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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Wednesday, June 5th 2019

How Wilson and Jacobs extended Tinnion’s playing career

Brian Tinnion says it was the advice of two key people from his playing days which helped him play for as long as he did.

Tinnion, now City’s Player Loans Manager, enjoyed a 20-year playing career with the Robins, Newcastle United, Bradford City and Aldershot Town before hanging up his boots in 2007.

Aged 39 the left-sided midfielder decided to step away from the pitch and went on to focus on his passion for youth development but explained he could have carried on as a footballer for longer.

That was down to the management of Danny Wilson and Frank Jacobs who he worked with closely in BS3.

Brian Tinnion played 551 times for City between 1993-2005

Wilson took charge at City between 2000-2004 and Tinnion believes he added on extra years to his playing career. Jacobs was an Academy coach until his death; he has an annual award named after him.

“I got on great with Danny, we had a great relationship,” Tinnion explained to the One Stream In Bristol podcast. “I played virtually every game for him when I was coming to an age in my career when he would get me into the coaching meetings.

“He knew I was interested in the coaching and development of young players. I would spend evenings at the Academy where I would work with the kids, I managed an Academy Sunday team and Danny was really interested in developing me down that route.

“I would meet Danny on a Monday morning, in my mid-30s and he would ask me ‘what do I want to do that week?’ It didn’t matter so long as I was ready on the Saturday.

“He was such a brilliant man-manager, he put three years on my career because he trusted me so much, he asked me how I wanted to train. If the lads were training on Monday and Tuesday he would tell me to rest, train on my own Wednesday then join in on Thursday and Friday in preparation for the game.

“That made me so fit and be able to keep doing what I could do at that age because of the trust he had in me. I have nothing but admiration for Danny, it was so unfortunate we just couldn’t make that step up. I wish for him and for us we had made that next step.”

“I was always obsessed with being as fit as possible so there were never any issues. I knew what I needed and after conversations with Danny, I knew how to manage my body to be able to play Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday. At 34 I remember he said I probably won’t play every game and I think I went on to play 48 games. I looked after myself so well.”

Tinnion pictured celebrating with Luke Wilkshire in 2004/05

Jacobs played an integral part in the Robins’ youth setup and there is one conversation which Tinnion will never forget, something which he tells City players today.

Aged 28 at the time, Tinnion recalls Jacobs saying “If you want to play into your late 30's when the games have finished and the season ends never stop, never let your body stop.”

“I was like ‘wow that must be hard’ but I never stopped; I kept working, kept running and kept myself fit. I remember when we came back we did a 20 minute run around the track and I was so fit it was ridiculous. Danny said to have a day off and that was after the first day of pre-season!

“I was so, so mentally dedicated to keeping fit and not letting myself slip. Frank’s words kept in my mind and I kept going until I finished," he said.

Hear the full interview on the One Stream in Bristol podcast.