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Pascoe stands ground as Brown joins rivals

CLASH: Grant Brown comes in for heavy attention playing for Lambton Jaffas in the FFA Cup match against Beresfield United this year. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
Nanjing Night Net

LAMBTON Jaffas coach James Pascoe said the loss of versatile defender Grant Brown to Hamilton ahead of their midweek clash with Magicwas not ideal, but the club “won’t be dictated to on who will and won’t start”.

Brown has signed for Hamilton and is likely to come into calculations for Olympic coach Michael Bolch for the clash with Weston on Saturday at Darling Street Oval. The 22-year-old will come in as an injury replacement for Andrew Swan, who continues to battle an ankle problem.

Aformer student at Hunter Sports High, where Pascoe isdirector of sport,Browncame to the Jaffas last year from ManlyUnited. Hewas a regular starter, butPascoe, whotook over the Jaffas two weeks out from the season after David Tanchevski resigned, has preferred others in his startingline-up so far this season.

Brown lives at Buff Point on the Central Coast and wanted regular football in return for the time and expense of making the 50-minute drive to training. He said it was a desire Lambtoncould not fulfill.

“I love football and I did a lot of travelling to play with Sydney United and Manly United, but I’m at the age now where I just want to play, and Lambton couldn’t guarantee that,” Brown said.“That’swhen Bolchy came along and said we’ll have you.

“I had quite a successful season at Lambton last year and played pretty much every minute until I broke my hand.Obviously Pascoe is entitled to his opinion, and I’m not going to hold that against him, but I just want to play, and that’s the reason I made the move.”

Pascoe said Brown was a loss, especially given Rhys Tippett (hamstring) wasin doubt for Wednesday’s 7pmmatch against Broadmeadow at Magic Park andMichael Williams and Riley McNaughton were also sidelined. However, the former Jets assistant coach was sticking to his guns.

“The communication he gave to us was that he wasn’t really prepared to do the travelling up from the Central Coastunless he was guaranteed a spot each week,” Pascoe said.

“I’m not going to give Jobe Wheelhouse, John Majurovski orPeter McPherson a guaranteed start, so I’m not going to give Grant Brown one.

“Grant’s a loss in that he can cover centre-back and right-back and his best football is in front of him, but we won’t be dictated to on who will and won’t start.”

Defenders Kevin Davison and Ben Hay return forthe Jaffas, who lost 3-0 to Olympic last Saturday.

Bolch was pleased to add Brown to his squad after the move of Marcus Duncan to Victoria, the injury to Swanand the coming loss of Tom Davies after round six.

Meanwhile, Magic co-coach Robert Virgili said 2012 player of the year Scott Pettit would likely make his first appearance of the season off the bench against Jaffas.

Pettit tore his hamstring in pre-seasonand will give Magicanother attacking option after a frustrating0-0 draw at Weston on Sunday.Defender Ben Higgins is out with a hamstring injury.

James Virgili will play despite coming off midway through the second half against Weston with a head wound.

Robert Virgili said his side gave into frustration in an ugly second half against the Bears and he was looking forward to a more open affair with the Jaffas.

“They’ll be desperate to get a win and we’re keen to stay in touch with the leaders, so it should be interesting,” he said.