Town and Southend played out two draws last seasonName: Southend United Football Club
Stadium: Roots Hall
Capacity: 12, 392
Manager: Phil Brown
Last season: 14th in League One
Phil Brown’s Southend United are the next team on our Focus on series. The Essex outfit concluded last term in 14th position in the third-tier.
57-year-old Brown took over the managerial post at Roots Hall in March 2013, replacing Paul Sturrock at the helm in the process.
As a player, South Shields-born Brown began his professional career with Hartlepool United in 1978, where he made 217 appearances at Victoria Park, before securing a move to Halifax Town in 1985.
Three-years and 135 appearances followed in Yorkshire, with a move to Burnden Park to link up with Bolton Wanderers next on the agenda for Brown.
In a prolonged spell with the Greater Manchester outfit, the full-back was part of Bolton’s side which won the Football League Trophy in 1989.
He left the Trotters in 1994 after turning out 256 times, ending his career with a two-year stint at Blackpool.
Following his retirement from the professional game after two-years at Blackpool, Brown took his first footsteps into coaching when he assisted his former manager Sam Allardyce, firstly at Blackpool and then a return Bolton Wanderers over a nine year period.
After honing his trade under the watchful eye of Allardyce, Phil left Wanderers, and took his first footsteps into management with Derby County in June 2005, however he was relieved of his duties at Pride Park just a few months later, in January 2006.
Following his departure from the Rams, Brown was appointed as a first-team coach at Hull City – and took over the Tigers as the club’s permanent manager in January 2007.
During his spell at the KC Stadium, Brown guided Hull to promotion to the Premier League in May 2008, following a 1-0 win over Bristol City at Wembley in the Play-Off final – and he would subsequently achieve survival with City on the final day of the 2008/09 Premier League season.
Brown left his position at Hull in March 2010, as the club faced relegation back to the Championship, and following a brief spell in charge at Preston North End, Brown was back in management with Southend in March 2013.
Since his appointment at Roots Hall, Brown has guided the club to promotion up to League One via the Play-Offs in May 2015, and secured survival in their first campaign back up last season, with a mid-table finish.
Fleetwood Town make the trip down to Southend on Saturday 27th August, before welcoming Brown’s side to Highbury on Saturday 28th January 2017.