Development squad goalkeeper Mark Smith privileged to join boyhood club.
Mark Smith said it was a ‘dream come true’ to have signed for Brentford from near neighbours QPR.
The 18-year-old put pen to paper on a one-year Development Squad deal in the summer after being told he would not be offered anything at Loftus Road.
Mark was a regular in QPR’s Youth Team which finished second in the U18 Professional Development League Two South and had the best defensive record in the league.
The Goalkeeper, who lives in Brentford, told Bees Player that he remembers watching Brentford from the stands at Griffin Park wanting to be out on the pitch.
Now that he has signed for his boyhood club Mark is determined to make the most of his chance.
“It is a privilege to be here,” said Mark.
“I have been a Brentford fan since I was a young boy.
“I remember going to watch the boys at the weekend so it is now a dream come true to be around them every day.
“I can remember when I was a very young lad watching Paul Smith in goal.
“He was someone I looked up to and that age and someone I wanted to be just like.
“Hopefully I can improve and help drive the team that I support on.
“Brentford is a very good family club and it was always good to play against them.
“It is now even better to be a part of the club.
“I am determined to do well and determined to push on and become the best.”
Mark spent a month on trial at Griffin Park at the end of last season during which time he played twice for the Youth Team and twice for the Development Squad.
He featured in the Youth Team’s draw against Birmingham City and the defeat to Derby County as well as the Development Squad’s defeat against Crystal Palace and win over Cardiff City.
Mark will be working with former Finland International Jani Viander at Brentford and the 18-year-old admits he can’t wait to get going at Brentford.
For Mark the trial period could not have gone better and he is looking forward to proving himself in pre-season.
“Jani Viander is a great coach and it is good to work with him,” said Mark.
“You can learn new stuff from him that I haven’t seen before and that is a privilege.
“The trial period I had here was really good and everyone was really welcoming.
“People were going out of their way to talk to me and make me feel welcome.
“That went so far in helping me.
“Pre-season is a critical time for me to get in and show what I am about really.
“I am still quite new here and people don’t really know too much about what I can do but pre-season is a chance for me to prove myself.
“It is a really exciting time.
“It is nice to start somewhere new and show everyone what I can do.
“Hopefully while I am here I can push on and put pressure on everyone above me and make sure that the people below me stay below me.”
Bees Player subscribers can listen to the full interview here