‘Not that Scott Brown’ Peterhead’s number 8 hits 200

By Isaac Buchan

Scott Brown recently made his 200th appearance for Peterhead in a brilliant 5-0 win for the Blue Toon over Dumbarton, in which he scored a penalty to seal the game.

The midfielder has became a staple to McInally’s side and proved time and time again he is a class above the rest when he steps out onto the park, and being a lifelong Peterhead fan I can surely say he is among one of the best to pull on the blue shirt in this era at Balmoor. So what better time to look at his impact in the North East and how much he means to the team.

Peterhead have often been a bit of a yo-yo team in the past decade or so, bouncing between League 1 and 2, with it always seeming as there was a piece of the puzzle missing as to why they couldn’t become an established side in Scotland’s third tier. That missing piece was soon found as in 2016, as then 22 year old Scott Brown joined the Blue Toon just as Peterhead had recorded their highest league position in the club history with a 3rd place in League 1.

5 years and 200 appearances later, Scott Brown, now Peterhead captain has became a staple of Jim McInally’s side, and has made a huge impact in establishing Peterhead as a serious team in League 1.

Browns first professional contract came from English side Bradford City after impressing then manager Peter Jackson who said to the BBC after his move down south “He’s right up there as one of the best 16 to 18-year-olds that I’ve seen available to us in recent months”.  The midfielder went on to only make 3 appearances for the Bantams before being spotted by St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright in the summer of 2013, where he would feature in high-profile games for the saints such as Europa League qualifiers against the likes of Swiss outfit FC Luzern and Armenian side Alashkert, at just the age of 20.

A lot of young players would’ve succumb to the pressure of the big European stage, especially for a club like St Johnstone where this doesn’t come around every season, but the young midfielder dealt with the occasion superbly and helped the Saints to wins over both sides, despite going out on away goals to Alashkert.

Peterhead’s situation In 2016 was slightly different to Brown’s European nights and Scottish Cup glory. The Blue Toon had their best season in the clubs history, finishing in the Play-offs but agonisingly missing out on promotion after being outclassed by Ayr in both legs of the semi-final. As for most lower league sides after an event-filled season, a rebuild was immanent with 6 new signings arriving, notably Scott Brown and Willie Gibson, who would become staples of the new Peterhead side for the next coming years.

However, this rebuild had little success to begin with as Peterhead were relegated to League 2 through yet more play-off heartbreak for the Blue Toon faithful, with a poor home 5-1 loss to Forfar in the final. If you were in Scott Browns shoes, you’d of been thinking what have I got myself into, from playing in European ties to being relegated to Scottish League 2.

Nevertheless, The midfielder stuck with the Blue Toon, a common theme of loyalty will be apparent throughout the rest of his time at Peterhead, and he was determined to take McInally’s side back to league 1 football, but despite a strong season in which Peterhead won the most games in the league, the Toon missed out on the league title on the last day of the season in front of a packed out Balmoor who were all but certain the helicopter would be landing on the running track adjacent to the stadium with the league trophy, if it weren’t for a last minute goal from Stirling Albion. It almost was beginning to seem this new core of Peterhead built around the midfield pairing of Brown and Ferry just couldn’t get it done.

Despite setbacks, Peterhead had finally made it back into League 1 in the 18/19 season, after beating Clyde to the title, with countless influential performances from Scott Brown helping Peterhead massively to promotion. This season really saw Scott Brown establish himself as a top class player for league 2, even for League 1 as Falkirk came calling and once the rumours were heard it looked almost certain that his time at Balmoor would be over. However, that theme of loyalty to Peterhead stayed, as he chose to continue under Jim McInally for the coming season.

The former Saints man would go on to help McInally’s side recorded a respectable 8th place finish in League 1, keeping the Blue Toon in the division for another year. However this league position would be overshadowed as Peterhead’s top goalscorer and long time captain Rory McAllister handed in a transfer request and headed to Cove Rangers.

As someone who had known Rory as Mr. Peterhead my whole life, it was strange for myself and the rest of the support to see him in another jersey, and in what was quite a turbulent time for the club someone needed to come in and steady the ship. It was soon announced after McAllister’s departure that Scott Brown would take the armband for the rest of the season and in turn, helped guide the Blue Toon to safety. This was definitely the turning point I feel in Brown’s time at the club where he took the mantle as Peterhead’s big game player.

The summer of 2020 soon came round in which saw the beginning of one of League 1’s most memorable campaigns where anyone could’ve finished anywhere. Peterhead settled for an 8th place finish when all was said and done but this new core of players which had slowly been built over the years had brought what the Balmoor side needed most, Stability.

After watching Scott Brown for his whole time at Peterhead its hard to believe he’s only 26. The way he commands and leads the team displays an aura of decades of experience, yet the midfielders best years are still ahead of him so the Blue Toon faithful can only be excited for the years to come with this core of young and experienced players built around Broony in the middle of the park.

When McAllister left Balmoor it felt like no one could fill the shoes of Peterhead’s next star player but me and many fans alike feel Scott Brown is the man who can and so far has done it. So here’s to another 200 top class performances for the Blue Toon.

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