Tomorrow afternoon’s game at Balmoor may just be the competitive curtain-raiser for Peterhead and Cove Rangers.
But in the Brown household, it will mean a little bit more.
For the first time, brothers Jason and Jordon will come up against each other on a football pitch, with the draw for the Betfred Cup last month helping create a summer afternoon with extra significance.
Jason will line up for Peterhead, whom he has played for since 2017, joining after his exit from Caley Thistle and a brief loan spell at Cove. Jordon, three years Jason’s senior, swapped the Blue Toon for the Balmoral Stadium last summer and helped Cove into the SPFL for the first time.
It is a game that has captured the family’s imagination and added a new wrinkle to the sibling’s close relationship.
“It’s going to be a tense one for mum and dad,” said Jason, who turned down a move to Cove this summer for a tilt at League 1 with Peterhead. “I think they’ll be watching with their eyes closed.
“I talk to Jordon every day and this is the first time we’ll be playing against each other, which will be weird for us. But I’m sure once the ball gets down it will all be fine.
“It goes without saying, I want to get the bragging rights, but it’s not all about me and Jordon. I know a lot of the Cove boys and it’s a big game for both clubs.”
Cove, who have brought in Paul Hartley to replace John Sheran, who has moved into a director of football role, and Graeme Mathieson, tried to bring the younger Brown to the Balmoral Stadium for their ambitious League 2 campaign.
A move to the SPFL’s newest side obviously had its pulls, given the family connection and his successful loan spell with the Highland League champions during the 2016-17 season. But his affinity for Peterhead and manager Jim McInally swayed his thinking.
Brown added: “I know where I stand with Peterhead; I’ve got so much respect for the club and what they have done for me over the last two seasons. Off the back of promotion, it felt right in the to give it another year in League 1 and see what happens after that.
“I’m delighted to be here and as long as my relationship with the gaffer stays good, there’s no reason for me to go. I had a few chats with Cove and they wanted me but looking at both sides of things, it was a relatively easy decision.”
The League 2 champions, preparing for their return for the third tier, will also face Dundee, Raith Rovers and Caley Thistle in the group stages of the Betfred Cup, giving Brown another return to an old club.
It is a competitive group that has thrown up some enticing encounters, with the defender feeling Peterhead can surprise people with their exploits.
He said: “It’s really good to have competitive games early and get everyone’s fitness up to speed for the start of the league campaign.
“Every game should be competitive and in a really good group, we’re looking to win every game. We don’t have any fear going into these games and we’ve looked good in pre-season, so there’s no reason why we can’t win these games.”