Scott Brown, the former Celtic captain, is the firm favourite to be appointed Fleetwood manager in the next 24 hours.
The League One club has interviewed a number of candidates and a final decision is expected to be made later on Thursday.
The role would be Brown’s first in management after he left Aberdeen in March just nine months into a two-year contract where he was player-coach under former boss Stephen Glass, but departed when Jim Goodwin came in “to focus on his coaching development”.
The 36-year-old made the shortlist at St Mirren before they appointed Stephen Robinson and has also been linked with the vacancy at Raith Rovers.
Brown is now set to make a managerial debut in England after he announced his retirement last week, ending a 19-year career in which he made a total of 787 appearances for Hibernian, Celtic and Aberdeen, and also earned 55 Scotland caps.
He won 10 Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic – nine coming in succession between their 2011-12 and 2019-20 triumphs. Brown, who turns 37 next month, also played a key role in their quadruple treble team which won domestic trebles every season between 2016-17 and 2019-20.
Stephen Crainey has returned to his role with Fleetwood’s U23s following a spell as head coach since December following the departure of Simon Grayson. He won 26 points during his 29-game stint at the helm to keep the club in the division on goal difference.
‘Captain, leader, legend’
Brown’s glittering career started with Hibernian, but is best remembered for his 14-year stint at Celtic and impressive Scotland career.
After League Cup success at Easter Road, the midfielder joined Celtic from Hibs in 2007 for £4.4m – a record transfer fee between two Scottish clubs.
He became a club legend, lifting 10 top-flight titles at Celtic as well as six Scottish Cups and another six League Cups during 14 years at the club.
Brown captained the Parkhead side to an invincible season in Brendan Rodgers’ first year as manager, as well as four successive trebles.
Often revelling in his role as a pantomime villain, Brown featured in 44 games against Old Firm rivals Rangers and had a 51 per cent win rate in the fixture.
Brown made his 600th appearance for Celtic on 6 December 2020, however, just three months later it was confirmed he would leave at the end of the season to join Aberdeen.
He didn’t get the fairy tale ending he’d hoped for at Celtic though with a trophy-less season and his final home game played inside an empty stadium. However, that didn’t stop the three same words being used after the match: captain, leader, legend.
Despite never leading the national side to a major finals, Brown had a memorable 13-year spell playing for Scotland – a journey that started in 2005 when he made his debut against the USA.
He won 50 caps before announcing his decision to quit international football in 2016 to focus on his club career.
That move was short-lived and he returned to the squad under his former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan months later in a bid to help lead the side to reach the 2018 World Cup.
The midfielder, who also captained the national side 21 times, then took the decision to make himself unavailable for selection after talks with then manager Alex McLeish.
Brown in management
When Brown agreed a move to Aberdeen before the end of last season, he saw the opportunity as a first real step on the pathway to becoming a manager in his own right one day.
After being made captain of the team, he still featured regularly under former manager Glass – something the 36-year-old was keen on.
However, after Glass’ sacking Jim Goodwin arrived from St Mirren. In a strange twist of fate – Brown was considered by the Paisley club to replace Goodwin but instead, Stephen Robinson took over and Brown has been on the sidelines since due to injury.
Source : Sky Sports