Leyton Orient’s Dean Brill full of admiration for ex-Luton Town boss John Still
- Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo
Former Hatters goalkeeper thankful for the way John Still handed his departure from the Kenilworth Road club, but doesn’t want to be a manager
You would completely understand if Dean Brill held a grudge against Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still and wanted to get one over him more than most when Leyton Orient visit Victoria Road on New Years Day.
The reason being that Still was the person who told the O’s goalkeeper he could leave Luton Town in April 2013.
Brill had started his career with the Kenilworth Road club, was a Hatters fan and had only moved back to the Bedfordshire outfit eight months earlier for a second spell.
The goalkeeper joined Luton at the age of nine and had spent nearly seven seasons as part of the first-team, watching the side go from the lofty heights of the Championship all the way down to the then-titled Conference Premier.
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But Brill is actually grateful to Still for the way he handed his exit, the help he offered him in securing a loan move to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and for taking the club he has supported since he was a boy back into the Football League.
He said: “I still see John quite a bit because we’ve played Dagenham in a couple of reserve games and we had the cup games.
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“With regards to me leaving Luton, it was probably one of the best relationships I’ve had with a manager who would move you on.
“I remember the meeting (in April 2013). He had played me in a few games at the end of the season and Mark Tyler was the other goalkeeper and he said he was going to go with Mark and told me I was too good to be sitting on the bench.
“He made me available and he was fantastic to be fair and John’s a real good guy and was completely honest with me which is what all footballers want.
“If everyone was more honest we would all know where we stand and he was honest, told me his plan and what he wanted to do and he also said ‘if you go, you go, but if you don’t go, it’s great’.
“Then I actually went back to Luton for pre-season and he was great with me and then he helped me get the move up to Scotland, which turned out to be one of the best times in my career, so John’s a fantastic guy.
“What he did for Luton was brilliant and he’s done that with all of the teams he has been with.”
Brill had a very short spell as a ‘manager’ this season with Orient during the eventful match with Chester on November 21.
Ross Embleton was in interim charge, but got sent to the stands at half time of the contest at Brisbane Road.
It was therefore left to Brill to step up and manage the players for the second half and he did a fine job – helping them come from 2-1 down with 10-men to draw 2-2.
But would he like make the transition from goalkeeper coach into an actual manager in the future?
“No, I wouldn’t want to be a manager because it is crazy,” said Brill “But I’m football daft and I really enjoy the goalkeeping side of things.
“I’ve had a decent career with highs, lows and indifferences, so I’m enjoying passing on my knowledge now and that side of things, but I still do enjoy being a goalkeeper too.
“Like I say, this opportunity was ideal for me in the summer and although it has put me on a path a little earlier than I first thought, it is nice to have the coaching running alongside my playing. Coaching goalkeepers is definitely where I see my future.”