Retired footballer aims for Commonwealth Games success

By Louise AndrewBBC Scotland
Meet the former footballer focused on success at the Commonwealth Games - even though his game doesn't feature.

While most footballers are having a well-earned rest this summer, one former player will be focused on success at the Commonwealth Games - even though his sport does not feature.

Newly-retired Stenhousemuir midfielder Brown Ferguson is a lifestyle coach at sportscotland's Institute of Sport.

He is tasked with helping Team Scotland win medals.

At the peak of his career, the 33-year-old played for Hamilton Academical and Partick Thistle in Scotland's second tier, although he is probably best known by Alloa Athletic fans- scoring 27 goals during two spells there.

He is still coaching at Stenhousemuir, but Ferguson has had to accept that his career on the pitch is over.

"Ten years ago, I was playing in the Scottish League and I realised at that point that my ambition to play at an international level wasn't going to happen," he said.

"I started to look at other options and I'm now working with athletes who are competing on an international stage. It's just great to be part of that."

Ferguson is basically a "fixer" for athletes at sportscotland. He tries to ensure there are no conflicts in their work/life balance that could upset their sporting goals.

He works with various athletes, including swimmer Ross Muir, who will compete in the 400m individual medley at Glasgow's Commonwealth Games.

"It's very difficult to manage a full-time studies with a full-time swimming programme," explains Muir.

"And then, after I've graduated, it's thinking about post-Games.

"Brown has helped me plan my time and work out what I'm going to do when the Games are over, which has allowed me to focus on my swimming and have no other stresses."

Ross Muir with Brown Ferguson
Swimmer Ross Muir says he has benefited from lifestyle coaching from Brown Ferguson

Ferguson admits that he has had to adjust to his current role.

"As a footballer, being in the middle of a match, you feel the adrenalin and the emotion of it all," he says.

"I miss that. I'm one step removed from that, but I get to work with people who have that passion and drive to do well.

"If they can enter their competitions with as little distractions as possible then I feel as though I've done my job."

With only a few days to go before the Games start, Ferguson's done as much as he can for his athletes.

For him, Glasgow 2014 is now a waiting game.

For more information about working or volunteering in sport go to the Get Inspired pages on coaching.