The Hull boss is enjoying being part of the English elite - and being invited to participate in a prestigious tournament in China...Hull City manager Phil Brown believes the Tigers' involvement in the Barclays Asia Trophy is evidence of how far the club have come in recent seasons.
Quoted on the Premier League's official website ahead of Hull's appearance in the fourth Barclays Asia Trophy, Brown enthused, "I'm looking forward to this tournament immensely. I've always measured how far we have come as a football club over the last two or two-and-a-half years by certain milestones that we have reached.
"If I think back to my time as assistant manager at Bolton [Wanderers] I used to organise pre-season, as [Hull's assistant manager] Brian Horton has been doing here this season. We never had a sponsorship deal, we never had a pre-season paid for and we always had to organise everything ourselves.
"Now all of a sudden, Hull City have had a year in the Barclays Premier League and we're being invited across to Asia for a tournament and that is a fantastic achievement. It's also an excellent adventure and a great opportunity for Hull City as a brand. It's also a chance for me as a manager and us as a team to go further afield and show what we can do."
Brown's Hull survived their first season in the Premier League and are now preparing for their second campaign among the elite. And he is looking forward to experiencing football in a new culture as part of an advertisement for a league that is hugely popular in China.
"You look at the pre-season tours that are going on at the moment with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool being out in the Far East. The stadiums are full and it's obvious that the fans love their football out there," he added.
"I went out to Singapore for my 50th birthday and I think the FA Cup Final was watched by something like 450 million people. That just shows how much they love watching British football out there."
Brown is also eager to give hosts Beijing Guoan a serious examination, explaining, "I'm looking forward to entertaining the Chinese and taking them on at football in the first game.
"It will be great to sample a different type of football, a different type of atmosphere and a different culture. Probably about 80 or 90 per cent of our team will be in the unknown having never been to China before. I haven't been and I'm looking forward to the experience."
There are expected to be some 200 travelling Tigers' fans in Beijing, and Brown continued, "It'll be good to see our fans out there too and the trip will be great for them because they will always be able to say that they saw Hull City play in China.
"It might never happen again. I hope it does and maybe next time we will go even further afield. We've made a name for ourselves all over the world. I have been up in the early hours of the morning many times doing radio interviews with stations all around the world about our exploits.
"Hopefully the fans will have a great adventure in China and maybe we can entertain them by winning the tournament."
Barclays Asia Trophy Tournament Schedule:
• Wednesday July 29th
o West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur. Kick-off 6pm (11am BST).
o Hull City v Beijing Guoan. Kick-off 8.30pm (1.30pm BST).
• Friday July 31
o 3rd and 4th play-off. Kick-off 6pm (11am BST).
o Final. Kick-off 8.30pm (1.30pm BST).
Graham Lister, Goal.com