Jon Brady's Northampton Town Gains Promotion to England's League One
Emotional Jon Brady has lifted the lid on the tears and torment behind Northampton Town’s promotion to England’s League One on Monday night.
The 48-year-old Football Careers client revealed the story of hurt on the field and grief off it that has bound the dedicated Aussie’s coaching team together as they achieved their goal.
Brady’s Cobblers sealed a route out of League Two with a 1-0 win at Tranmere Rovers after missing out on automatic promotion on goal difference last season, then losing in the playoffs. And Jon confessed:
“It’s been a lot of pain to get here. Last year hurt but now we can actually enjoy the moment. I want to say thank you to my staff, we’re all together… Colin Calderwood, Marc Richards, and James Alger, my goalkeeping coach, who woke up one morning last year and his wife didn’t wake up.
“We lost James’ wife and Colin’s lost his dad, for those people who have been with us in spirit this is absolutely amazing. It gives you incredible perspective really. We’re like a family, we look after each other and that’s how it’s been.”
When John next surveys his Football Careers CV and takes a minute to pause on this achievement, he will recall the powers of recovery his club has needed to go up this time around.
Last May Northampton won 3-1 on the final day at Barrow but still somehow missed out on automatically going up when Bristol Rovers won 7-0 against an understrength Scunthorpe and edged them by a single goal. Brady’s side then lost in the play-offs and they had to pick up the pieces this time around. Jon admitted:
“After last season, it’s about now trying to let this sink in somehow that we’ve got over the line. The first season I took over, we had 20 games to go and we missed out on staying in League One by three points. That was hard to take.
“Last season we got all the way to the end but Scunthorpe fielded an under-18 side and Bristol Rovers got one more goal than us. It deeply hurt us and left a scar.”
Brady cut his teeth as a coach at non-league Brackley before coming through the ranks at Sixfields and taking over from Keith Curle in February 2021. Shrewd moves such as the decision to work alongside the experience of former Tottenham Hotspur and Scotland defender Calderwood — who himself has top-level managerial experience at the likes of Northampton, Nottingham Forest, Hibernian and Cambridge — have brought Jon to this significant step in his career.
Now the planning begins for League One and the delighted Football Careers client smiled:
“It’s such a relief, especially with what we’ve gone through with all the injuries. Since Christmas, we’ve had 10 players out every game. It’s been about players that we’ve managed to get in that would take a minimum wage. They have been discarded by other League Two clubs and they have come in and helped brilliantly.”