End of season Player and Staff update
Young defender Josh Clarke has been offered a new contract as Brentford prepare for the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season. Josh is one of only two Brentford players out of contract at the end of June. The other, Mark Smith, will be leaving the Club. The Bees will also say goodbye to three loan players – Sergi Canós, Marco Djuricin and John Swift – who will be returning to their parent clubs.
Josh, who turned 22 on Saturday – the final day of the season, has been with The Bees since 2011. He was given a scholarship after being spotted playing what was effectively park football and turned professional in 2013. Josh made his league debut in April 2014, having previously played in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and Capital One Cup. He has played 12 Championship games this term, as well as a further ten during a loan spell at Barnet where he scored three goals.
Mark leaves Brentford after two years with the Club. He signed on a Development Squad deal in the summer of 2014 and was promoted to the First Team group last summer. Mark had loan spells at Hitchin Town and Hampton and Richmond Borough last season after joining The Bees following his release from Queens Park Rangers. He spent most of this season at Hampton and helped them win the Ryman Premier League title.
Spanish Under-19 international Sergi has been in West London on a season-long loan from Liverpool. The enthusiastic and speedy wide player has been involved in 39 games for The Bees this season, 38 of them in the Championship. He has been involved in all-but four matches since he arrived, starting 19 times and scoring seven goals. Sergi picked up the Club’s Community Player of the Year award for his work off the field during his loan spell and also won the Goal of the Season prize for a memorable strike at Reading.
Marco spent the season at Brentford on loan from Red Bull Salzburg, joining at the end of the Summer Transfer Window. The Club have decided not to take up an option to turn the year-long loan deal in to a permanent move. Marco scored on his debut in a draw at Leeds United and hit four goals in his first ten games, including the winner in a West London derby against Queens Park Rangers. He picked up an ankle injury, causing him to miss almost two months of the season just after. Marco finishes his loan spell with 23 Brentford appearances to his credit and four goals.
John won his first England Under-21 cap during his loan at Brentford from Chelsea. The 20-year-old joined The Bees in October and extended the deal to the end of the season in January. John contributed seven goals and four assists during his loan, playing largely on the left side of Brentford’s attacking midfield. He returns to Chelsea having played 28 games for The Bees, 27 in the Championship. His strike in the win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday ensured Brentford ended the season as joint top-scorers in the Championship.
There will also be staffing changes at Brentford this summer. Gianni Vio will be leaving after a season as the Club’s set piece coach while Matt Springham has left his role as Head of Conditioning. Gianni joined The Bees last summer from A.C. Milan having previously been at Catania and Fiorentina. Matt arrived at Griffin Park before the start of the 2014/15 season after leaving Brighton and Hove Albion. Matt left The Bees in April and Chris Haslam has stepped up from the Development Squad conditioning team to assist. The Club will update supporters on staffing matters during the close season.