Brentford B captain Zain Westbrooke speaks about his contract extension
Zain Westbrooke said he was delighted after agreeing a one-year extension to his stay at Griffin Park, taking the midfielder through until the summer of 2018. The 20-year-old, who has been with The Bees since 2011, has been an almost-ever present for The B Team this season, making 29 appearances and scoring four goals. Now, having agreed an extra year with the club, Zain told Bees Player his target is to push on and break into Dean Smith’s first-team setup.
“I am delighted to have signed it now,” said Zain. “I have been working really hard this year to get a new deal here. This is where I want to stay and where I want to play. Hopefully I can get into the first team. I have been given the time, and the trust now, to try and do that. The coaching staff are pleased with the progress that I am making and they just want to see more of it. Hopefully by doing that I can get myself a chance in the first-team. I can’t stop working now. I have to keep that momentum and keep progressing as I have been. The aim is to get in the first-team and get that next deal.”
Zain has been involved in all the high-profile games for The B Team this season as Kevin O’Connor’s men have pitted themselves against some of the best that the United Kingdom and Europe has had to offer. Zain, who led the team to silverware in the Kai Thor Cup last month, believes that this season’s fixture list has really stretched the players and helped to bring the best out of them.
“I have found this year really good,” said Zain. “It hasn’t been too much of a change: it has been quite smooth how it has gone. It has been a great experience. Straight from the off we had Valencia, Villareal, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United. They have been great experiences and great challenges for us and hopefully we have got many more of these to come. The games programme has pushed us a lot. We could have stayed in the league and played the teams we were playing but we are now playing better players. We have had to really push ourselves to meet their level and I think we have done that this year.”
The last 12 months has seen Tom Field and Chris Mepham make their professional debuts while Reece Cole and James Ferry have both been included in the matchday 18 under Dean Smith. Zain said that seeing teammates getting their chance in the first-team setup is a massive boost to the other players in the group and gives them belief that they could be next.
“It shows that there is a pathway being created and it shows that the B Team is working,” said Zain. “Having three players in a year coming through is great and hopefully there can be many more to come. Seeing that pathway is really important and is good for everyday belief. You go into training every day knowing what you can do and what you can achieve with the club pushing you. You want to be one of them and that is what you are trying to do every day.”