When we think of football manager (the game), a lot of writers cover the game and the manager, but rarely do you see behind the scenes action. We are going to cover as much as we can, from the fans perspective to the distant relatives. In this progressive story you will hear from all areas in the footballing world, however will these views affect Mason Bradshaw’s decision making?
Who is Mason Bradshaw?
Mason Bradshaw was born on 24th June 1992 in Brighton. The lad grew up as a Brighton fan due to his birthplace but also supported Ipswich as his parents (Angela and Tom) were from the area. His twin brother Robert also enjoys the sport and watches games with Mason. He followed football religiously during his school years and when he went to Liverpool to study Sport Psychology, he started following Everton. Mason has always dreamt of becoming a football manager, rather than a footballer. He coached Youth Teams in the East Sussex area and earned his National A License in the summer of 2016, giving him a chance at becoming a successful manager in the real world.
During University, as part of Mason’s degree he had to undergo 6 weeks worth of work experience. He was accepted at Tranmere Rovers, where he was part of the Youth Team coaching set up. Once the work experience had finished, Tranmere offered him a voluntary job within the Youth Team, which Mason accepted and coached along side his studies. During the time at Tranmere, they paid for Mason’s coaching badges up to his Continental A License. After graduating with a first (1:1) in Sport Psychology, Mason decided to move back to Brighton and live with his parents.
Mason has only ever played Youth football and Sunday league football, however that won’t stop him chasing his dreams to become a Professional Football Manager. The likes of Bill Strutch, Avram Grant and Les Parry have all achieved great things in the footballing world without having a professional career. Notably Les Parry has a very strong connection with Tranmere Rovers fans as he took over relegation threatened Tranmere shortly after John Barnes was sacked in October 2009. Les kept the club up and stayed in charge until March 2012, whilst still remaining the clubs physio and completing a PHD in “Sports injuries in professional soccer and the effects of detraining” at the same university Mason studied at.
Are you wondering what thoughts are going through Mason’s head right now, well don’t worry, we have an exclusive interview below:
What are your favourite clubs and why?
Brighton, purely because I’ve been brought up watching them. Everton due to studying in Liverpool and the fact me and my brother used to visit a lot of games. Tranmere Rovers for obvious reasons, they gave me a step in the right direction as well as helping me with my coaching badges, which is something I’ll forever be thankful for. Oh, and of course Ipswich, not really a massive reason but I’ve always kept up to date with them.
Your former colleague Andrew Smith, recently sang your praises, are you tempted to recruit former colleagues as your backroom staff?
Definitely. I actually rang Andrew last night, to ask if he would mind doing some training for me when I get my first job, just now and again. It’s always best to have experience and good mates around you. Andrew is a top pro, and I hope he’ll pop in to a training season one day to help me out.
Are you willing to start abroad to kick start your career?
Yes, in fact, working abroad is something I definitely want to do in my career. Whether that be at the start of my career or as I’m getting grey and old, and no English club will take me! But don’t worry, I won’t do a Steve McClaren and start doing an French accent if I move to France, like he did in Holland!
You are only 24 years old, what do you say to critics who say you are too young to start management?
Age is just a number. I mean that. Look at some of the best managers in the world who started young with basically no playing career. Jose Mourinho is a certain one, I do believe. I’m ready, I’m sure of it.
They say somethings are best left alone, but could you see yourself returning to Tranmere Rovers as a manager after your spell as a youth team coach?
This is a tricky question for me. I love Tranmere, but look at managers returning to former clubs, the best situation recently is probably Stuart Pearce (Psycho) going back to Nottingham Forest, where he got sacked, however never say never, because you never know what life may throw at you. I remember Charlie Simpson saying that he’d never return to Busted in a million years, and he returned in 2015. I guess if it’s possible for Charlie to return to Busted, it’s possible that I could return to Tranmere!
China has spent billions on transfers recently, including Oscar for a fee over 40 million, can you see yourself going there as a manager?
Well, I believe Andrew Smith is keen for me to move there, haha! But no, never. I wouldn’t move to China for any money in the world.
So there we have it, twenty five year old Mason Bradshaw looks like he means serious business judging by his answers to our exclusive interview.
A lot of people, including myself would love to know a bit more about Mason. Don’t worry, we have you covered, below is an interview with Robert, Mason’s twin brother and we also get some very interesting words from ex Tranmere Rovers coach Andrew Smith.
What do other professionals think about Mason Bradshaw?
Andrew Smith, a retired coach at Tranmere, tells The Tranmere Gazette all about Mason Bradshaw. It was late Friday afternoon when Andrew walked into our office to discuss all things Mason Bradshaw, who has recently came out and announced he is looking for his first job as a manager.
Andrew was his colleague at Tranmere Rovers, before Andrew retired two years ago. The first thing he said. “He was always early”. Continuing, he told us, “Mason was always early, we were supposed to start from 9am, but Mason always arrived about 45 minutes early, and Mason always planned his training sessions well in advance and in thorough detail, unlike myself, who decided what I was doing on the day! He was dedicated to this job.”
It is well known that Mason has a degree in Sports Psychology, but how did Mason end up at Tranmere, Andrew explains this to us, “as part of Mason’s course, he had to undergo six weeks work experience and became part of our youth setup, and it was clear from day one, that he would go far in football, and the club offered him a voluntary position, which he accepted.”
Was Mason a good worker, we wondered. Andrew didn’t even wait a second before replying “Definitely. I’ve never seen a better work driven lad. I’m so happy for Mason, and I wish him the best of luck managing in the future.” Then he joked “You still have my number mate? If you go to China, I’m happy to come out of retirement!”
Interview with Robert Bradshaw (twin brother)
So here we are with Robert Bradshaw, the twin brother of Mason Bradshaw, the young man who, almost out of nowhere, wishes to manage football at the highest level and is actively searching for a job.
So Robert, what is your immediate reaction to Mason’s announcement?
I think he’s got balls to come out and do what he did. If I felt I had the skills needed, I’d take the same step.
Saying that, do you think your brother has the skills to make it in football management?
Look, it’s not up to me to say whether he has the attributes to make it as a successful manager, it’s up to him and I’m sure he will go into it with everything to prove to the doubters such as yourself.
Well, the majority of people are confused by Mason’s announcement, myself and many of my colleagues in the press included in that same majority. I mean, surely this was an expected reaction?
No, no it wasn’t an expected reaction. When someone has their heart set on doing something, like Mason has with managing; you cannot stop them from doing what they desire. I personally would have expected the average joe to get behind my brother in support of what he is trying to do, but of course the situation is very different.
Great answer. Can you give us any insight into what clubs are looking to hire Mason?
He’s got a few countries he’s looking at for vacancies, such as England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales for obvious reasons such as less travel, but he’s also looking at new horizons like South America or Asia. But currently, I’m leaving him to do his business. Whatever path he chooses I’ll be keeping up to date with how it’s going, I’ll watch the matches I can make; hopefully he sends some tickets my way, but in terms of what jobs he is interested in and perhaps me inputting on his decisions, I’m not going to get involved.
There you have it. Robert, thank you for your insight into your brother; Mason Bradshaw.