Jim Brennan

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Jim Brennan
Personal information
Full name James Gerald Brennan
Date of birth (1977-05-08) 8 May 1977 (age 41)
Place of birth East York, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
York 9 FC (manager)
Youth career
1994–1996 Sora Lazio–Woodbridge Strikers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1999 Bristol City 64 (3)
1999–2003 Nottingham Forest 146 (1)
2001 Huddersfield Town (loan) 2 (0)
2003–2006 Norwich City 43 (1)
2006 Southampton 20 (0)
2007–2010 Toronto FC 93 (4)
Total 368 (9)
National team
1993 Canada U17 1 (0)
1999–2008 Canada 49 (6)
Teams managed
2011–2012 TFC Academy U17
2015–2018 Aurora FC
2018– York 9
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

James Gerald Brennan (born 8 May 1977) is a Canadian retired soccer player who played as a defender, and a manager for York 9 FC. During his playing career he gained experience playing extensively in Europe and North America, most notably with Bristol City, Nottingham Forest, Norwich City (with whom he won the 2004 Football League First Division title) and Toronto FC.

He also played 49 times for the Canadian national team, was member of the Canada side which won the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and later represented his country at the Confederations Cup 2001, the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He was inducted into the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame as a player in November 2015.[1]

Club career

Bristol City

A left-sided defender who also has played the left side of the midfield, Brennan grew up in Newmarket, Ontario, and started playing with Bristol City youth team in 1994 and made his professional debut in 1996 with Bristol City against cross town rivals Bristol Rovers in the Football League First Division. In 5 years Brennan had five managers including Russell Osman, Benny Lennartsson, Joe Jordan, John Ward and Tony Pulis. In 64 first-team appearances for City over five seasons, Brennan scored three goals. Brennan started his career in the Bristol City youth team and worked his way into the first team before being sold to Nottingham Forest.

Nottingham Forest

Brennan joined Nottingham Forest for £1.5 million in October 1999 and was bought by ex-England captain David Platt.[citation needed] Brennan was the first Canadian-born player to be sold over the 1 million pound mark.[citation needed] In 146 games played with Forest over four seasons under David Platt and Paul Hart, Brennan scored just once, in a 4–0 victory against Norwich City,[2] the team he would later go on to sign for. While he was recovering from a double hernia he had a short loan spell at Huddersfield with his old manager Joe Jordan. He also came on as a substitute in two league games while on loan to Huddersfield in 2000–01 and received a red card against Birmingham City and headed back to Forest.[citation needed]

Norwich City

Brennan joined Norwich City on a free Bosman transfer in 2003 and was managed by Nigel Worthington. During the 2003–04 season in Division One of the Football League, Brennan scored twice in just nine appearances, as he battled an abductor muscle injury. His goals came against Everton in the FA Cup[3] and Coventry City in the league.[4] Despite his personal struggles with fitness, the season saw Norwich win the First Division title and promotion back to the Premier League. Brennan became the first Canadian born outfield player to play in the Premier League.


Brennan joined George Burley at Southampton on 27 January 2006 with his contract due to expire in summer having failed to make an impact on the Norwich first team after a series of injuries. However, after finishing his contract he left the club the following May and departed England to play for his hometown team Toronto FC.

Toronto FC

On 8 September 2006, Brennan signed with MLS team Toronto FC for the 2007 season, becoming the first player and captain in club history. Brennan remained captain under Mo Johnston, John Carver, Chris Cummins and Preki.[5] He also became the first Canadian to score for Toronto FC, registering a goal off a free kick against the Columbus Crew on 26 May 2007. This goal subsequently became a Sierra Mist Goal of the Week. Brennan went on to play 27 games, all of them starts, for Toronto FC, the most of any player. He earned a reputation as Toronto's "Iron Man," as he managed to play many of his games despite a rib injury, and looked as though he would go on to play every match of the season. Unfortunately, a knee injury prevented Brennan from achieving this feat. Brennan retained the captaincy for the 2008 season, and nearly managed to score in his team's opening match. Brennan has since added goals in 2008 against Chivas USA in Carson, California and to open the 2009 season at Kansas City, off pass from newly acquired Canadian international teammate Dwayne De Rosario.

