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ACADEMY CAN ‘STEP UP TO THE PLATE’

24 April 2014

Youth Team defender backs Academy staff and players to rise to the challenge of producing players for a Championship football club.

Richard Bryan thinks that Brentford’s Academy will be able to thrive in producing players for a Championship environment after Brentford’s first-team achieved promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.
The Bees Category Two Academy has already seen Jake Reeves, Charlie Adams and Josh Clarke secure contracts with the first-team in recent seasons. 
With so much progress having been made in recent seasons at the Jersey Road Academy Richard believes that there is a real desire amongst the coaches and players to provide a production line for future Brentford talent.
“There has been massive development in The Academy and I think I have developed massively as well,” said Richard.  
“The lads have had a great experience and for the new lads coming up I think they are going to have an ever better experience. 
“The level has stepped up with the first-team going into the Championship. 
“For all the players here that want to get into the first-team it is definitely another step up and a harder challenge but they have got to step up to the plate and be ready for it. 
“There is a hunger in the team and in the coaches. 
“Everyone wants to develop and play in the first-team and there is no reason why players can’t.”
Richard was speaking after Brentford’s Youth Team were beaten 3-0 away at Derby County in their final U18 Professional Development League Two South Game of the season.
Despite dominating possession and territory Jeremy Steele’s side were hit by two goals in three minutes before half-time through Kurt Revan and Callum Guy before Revan made it three late on. 
The 18-year-old admits he and his teammates were frustrated by the lack of space afforded to them by Derby’s deep lying defence.
However Richard said that The Bees need to work on their end product to make sure that they can secure a result against teams who look to frustrate. 
“We like to keep possession and dominate with the ball but again in the end, in the final third, there wasn’t any end product,” said Richard. 
“We need to come back in training and find that end product. 
“It has happened to us before that teams have sat off us and given us the ball but we seem to lack that final third end product. 
“We have to see whether we can work on the final third in training and see, when teams drop off like that, if we can get some end product. 
“As they drop off the striker can’t get in behind, the winger can’t get in behind and if I want to get up and play higher there is less space for me. 
“It was easier for the back four today as we have time on the ball but getting in behind is a struggle. 
“You can have lots of the ball and you can dominate the game but you get hit on the counter and then there’s a great strike for the second one and that is how football is really. 
“As a team we have to be tighter at the back and have more end product up front but personally I thought my performance was alright.”
Brentford’s defeat was Richard’s final competitive game for The Bees as his scholarship ends this summer.  
Richard had been an almost ever present for the Youth Team in the last couple of seasons as well as playing up as an Under 16 in The Bees FA Youth Cup run of 2011/12 which saw them reach Round Four.
The defender is determined to keep working hard and make sure that he will have a football career away from Brentford.
“I am looking forward to playing the friendlies to the end of the season,” said Richard. 
“I am happy to see those out and I have had a good couple of years here. 
“It does not end at Brentford. 
“If you want anything then they will help you out and you can go and ask the coaches. 
“I have just got to knuckle down keep trying and not give up.” 
Bees Player subscribers can listen to the interview here

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