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Chris Brass: I never wanted to leave
7:00am Thursday 26th December 2013 in Sport
IF he had his time again, Alan Knill’s former number two Chris Brass admits he would never have left Bury on the brink of promotion to follow him to Scunthorpe United.
In a frank interview, David Flitcroft’s new assistant manager revealed he was expecting to take over at Gigg Lane as caretaker boss when Knill accepted the job to manage the Iron in March, 2011.
At the time, the Shakers were well placed, just below the League Two play-off places, and Brass was keen to help spur them on to promotion.
But he claims the club’s board accepted an offer of compensation from Scunthorpe and gave him little option but to leave the first team in Richie Barker’s hands, with the now Portsmouth manager leading them into League One instead.
“There wasn’t a great deal said about it at the time, from my point of view,” said the 38-year-old coach, whose move back to Bury was sealed last week after the board agreed compensation with previous club Torquay United, where he was working under Knill.
“There was an approach made for Alan and the plan for me originally was to stay.
“Alan had left and I went to take training at Lower Gigg. When I got back, something had been organised for myself and away I went.
“I was caught up in a whirlwind, no chance for goodbyes and no chance to say what had happened and off I was to pastures new.
“When you look back, sometimes I think things happened so quickly that it was taken out of my hands a little bit.
“I went along with it thinking it was the right move from a career perspective.
“I don’t really think I had time to stop and think, but there is time to reflect now because a lot of water has gone under the bridge.
“Should I have stayed, could I have carried it on, like it did, because certainly for another 18 months it was a very, very good spell?
“You look at it and think ifs, buts and maybes, but that’s life, isn’t it?”
Brass remains adamant that things may have turned out differently if then chairman Brian Fenton was in the country.
“The plan was for me to stay on as caretaker until the summer, but, unfortunately, at the time the chairman was away (on holiday),” he said.
“He rang me after he got back and said he wished he could have had the opportunity to speak to myself prior to the decision being made at board level.
“But the decision was made and you can’t go back.”
Brass may not be returning to the squad that he and Knill built, or with Bury in as good a position in the league.
But he says the driving force behind his move is to now repeat his previous success alongside Flitcroft, and to this time finish the job.
“There’s no better feeling than promotion. When you’ve felt it – and I’ve been fortunate to feel it three times as a player - you go sky high,” he said.
“That’s what drives you. You want that feeling of elation after all that hard work.
“That is probably the regret I have - not having that elation alongside the group.
“That’s the one thing I wish, if I could just have done that.”
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