Brennan also made an appearance during the 2008 MLS All-Star game in his home stadium, BMO Field. The MLS All-Stars won the game 3–2 against West Ham United. On 6 April 2010 Brennan retired as player to become the assistant general manager for Toronto FC.[6]

International career

Brennan played at the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan, in a team alongside Paul Stalteri and Jason Bent. He then made his senior debut for Canada in an April 1999 friendly match against Northern Ireland and went on to earn a total of 49 caps, scoring 6 goals.[7] He has represented Canada in 10 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.[8] He has played for Canada at the Confederations Cup 2001 and played against Brazil, Cameroon and hosts Japan as well he competed at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Brennan won a Gold medal in the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup defeating Colombia and Bronze medal in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup defeating South Korea.

International Goals

Scores and results list Canada's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 2 September 1999 Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Canada  Jamaica 1–0 1–0 Friendly match
2 9 October 2000 Winnipeg Soccer Complex, Winnipeg, Canada  Panama 1–0 1–0 2002 World Cup Qualification
3 12 February 2003 June 11 Stadium, Tripoli, Libya  Libya 2–1 4–2 Friendly match
4 13 June 2004 Richardson Memorial Stadium, Kingston, Canada  Belize 4–0 4–0 2006 World Cup Qualification
5 16 June 2004 Richardson Memorial Stadium, Kingston, Canada  Belize 4–0 4–0 2006 World Cup Qualification
6 1 March 2006 Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria  Austria 1–0 2–0 Friendly

Post–playing career

Toronto FC

Following Brennan's retirement, Toronto FC named him assistant general manager to Mo Johnston. However following the firing of Johnston in the late 2010 season, Brennan's position remained unknown with the club until the new management team was put in place. It included Paul Mariner as Director of Player Development and Aron Winter as head coach.[9] On 1 March 2011, the club announced that the new position of Brennan within the club would be as head coach of TFC Academy U-17 team in the Second Division of the Canadian Soccer League, this would be Brennan's first coaching position.[10][11] On 14 May 2012, it was announced that Brennan would become assistant coach to Aron Winter for Toronto's first team with former assistant Bob de Klerk promoted to technical manager.[12]

Brennan was a Toronto FC Reserve Team Coach between 2011 and 2012 as well as First Team Assistant Coach from 2012 to 2014.[13] Brennan filled in for Ryan Nelsen on 28 September 2013 who was serving a suspension.[14]

York 9 FC

In 2018, Brennan joined Carlo Baldassarra and Preben Ganzhorn to found York Sports and Entertainment; the company will own the upcoming Canadian Premier League club York 9 FC.[15] On 27 July 2018, York 9 FC announced executive vice president of soccer operations Brennan as the club's first head coach.[16]

Personal life

Brennan's father is from Ireland, while his mother is from Scotland.[17]


As a player

Bristol City


Norwich City

Nottingham Forest

  • 2002–03 playoffs




  1. ^ "Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame announces Class of 2015". Canada Soccer. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Nottm Forest 4–0 Norwich". BBC. 22 March 2003. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Everton 3–1 Norwich". BBC. 3 January 2004. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Coventry 0–2 Norwich". BBC. 14 February 2004. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Toronto FC set to sign first player". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 8 September 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Appearances for Canada National Team – RSSSF
  8. ^ Record at FIFA Tournaments – FIFA
  9. ^ "New Management Team Announced". Toronto FC. Toronto. 6 January 2011.
  10. ^ "TFC Trio To Face New Challenges". Toronto FC. Toronto. 23 February 2011.
  11. ^ "Academy Staff | Toronto FC". 10 November 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Reds Make Front Office Changes". Toronto FC. Toronto. 14 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Toronto FC shakes up staff, Jim Brennan promoted to assistant coach". Toronto Star. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Toronto FC manager, assistant coach to serve suspensions". CBC. The Canadian Press. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Owners Profile". York 9 FC. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  16. ^ Benedetti, Micki (7 July 2018). "Jimmy Brennan Announced as Head Coach of York 9 FC". york9fc.canpl.ca.
  17. ^ "Hall of Fame: Jim Brennan". Canada Soccer. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Five Frenchmen in All-Star team". FIFA.com. 9 June 2001. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  19. ^ "RFB Toronto FC "Man of the Year" Award". redpatchboys.ca. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

External links

  • MLS player profile
  • Photos and stats at sporting-heroes.net
  • Jim Brennan at Soccerbase
  • Career information at ex-canaries.co.uk
  • 2007 U-Sector TFC Player of the Year – Jim Brennan
  • Jim Brennan at National-Football-Teams.com
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Toronto captain
Succeeded by
Dwayne De Rosario
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