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Interview with Craig Brown

On saturday (28.7., 15.30 Uhr) the FC St. Pauli plays its last test match against FC Aberdeen. We asked Aberdeen's manager Craig Brown about his goals for the game and what he knows about the FC St. Pauli.

Mr. Brown, why did you decide to spend the pre-season training in Germany?
Germany was selected as our pre-season training destination because we were there last year and it was a very successful trip. We played Bochum and Borussia Mönchengladbach, both games were good tests for us. We feel Germany is ideal because the climate is not too dissimilar to ours and the quality of play in Germany is normally extremely good even in the lower divisions.


Why did you choose to play against St. Pauli?
St. Pauli is a famous team. That is one of the reasons. The other was the geography. The Hamburg area was accessible as part of our tour of Germany. Although they were 4th in the 2. Bundesliga last season they have a big support and a very powerful reputation and it is a privilege to be able to go and play against St Pauli.


You say that the FC St. Pauli is a famous club. What do you know about St. Pauli?
I know they have slipped a little bit in recent times and were 4th in the League last season but with the young and ambitious André Schubert as the manager who they got from FC Paderborn, they will be hoping for a good season.
I know most of the team is made up of domestic players. They just have a few foreign players including Carlos Zambrano who is from Peru and they signed him from Schalke 04 and then there is Mahir Saglik who is a Turkish player they signed from Bochum.


What is special about Aberdeen Football Club?
The tradition of this club is excellent is terms of early European success and domestic success. Famously managed by Sir Alex Ferguson (before he was Sir) who made his reputation here and made Aberdeen’s reputation not just nationally but internationally.

In recent years the standards have dropped but with Alex Ferguson’s former colleague Archie Knox now back at the club as my Assistant, we are both hoping to restore the great success of the past to this proud and famous Scottish Football Club.


What goals have you set for the St. Pauli match?
The prime goal to be honest is fitness. To get as many of our players match fit as possible because we have a seriously small squad of experienced players backed up by a number of promising youngsters. Our squad is quite limited in terms of depth so we hope by the time we play our third game on our pre-season tour of Germany against St Pauli that all our players will be fit, we will have suffered no injuries and they will all have had some match action in the previous two matches.

The goal in any match is to win the game but as I say the prime goal is to have us prepared for the opening fixture in the SPL. St. Pauli is the final test before we open our SPL campaign against champions Celtic. We know Celtic were also over in Germany playing some games and they will have benefited from being in this country. They also have a big Champions League match on the Wednesday before we play them but the game today will be our final test before the season starts.


Last year the Glasgow Rangers were forced to leave the Premier League. What will Scottish Football be like without Rangers next season?
It means an unfamiliar top league and it is therefore hard to predict what it will mean for the game in Scotland. The SPL will be unpredictable but it will give an opportunity for a team to get into second position because normally the Old Firm occupy positions one and two. So assuming Celtic with the greatest resources in the country become Champions again and finish first, it will give an opportunity for a team to finish second. We are in terms of structure along with the Edinburgh sides – Hibernian and Hearts; Dundee United and Motherwell will all be fighting hard for the positions up a the top end of the table. I do not want to claim we will finish second, I never like to make bold predictions and I prefer to underplay my hand, but we are confident we can finish better than the ninth spot we finished in the SPL last season.


Thank you very much Mr. Brown!


Pictures: FC Aberdeen


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