Winger "ready for challenge" after signing first professional contract
Josh Clarke said it felt “wonderful” to have signed his first professional contract.
Josh completed the second year of a two-year scholarship in the summer and has signed a one-year professional contract to be part of the Development Squad for 2013/14.
The 18-year-old winger was spotted by Brentford while on a college course and brought to the Club by Head of Youth Recruitment Shaun O’Connor.
Josh told Bees Player he had spent the past two years getting used to full-time football and was catching up with players his age that had been with clubs for years as part of the Academy system.
“It feels wonderful to sign,” said Josh.
“I was scouted when I was at Southgate College.
“I was on a scheme with part-time education and part-time football.
“I impressed Shaun O’Connor and came to Brentford.
“A lot of my team mates come from Academies and have more experience.
“I have to catch up.
“I am not used to full-time football yet and have been getting used to it.
“I have fit in well.”
Josh played for the Development Squad in 2012/13 as he was too old for the Youth Team and helped the Under-21 side to a fine season.
The Bees finished fourth in the Under-21 Professional Development League Two South standings in the first season of the new league.
Winger Josh, 18, played 17 games in the Professional Development League last term, scoring once.
He said he had to fight for a place against First Team players that needed game time but said he was happy with his performances.
“Some days I would play well for the Development Squad and First Team players would then come in,” said Josh.
“I had to stay strong and keep working hard.
“Hopefully I can carry on playing at that level and hopefully fight for a place in the First Team.
“I have to keep working hard and hopefully something will happen for me.
“I was happy with last season.
“I have to keep improving and try to do well this year.”
The Development Squad players returned to pre-season training last week and the First Team players will start their build-up to 2013/14 this week.
Josh said he had to work on aspects of his game but had seen Development Squad players make First Team appearances and knew Manager Uwe Rösler would give young players game time if they were good enough.
“I have to keep working on a few things,” said Josh.
“There is a path for everyone in the Development Squad.
“If you are performing well on the pitch you have a chance.
“I am ready for the challenge.”
Bees Player subscribers can see a full video interview with Josh Clarke here.