Midfield man happy to sign on at Brentford
Midfield player James Ferry said signing his first professional contract was not his end goal and was just the next step in his career.
The 18-year-old was offered a one-year contract to be part of the Development Squad for 2015/16 and signed the deal earlier this week.
The central midfield player captained the Brentford squad which won the Junior competition at the prestigious Milk Cup youth tournament in Northern Ireland in the summer of 2012.
He said Brentford had come a long way since he first joined and he was happy to move to the next phase of his footballing life at Griffin Park.
“I am happy to have the chance to keep pushing up the ladder and get myself a career,” James told Bees Player after signing the deal.
“This is not the end goal, I want to play in the First Team and get a regular spot.
“I am really happy to have achieved it and I have to use it to keep going.
“My target this year is to get as close to the First Team as possible, or play in the Football League on loan.”
Injuries affected James at the start of the 2014/15 season but he recovered to play 17 Youth Team games, scoring five goals.
He played a further ten games for the Development Squad in the Under-21 Professional Development League.
“I have had problems with my knees and it was only my injuries that had me worried that I would not make it this far,” said James.
“Thanks to the physios, I have sorted my knees out and get games.
“There are times when you see everyone training and you sit on the physio bed and that is not good.
“But you have to apply yourself and get through it.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
James said he was pleased with his performances at Development Squad level last season.
He said that he was looking forward to working with Brentford’s new Under-21 coaching team – former Republic of Ireland international Lee Carsley and his assistant Kevin O’Connor, one of only four men to have played more than 500 games for The Bees.
“Initially the step up was tough physically but towards the end I thought I coped well and played well,” said James.
“I was pleased with how I had done.
“Lee and Kevin know all there is to know about having and maintaining a professional career.
“All you can do as a player is use them.
“Lee played in midfield for Everton in the Premier League.
“It’s perfect for me to develop.”
James admitted the bar for First Team football had risen since he first arrived at Brentford, but he said that was a good challenge.
The Bees finished fifth in the Sky Bet Championship in 2014/15, 28 places higher in the pyramid than they were in 2012.
“The club has changed massively,” said James.
“What has happened this year shows the difference.
“When I came to Brentford we were in the middle of League One, now we are pushing to play in the Premier League.
“You want to play at the best level you can.
“Raising the bar is the best way to do that.”
A full video interview with James Ferry can be seen below on the new Bees PlayerHD platform.