Scotland’s McLean & Brown Talk Euro Juniors Preparation


The 2016 European Junior Championships kicked off yesterday in Hungary, where the continent’s best young athletes aged 14-17 for girls and 15-18 for boys take to the pool for 5 days of action.

Two of the athletes in the midst of competing are Scottish swimmers Craig McLean and Ryan Brown. In the vignettes below, both youngsters describe their mentality heading into the major international meet, as well as what each does to manage expectations and prepare.


For McLean, his participation at the Youth Commonwealth Games has helped get his mind right for Hungary, getting him accustomed to traveling and racing outside of Britain. Training alongside Robbie Renwick and Duncan Scott at Stirling University, both of whom have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, has given McLean ‘confidence’. He describes how, ‘although there will be setbacks, there will be ups and downs, the key is to keep moving forward.’

Thus far in Hungary, McLean finished 36th in the men’s 100m freestyle with his time of 51.44. He will also be competing in the 200m freestyle event.

Glasgow swimmer Ryan Brown describes how he’s feeling ‘pretty good’ headed into European Juniors, and says he wouldn’t be where he is today without his ‘supportive family’ and his ‘coach mom.’ Brown recently made the move to the City of Glasgow Swim Team, where he’s training in a partnership with the University of West Scotland, where he admits there was ‘a couple months adjustment period’, as the swimmer was training on his own previously.

Brown placed 12th in the men’s 200m butterfly (2:01.16) and will also compete in the men’s 100m butterfly in Hungary.

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Stephen Swimming
4 years ago

Brown has made a pretty dramatic transition and credit has to go to his coach for helping him with the switch. He clearly had some good base/background training and that is now being exploited. Who is his coach at Glasgow? As for McLean he looks like he has stalled since arriving at Stirling. I hope he turns it around as he had shown some real talent previously. I guess you may be a little down the pecking order if you have Scott and Renwick in the same training group.

Captain Awesome
Reply to  Stephen Swimming
4 years ago

I think you’re right about McLean, he was swimming faster times 2 years ago than what he’s been doing at juniors so far. Maybe Stirlings just not the right fit for him.

Reply to  Stephen Swimming
4 years ago

Brown has been coached by Ian Wright at Glasgow who took over the lead role at the team at the end of last summer.

Stephen Swimming
Reply to  AussieSwimLady
4 years ago

I didn’t realize it was Ian Wright. He has been great at developing youth swimmers. With Caleb Hughes, Tim Shuttleworth and Martyn Walton at Hatfield. Now you mention it, Walton isn’t setting the world alight since his move to Stirling either.

Reply to  Stephen Swimming
4 years ago

Has the Stirling bubble burst?

Reply to  Stephen Swimming
4 years ago

For someone who claimed to not know where Ian was coaching, you seem well informed… Perhaps you know more than you are letting on? 😉

Contrary to Brown’s ‘good’ background of work, maybe McLean and Walton’s was not?

4 years ago

Mclean has swam well all season in fairness to him and Stirling. 50.58 at the trials is the second fastest swim he has ever done.
Maybe there is a long term view with an athlete of his potential. Swimming fast at 17/18 isn’t always a priority and is only a step in a long career.

The Stirling bubble has maybe burst but if a burst bubble produces 8 medals at Europeans and 4 swimmers on the olympic team then it isn’t doing to bad.

4 years ago

Stephen Swimming and Swimdem, I don’t think I’ve read such utter rubbish since the ‘Failed Potential’ article on Swimswam following the British trials in Glasgow.

I have no doubt that you’ll be proved to be wrong in the long run but as always

Time will tell………..

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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