Chris Mepham reacts after signing new deal through to 2019
Brentford B defender Chris Mepham says he has to be ready to take his chance when it comes after he signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract at Griffin Park this morning. The 19-year-old defender, who joined the club three years ago, put pen to paper on a deal through to the summer of 2019 after impressing the B Team and First-Team coaching staff this season. Speaking after he signed his new deal, Chris admitted that it came a little bit out of the blue given he only agreed a two-year deal last summer but said he was nevertheless delighted to sign.
“Rob Rowan spoke to me in a meeting and told me that I won’t be going out on loan,” said Chris, speaking to Bees Player. “He also said that to show how much the club rate you we are offering you a new contract extension. I was really pleased with the news as I wasn’t expecting it so early into my professional contract. They keep emphasising my attitude and saying that I give 100 per cent when I come in. That gives me the start and then it is down to my technical ability and how I do in matches. I want to just keep taking each games as it comes and make sure that I am ready if the opportunity comes.”
The tall defender has been a near ever-present for Kevin O’Connor’s side this season, featuring 20 times for The B Team, scoring two goals. Chris also regularly trains with the first-team having played twice for Dean Smith’s side in pre-season. Despite his achievements so far, Chris said now is not the time to rest on his laurels as he looks to break into the first-team setup.
“It is important not to take my foot off the pedal,” said Chris. “Some people might get complacent, thinking they are secure for three years, but football changes so quickly. It is important not to get carried away but to see it as confidence from the club and now prove to them why you have the new contract. I have come quite far to be honest. I was involved in first-team matches in the summer against Kaiserslautern and Peterborough. They were good chances for me to impress and I think I did well in them.”
The B Team’s fixture list this season has included encounters with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United. Chris feels that playing against such a high standard of opposition has been great for his development and has given him a lot of confidence when it has come to training with the first-team.
“Playing teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea in the B Team games have all contributed to this new contract,” said Chris. “The B Team fixture list has been really good and has surprised all of us. Going from playing teams like Colchester United to now playing top Premier League sides is what everyone has asked for. We have played against players like Loic Remy and Patrick Bamford a couple of times so that steps up your game. It tests you physically which is really good. It’s given me confidence to go into first-team training. If you can deal with those players, then there is no reason why you can’t compete against Scott Hogan or Philipp Hofmann in training.”