Brentford's longest serving player signs until June 2017
Sam Saunders – Brentford’s longest serving player – has extended his stay at Griffin Park by signing a new one-year contract. The 32-year-old signed the new deal today, Friday 5 February, and will now stay with The Bees until June 2017. Sam first joined Brentford in the summer of 2009 and is approaching 200 games for the Club in all competitions.
Dean Smith, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “I am really pleased that Sam has agreed to extend his contract at the Football Club. He is the longest serving player at the Club and he knows Brentford FC inside out. He had options to go elsewhere and for him to sign with us shows how much this club means to him.
“Sam has had a couple of years of frustration with injuries. He has come back and since I have been here he has been excellent in training. We have rewarded him with a place in the team, he has done very well in the games he has played and got his first goal for us for more than a year last week. He is an experienced member of the squad and he has lots of knowledge he can pass on to others.”
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, added: “I'm delighted that Sam has committed to Brentford for another year. He has come back from injury earlier this season to be an important part of the squad. Sam's experience will be invaluable around a relatively young group of players. We hope that the next 18 months will be successful both for Sam personally and the Club as a whole.”
Sam arrived at Brentford from Dagenham and Redbridge before the start of the 2009/10 season. He made his mark with The Daggers during the previous campaign, scoring 14 League Two goals, having earned his Football League chance with the East London side. Sam was on the books of Charlton Athletic and Fulham as a youngster and moved around the non-league scene before being part of the Dagenham team that won promotion to the Football League in 2007.
His time at Brentford has seen him make 183 appearances in all competitions and contribute 28 goals, as well as numerous assists. He helped The Bees to the 2011 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final and then hit 12 goals and add almost as many assists during the 2011/12 campaign. Sam played for The Bees during the League One Play-Off Final defeat to Yeovil Town and had a key role as Brentford won promotion from the third tier a year later. Three goals and three assists earned him the League One Player of the Month prize for December 2013 and he scored five goals in 22 games in total that year, including a memorable Boxing Day free kick against Swindon Town which saw him fall over before stepping up to curl his shot home.
Sam played four games for The Bees in the Sky Bet Championship last term after recovering from a knee injury and ended the season on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, helping them to the League Two Play-Off Final. He missed the start of this season through injury but has worked his way back to fitness and has started three of the last four games. His goal against Leeds United last week was his 24th in 148 Football League appearances for The Bees.