You are running a Championship club with hopes of promotion, and your best striker, the second top scorer in the division, has just been sold to a Premier League side for £16 million. What do you do next?
The obvious response is the one most clubs would make: gather up the money, buy a replacement, go again. Most clubs are not like Brentford, though, and in this part of west London the obvious answer is not always what the wider world might expect.
When Neal Maupay left for Brighton in August, Brentford did not panic. The long-term vision had been mapped out, and the natural step was for Ollie Watkins, previously a winger, to be converted into their new centre-forward. “We had a big belief that he could develop into a top striker,” says Thomas Frank, Brentford’s head coach.
That is the opening three paragraphs of a piece by Sam Dean of The Daily Telegraph after he spent a day Inside Brentford last week. The Club welcomed Sam to West London after beating Queens Park Rangers in early January and he got to meet a variety of staff and players, spending the day at our Training Ground and Club Offices. The full piece can be seen here.
That was just one of a series of pieces in the national media over the past few days. Rasmus Ankersen, Co-Director of Football, spoke to the TalkSPORT website about our football strategy, while Matt Barlow, of the Daily Mail, spoke to Chief Executive Jon Varney and Chairman Cliff Crown about what is happening off the pitch, particularly as we prepare to move to the Brentford Community Stadium in the summer. Read that here.
Those who have access behind the paywall of The Times can read two very different pieces. Former player Gregor Robertson came to talk to Head Coach Thomas Frank and wrote his impressions of the Club here while fan, and presenter of The Times' football podcast The Game, penned a more personal piece, which can be seen here. Ian Abrahams, of TalkSPORT, spoke to Ethan Pinnock and Ollie Watkins was interview by The i, here, and The Sun, below.
Keep an eye out for more Brentford featured in your newspapers in the coming days.