Chris Brass is a very busy man. Not only the rock at the heart of the York City defence, Brassy, as he is affectionately known, is also, at the age of 28, the youngest manager in the football league.
Talking at Bootham Crescent, his appetite for management and his passion for York City were immediately evident. ‘When I got the job I needed to make sure I was up to the task’, he said. ‘It’s pleasing that two-thirds of the way through the season I know I am capable of doing the job. It means we can now take the club forward and it gives me the chance of being successful’.
Brass clearly has faith in his players, a faith they have justified on the pitch. ‘As a team, I think we’ve proved people wrong’, he said. ‘I would like to be in the play –offs and we’re not far away. When I took the job we had seven players signed up and we had to throw a team together, but they have all done well. Where we’re actually at, you’ve got to be happy. But you’re never satisfied’. With the job he’s done at York City, whose future looked extremely bleak just a few years ago, he should be.
Brass seems convinced that lower division players will start getting more chances to prove themselves in the higher leagues. ‘There’s a wealth of potential out there, especially in the youngsters’, he said. ‘Jon Stead (who left Huddersfield Town for Blackburn Rovers in the transfer window) has proved that. Two starts for Blackburn and two goals. We have Lee Bullock, who is attracting interest from a number of clubs, (including Cardiff City, with whom he has been training). I think the Premiership boys will start to delve back into the lower leagues and take a gamble on a youngster, because they are going to get realistic prices.’ That remains to be seen, but, if he continues to excel at York City, it is surely only a matter of time before Brass himself is managing at a higher level.
Before I left, I asked if he minded putting in a few appearances for my five-a-side team. After two consecutive defeats, I thought we could do with some professional assistance. To my disappointment, he refused. ‘I wish I had the time’, he claimed. ‘Unfortunately, at this moment in time, I can’t help you’. In my opinion, it was a rather poor excuse.