Ollie Brown has no regrets swapping Leiston for Stowmarket Town
PUBLISHED: 15:45 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:45 06 June 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Highly-rated full-back Ollie Brown still wants to test himself at the highest level possible, despite swapping Isthmian Premier Division Leiston for ambitious Thurlow Nunn Premier Division new-boys, Stowmarket Town.
The Ipswich-born defender, who spent time in the youth set-up at Portman Road, went on trial with Conference Premier side Dagenham & Redbridge last season, after catching the eye with a number of impressive displays at Victory Road.
However, after turning down a new deal at Leiston, Brown, whose dad Ian formerly played for Colchester United and managed Whitton United and Hadleigh United, has opted to step down two levels to team-up with the Thurlow Nunn Division One champions.
The move will raise eyebrows in the non-league community, especially as Brown was a star performer for the Blues last season, making 56 appearances in all competitions, as the coastal club just missed out on the Premier Division play-offs.
But the young defender, who is about to become a father for the first time, says his family is his number one priority.
“My girlfriend and I have got a little girl on the way and while I want to improve and play at the highest level possible still, dropping down a couple of levels for the time being is the right thing for me to do,” said Brown.
“There is a lot of travelling involved in the Ryman (Isthmian) League and there were times when I was playing midweek games for Leiston and not getting home until 1am.
“With a little girl on the way I want to be at home as much as possible, I don’t want to miss out on those special moments. I had a couple of offers from Ryman League clubs that I had to mull over a bit, but the Stowmarket move came out of the blue.
“I wasn’t looking to drop down two divisions but Stowmarket are an ambitious club and are looking to get into the Isthmian Premier. For my personal life it was a no-brainer and if we were to get promotion next season, that would be great.”
Brown signed for Leiston last summer after leaving Needham Market but was soon attracting attention higher up the pyramid.
He added: “Byron (Lawrence) and I played a trial game for Dagenham and I thought it went quite well. If I have a good season, you never know what could be round the corner.”