On 22 October 2011 Aberdeen’s Jordon Brown suffered an injury so severe it ruled him out of football for nearly a year. During the months he spent on crutches, he feared he would never regain the spark which had made him such a promising prospect. Now, fully fit once more, Jordon Brown has joined Peterhead and he’s got a point to prove, writes Joshua King.
Brown grew up playing for Albion Boys Club before getting his big break at Aberdeen aged only 13. He came up through the Dons’ youth system and looked set to be a big star in Aberdeen’s future.
He went out on loan to Forfar to get first-team experience in 2011 and it was in the first minute of a game against Cowdenbeath he ruptured his cruciate ligament.
Brown did a lot of soul searching during his season out. He says: “It’s really difficult. You have days when you’re up and down, days where you think ‘will I ever get back’? But that drives you on.”
When he regained full fitness he went out on loan to Forfar again at the tail end of last season but when he returned the Dons were a team in transition. Derek McInnes replaced Craig Brown as manager and brought in midfielders Barry Robson, Willo Flood and Gregg Wylde. With opportunities for first-team football shrinking with each new signing, Brown made the difficult and brave decision to leave Pittodrie, despite having two years left on his full-time contract.
He has certainly make an instant impact since signing for the Toon. He performed well as a trialist in the 2-0 win over Ross County, but it was in last week’s match against his old employers that Brown announced himself as a player to be reckoned with. Scoring two headed goals, he was a worthy man of the match.
He says: “It was surreal to be playing Aberdeen so soon. I woke up the next day thinking, did that actually happen? It couldn’t have gone much better to be honest.
“It wasn’t so much about proving myself to them. I wanted to prove to myself that I can still do it. After you get a knockback it’s important to respond hopefully I did that in the right way.”
Although he recognises goal-scoring is an important part of his game - he was on target again with the winning goal against Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup - Brown says the team comes before personal glory: “Goals are a bonus but I’d always take a win over a goal.
“I want to help the team be up there challenging for the league where we should be. I hope we can make it a successful season for the club and the community.”
Following his rampant preseason performances, Brown looks like the final piece manager Jim McInally needs to take his squad one better than last season.
McInally says: “I think Jordon will imporve us as we’ve now got a goal threat from the midfield. It’s hard at any level to find someone who’s so good arriving in the box.
“I felt last year we got balls into the box but there weren’t always enough bodies in there. With a midfielder breaking his back to get into the box, that could improve us.
“He’s a massive bonus to be honest. He’s not a player I went after because I didn’t think we could get him but he came to us. The game’s in such a state that guys are struggling. But Jordon was one of those who was quick to realise and decided to leave Aberdeen, even with two years on his contract. That’s unbelieveable, I admire him for doing it.
“He’s got a plan that he wants to take a few steps back to go forward again. I’m happy to be part of that plan – if we can get the benefits of him and get him back to full time football that would be brilliant.”