It’s been a good six weeks for the players and staff. The players have been challenged physically and mentally with various amounts of testing, fixtures, double and triple sessions throughout the course of pre-season.
The technical staff have executed a periodised plan throughout the six weeks of training. The plan was developed by the performance and coaching staff to help implement our style of play effectively whilst maintaining the correct intensity, volume and load to develop the players’ fitness levels.
Although the performances aren’t so important within pre-season, it’s been pleasing to see the team perform at a high level against good opposition such as Benfica B and Chelsea.
We’ve added five new players to the squad this summer: Mads Bech Sørensen, Ali Coote, Nikolaj Kirk, Theo Archibald and Marcus Forss. All of them have contributed to the significant increase in quality within our training and games which will benefit the whole squad throughout the season.
It was pleasing for us to be able to recruit the players we had been monitoring throughout the previous season. Within the strategy, we knew that if we achieved our objectives in Year One our B Team model would be more attractive and allow us to recruit players of a high level. I believe we have done that with the five new additions.
We are actively monitoring a few more targets at the moment and will make decisions over the next few weeks on whether or not we try to sign them this Transfer Window. Throughout the course of this month we plan on two or three players leaving for loan clubs in order to further their experience as a footballer.
The season will begin for Brentford B on Tuesday, 8 August, away from home against last season’s Premier League U23 Champions Everton. We plan on maintaining the level of opposition that we secured last year whilst adding more overseas tours to our games programme.
This season we will go on five tours overseas with our first tour taking place in Spain where the players will train intensively, play against some elite opposition and embrace the culture by seeing some of the city that we are based in. Last year we played against the likes of Villarreal, Valencia and Bayern Munich on tour and without doubt it’s important for a young player to test themselves against these teams to experience different styles of play.
Additionally, we have been invited to compete in the La Manga Cup in January 2018. This is a senior men’s tournament and usually consists of teams from MLS and Scandinavia with previous winners being the likes of CSKA Moscow, FC Nordsjælland and Rosenberg.
Domestically we have already secured games against Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, plus various others. We are looking to add various different scenarios to the games programme this year which should help the players develop mentally for the intense games schedule in English football.
I’m pleased to confirm Brentford B’s first fixture at Griffin Park this season will be against Chelsea U23 on Tuesday 29 August, 7:30pm kick off. We have a good relationship with the staff at Chelsea and look forward to competing against their U23 team at Griffin Park.
We have also arranged to host Glasgow Rangers U21 at Griffin Park during the first week of October. The exact day is still to be confirmed but we will share that with you via the website once decided. Glasgow Rangers have implemented a similar model to us this year so we will organise a return fixture in Glasgow later in the season.
Brentford Lifeline Society have kindly proposed an annual Brentford Lifeline Society Exhibition Match at Griffin Park. This will involve elite opposition from overseas travelling over to play Brentford B in front of our supporters. We will share more details when the opposition and date are confirmed.
The fixtures at Griffin Park are always special for our players, we use it as an opportunity to replicate the First Team procedures and allow the players to experience their pre-match routine. Getting more than 1,500 spectators for the fixture against Manchester City was a great achievement for the staff and players and I want to thank you again for that support. I hope you enjoyed the games last season and will come along to support Brentford B against Chelsea on Tuesday 29 August.
We are now into Year Two which is labelled the ‘Emerging Stage’ of our business strategy. We understand that this model is still fairly new and anticipate that we will continue to adapt our model as problems arise and experience is gained.
As a group of staff, we have set new objectives for the Games Programme, Player Pathway and Player Recruitment for season 2017/18. We have also set the target of having two Brentford B players promote to the First Team by the end of the season which I believe is achievable if we achieve our objectives and continue to develop the players within our style of play.