Director of football at the Jersey Football Association since November 2014, 62-year-old Little has agreed to take over the top job until the end of this season following Jimmy Reilly’s departure earlier this month, with the 1996 League Cup winner being assisted by Martin Cassidy and Paddy O’Toole.
- FA Youth Cup (1971/72).
- League Cup (1974/75, 1976/77).
- One England cap (vs Wales 1975).
- Divisional manager of the year 1989/90 & 90/91 with Darlington (back-to-back promotions).
- Guided Leicester City to promotion to the Premier League (1993/94).
- UEFA Cup qualification with Aston Villa (1995/96).
- League Cup winner with Aston Villa (1996).
- Founding member of the League Managers Association.
Following in the footsteps of former Chelsea captain Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris in taking charge of the Caesareans while living in the UK, Little is expected to travel to the Island ‘on a regular basis’ for training and fixtures as preparations to defend the Muratti title gather pace. He is due to take charge of his first session on Wednesday.
‘I enjoyed my spell behind the scenes last year and it taught me a lot about what goes on in the Island,’ said Little.
‘It enabled me to get a feel as to how it all runs and it has given me some ideas on what I can do. I’m not a rocket scientist, I’m still just a football manager, but I hope I can perhaps bring a slight twist to things and make it a bit different for the players and other coaches.’
While Little does indeed bring unrivalled experience to the sidelines as one of the founding members of the League Managers Association, concerns have been raised that his commitments elsewhere will prove to be a stumbling block. That said, the Villa legend believes both he and the JFA have formulated a sustainable plan of action.
Brian Little: “I’m not a rocket scientist, I’m still just a football manager, but I hope I can perhaps bring a slight twist to things and make it a bit different for the players and other coaches.”
‘I saw the Island Games and I thought Jersey played well. Things have stuck in my mind, but as soon as I get on the training ground I’m going to start as I would with any professional club with game-related scenarios so I can look at players and give individuals a chance.
‘I do still have a lot to learn, but I’m looking forward to getting involved with the coaching and hopefully we’ll generate some renewed interest.’
O’Toole, who will provide local support with St Paul’s academy coach Cassidy, said: ‘The Jersey Football Association got in touch to see if I was interested and I said yes right away. I had an interview with Brian to discuss the way forward and I’m really looking forward to working with him – who wouldn’t want to work with a top manager like that and with the wealth of experience that he has. It’s an exciting time and I’m sure it will be beneficial for the players and coaches in the Island.’