011 and 2012 Championship Grand Finals, the latter being the one we choose to remember more considering the result!
A stand-off with brilliant kicking skill, Brown struck up a brilliant partnership with Dominic Brambani before leaving for York City Knights at the end of the 2012 season.
Since then, the playmaker has returned to the club on three occasions; twice as a player, in 2017 for one season prior to returning midway through 2018, and now as a coach with 2022 being his first term on Mark Aston’s coaching staff.
Discussing his time as a coach so far, alongside Aston’s longstanding assistants Keith Senior and Ged Corcoran, Brown said: “They have welcomed me into the environment which has been great,”
“We, as the coaching staff, look at different aspects and have plenty of debates with lots of ideas.
“I’ve really been enjoying it, it has been an eye-opener!
"I’m getting quite involved. Tubbs has let me run with some ideas and hopefully that has been showing in our attack on the field.”
One player Brown played alongside during his first spell was current full-back Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, who moved back to the club from Keighley Cougars on a loan deal in March.
A magician when on form, QLT has been a solid acquisition to cover for the injured Josh Guzdek.
Brown has been delighted to see the effect Laulu-Togaga’e has had on the squad, adding: "Q is a great player and a great person to have around the club,”
"We have put some systems in place where some players can just slot in at full-back and we’d expect to get the same outcome.
“He has a touch of class which every team wants. He’s always on the end of moves.
“He may be getting on now but he still has that instinct and ability.”
With Izaac Farrell and Anthony Thackeray the two recognised half-backs within the squad, Brown has given an insight into what it’s been like working with the pair who have led the team around the park recently.
“They’ve learnt me stuff and hopefully I’ve been able to do the same for them,” he said.
"Thacks has been doing it for a number of years, he has been great.
“I’m doing a few clips of Izaac as we speak now and he’s been really good in the last six or seven weeks.
“Thacks will be learning stuff off Izaac, they’ll keep each other on their toes.
“They’re good mates and you can probably throw Tom Holmes in there too, when he was here for those couple of weeks.
“They were battling it out and that competition is what you want. Izaac’s attitude has been good, he’s willing to learn and that’s all you want.”
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman