Development Squad midfielder reacts to his new one-year deal at Griffin Park.
Emmanuel Oyeleke said he is ‘happy’ to be part of the ever-improving set-up at Griffin Park after signing a new one-year contract with Brentford.
The 21-year-old put pen to paper on a new deal last week which will keep him at Brentford until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Emmanuel joined The Bees four years ago and made his first-team debut in an FA Cup defeat against Wrexham in December 2011 before making his league debut later that month against MK Dons.
With promotion to The Sky Bet Championship Emmanuel admits there is a certain kudos to being a Championship rather than a League One player but he knows that he must rise to the challenge of Championship football if he wants to remain in manager Mark Warburton’s thinking.
“It’s exciting times for the whole club,” said Emmanuel, speaking exclusively to Bees Player after signing his new deal.
“Getting promoted to The Championship last year, the training ground improving are all exciting things and I am happy to be part of that set-up.
“Mentally people’s perspectives change when they hear that you are a Championship player and at a Championship club.
“The club is improving so every player has to improve as well.
“The Youth Team, Development Squad and First Team players all have to improve because the manager will be able to bring in top quality players because of the financial reward of being in the Championship.”
Emmanuel, or Manny as he is better known, has spent four years at Griffin Park since joining from the FootballCV Academy in 2010.
He had previously had spells in the Academy at Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers.
In his time at Brentford Emmanuel believes he has seen the club’s and the Academy’s set-up and facilities do nothing but grow and grow.
With the improvements both on and off the pitch of the club Emmanuel said he has had to improve to make sure that he has stayed with the club.
“The Academy development has been pretty much non-stop,” said Manny.
“The year that I first joined was Ose Aibangee’s first-year here so as soon as I came in the club was already forward thinking.
“The transformation has been rapid here.
“This is my fourth season here and we are already in the Championship.
“Everything about the club from the training ground upwards has changed for the positive.
“I have improved as a player and I think that is because of the way that the club has improved; it has forced us to improve it we want to stay here.
“From day one here there has been an amazing progression and even now there is progression and that is inspiring for the players.
“If Brentford can put their mind to it and get to the Championship then it shows us as players that if we put our minds to it we can get to where we want to be as players.”
Manny spent much of last season on loan at Skrill Premier Aldershot Town as they avoided relegation on the final day of the season.
The Shots began the season with a 10 point deduction for entering administration and they ultimately survived on goal difference.
In total Manny played 35 league games for the Hampshire based club, scoring five goals, including one on the final day.
Manny said his loan spell was a great learning experience but also one that left him wanting more first team experience over playing reserve team football.
“Once you get that taste of first-team team football you never want to go back to reserves football,” said Manny.
“First Team football is just a whole different animal with the fans and the games meaning so much as people are playing for their livelihoods.
“I am looking forward to either going out on loan or breaking into the first team here.
“I learnt a lot mentally at Aldershot; I learnt how to manage games.
“In reserve games teams won’t change the way they play because it is all about developing players but at first team level if it isn’t working playing short you might have to go long, if it isn’t working through the middle you have to go wide.
“I learnt a lot about changing during a game and obviously physically I learnt because of the physicality of the games.
“Games can be decided on a mistake so if you don’t mark your man from a corner or a free-kick you are going to get punished so discipline is key.
“I learnt a lot about the seriousness of preparation before the game whether that is looking through corners and set-pieces or just about how you switch on before the game.”
Manny was part of the same Development Squad group as Charlie Adams and Josh Clarke, who were both awarded first-team contracts towards the end of the 2013/14 promotion winning season.
With the management team of Mark Warburton, David Weir and Frank McParland all having a deep Academy background, Manny believes Brentford is a great place for a young player to be.
For Manny the fact that the management staff have already shown they have faith in the Academy prospects at Griffin Park is a huge boost for him and the rest of the Academy players at Griffin Park.
“Once the manager shows that he is willing to put Development Squad players into the first-team if they work hard enough, train hard enough and play well enough that is a boost to everyone,” said Manny.
“Once your peers, who you are playing, training with and helping to excel, go up to the first-team that gives you a boost because it shows that the manager is willing to put players like us into the first team.
“There are a lot of lows in football and I am only young so I am sure there are more to come but the rewards can be great and the thought of making it in the first team here is the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It is about focusing on that and knowing that we are not doing all this hard work in vain.
“The main think that we, as Development Squad players, have to keep in our heads is that we are not training in vain and we are not training or playing matches with the view of not being in the first team.
“The manager has already shown us that if we train and work how we should then we will get rewarded.
“I just want to play as many first team games as possible in the Football League because once you play in the first-team you don’t want to go back.
“Getting into Brentford’s first team would be ideal but if I can’t then I want to get first-team football on loan.”
Bees Player subscribers can listen to the full interview here