2015 Review: #4 Wayne Brown

4 - Brown

Heading into his third consecutive in Finnish top tier football, Wayne Brown was looking to go one further than his 2014 achievements and win the Veikkausliiga.

Last year saw him do exactly that.

Champions

Partway through the 2014 season, former Fulham midfielder Brown swapped relegation-battling with TPS for title-challenging with SJK and although he could not quite inspire his side to the title in 2014, last year, his side went one step further.

SJK won the Veikkausliiga title by just a single title, securing their first ever top division title just two years after winning the second division, the Ykkönen.

The victory also broke HJK Helsinki’s reign of dominance over Finnish football, as SJK became the first side other than HJK to win the title since 2008.

27-year-old Brown was a large part of SJK’s historic success. He played in 25 off his side’s 33 league games and chipped in with a couple of goals as well as four assists.

His solid displays in midfield provided an excellent platform for his side’s more attacking forces to burst forward.


Wayne Brown scoring against his future team-mates at SJK during the 2014 season with former side TPS.


Return to Scandinavia 

When Brown joined TPS on a permanent deal in 2013 after four seasons with Bristol Rovers, he was no stranger to Finnish football.

In 2009, Brown joined TPS on loan from Fulham whose manager at the time was Roy Hodgson. His contacts in Scandinavian secured the move.

In his first season in Finnish football, Brown was an absolute revelation. The then 21-year-old was in scintillating form as he fired home nine goals and contributed eight assists in 26 games.

His sensational run of from, including a goal on his debut, saw him voted as Finland’s Player of the Year for 2009 and also guided TPS to their best ever finish in top tier football as they finished third.

After the loan move, Brown could not force his way into Fulham’s first team and after making just two Premier League appearances, he moved to Bristol Rovers on a free transfer.

2015 saw Brown and his SJK team-mates do the (almost) unthinkable and finally break HJK’s dominance over Finnish football to the delight of many a neutral fan.

2016 will see him and his side as the top team in Finland. They will be the marked side in the country and Brown’s good form will have to continue if they are to match their successes of 2015 against sides determined to upset the champions.

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