Brown brings European flavour to Tooting & Mitcham

Kenny Brown is no stranger to turning the form book on its head - something he is going to have to do if he is to be a success at Tooting and Mitcham.

The new Terrors manager proudly boasts a 3-1 victory over Portuguese giants FC Porto on his CV, having beaten them in the second leg of a Champions League second qualifying round tie when in charge of Welsh minnows Barry Town - after losing the first leg 8-0 in Portugal And it is an experience the 44-year-old, installed at Imperial Fields following the axing of Mark Beard two weeks ago, remembers fondly.

"I had a great time at Barry - winning the Welsh Premiership meant we qualified for the Champions League," he said.

"There were 44,000 fans in the stadium at Porto when they beat us 8-0, with the likes of Deco in their side and it was an experience I'll never forget.

"It was the season just after Jose Mourinho had left to join Chelsea and when we beat them at home, the Portuguese press went mad and were already calling for the new manager to be sacked.

"They played their first team in both games so for us to win one was a great experience."

Brown, who also managed at Conference level in Spain for six years with Torr Vieja and CD Javea, has wasted no time in stamping his mark on the squad at Tooting - releasing Michael Noone, Joe O'Ceruill, Kofi Lockhart-Adams and Ashley-Paul Robinson and bringing in player-coach Bertie Brayley, Stuart Ferguson and centre half Ronnie Fletcher.

Despite the new additions, he had a difficult baptism of fire at Lewes on Saturday, losing 3-1 and having Charlie Dove, Matt Drage and Terry Fennessey all sent-off - Charlie Stimson scored their goal.

The defeat made it 10 games without victory in all competitions - prior to Monday night's trip to Wealdstone - and saw Tooting drop into the Ryman Premier relegation zone.

But former West Ham United midfielder Brown, out of football since leaving his role as first team coach at Grays Athletic in the summer, believes he has the experience to turn the Tooting ship around.

"I have won promotions and leagues at virtually all the clubs I've been at as a manager or a coach," said Brown, appointed by new chief executive Joe Sealey.

"I have done it in Spain as well, which was a wonderful experience.

“But jobs only come up when teams are struggling so I am fully aware of the challenge I face.

“I watched the four games before I took over and knew we had to make a quick impact.

"I have been really impressed by the investers and their ambitions - it is a long term project and it is one I'm excited to be a part of.

"I have had to build and develop clubs in the past from scratch so have the experience to do it here, but my priority is the first team.

"It is strange to think I used to train here with Crystal Palace when it was their old training ground.

"It is a world away from being in Spain, then again it is a world away from being in Essex too."

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