Rovers have today confirmed that right full-back, James Brown, has temporarily departed the club and joined League Two newboys, Stockport County, on a season-long loan.
The 24-year-old defender, who joined Rovers in January 2022 following a successful trial has caught the eye of many people, both in East Lancashire and beyond, and following the signing of Callum Brittain, Rovers thought it was best to allow the defender to continue his development in the fourth-tier of English football.
Brown, who had made over 100 appearances in the League of Ireland Premier Division, winning the 2020 League of Ireland First Division title with Drogheda United, before captaining the side. He was also named in the 2021 PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year, as well as being voted Drogheda’s Supporters’ Player of the Year. He achieved all that prior to crossing the Irish Sea and setting up shop in East Lancashire and was given his debut for Rovers by former manager, Tony Mowbray – after earning his spot following numerous under-23s games – on the final day of the 2021-22 season. Despite being unable to keep a clean-sheet, he did end his debut on the winning side, as Rovers beat Birmingham City, 2-1 at St. Andrews’. Brown showed why he had impressed many during his trial as the Rovers fans were treated to his work-rate and ability to get forward and link the play.
Following the reshuffle in the summer of 2022, Brown was offered a chance to impress during pre-season and potentially stake his claim for a place in the first-team under new boss Jon Dahl Tomasson, but following developments in the transfer market, Brown decided it was in his best interests to depart on loan, rather than waste a year on the sidelines, which is what has led to his move to Greater Manchester.
After putting pen-to-paper for the season, Stockport County Director of Football Simon Wilson and manager Dave Challinor both revealed their delight at capturing Brown.
Wilson: “James is a player who was regularly flagged by the scouting department last season and it was no surprise to see Blackburn recently extend his contract after an impressive six-months. James is a tenacious front foot defender who will add quality and competition to the positions on the right hand side.”
Challinor: “We’re delighted to bring James to the club. He’s played a lot of senior football over in Ireland and earned his move to Blackburn, making his Championship debut on the final day of last season. He’s a forward thinking defender who can play in a variety of positions down that right hand side and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”
See you in the summer, James!