Brentford’s summer arrival Henrik Dalsgaard feels he has become part of the family at Jersey Road as he settles into life with The Bees.
The Danish defender signed earlier this summer and was part of the 23-man group that enjoyed a week-long Training Camp in Divonne-Les-Bains last week. The 27-year-old admitted that his first few weeks of training have been tough, but fun, and said he now can’t wait for the new Sky Bet Championship season to get underway.
“I have settled in great,” Henrik told the media earlier today. “The lads have been very welcoming and it is nice to be here. The Training Camp was great for me to get to know the guys a little bit better. We are a big family here and we work hard together. It is a group of good guys out there. It has been tough here because we have the ball all the time. In Belgium you have two hour sessions, then go running afterwards. Here it has been tough, but fun tough. I have only been at clubs who want to have the ball and they say that Brentford is one of the few clubs that like to have the ball in this league as well. The Championship is perfect for me and I can’t wait to get started and play some games.”
The Danish international defender signed on a three-year-deal from Belgian top division side Zulte Waregem in May following 18 months with the Flemish club. After winning a Belgian Cup with Zulte last season, Henrik felt he needed a new challenge and saw coming to England as the perfect next step in his career.
“I was looking for a step up from Belgium,” said Henrik. “I had only been there for a season and a half but I felt I was ready to take the step up. This seemed like the best opportunity for me: I know Thomas Frank and a few of the Danish players. The Championship is a good option for me. The big difference will be the physique. In Belgium the advantage is with the attacking player: you just have to breathe on them and they go down and get the free-kick. Here it is different and I am looking forward to that. Mentally it will be different because you play a lot of games and don’t’ get that break. In Belgium you only get a week but it is still a week that you have to clear your head.”
Henrik began his career as a striker, in his native Denmark with Aalborg, before an injury-crisis pressed him into more defensive duties. The switch further back gave Henrik a new lease of life but he said he still retains an attacking outlook which will suit The Bees style of play.
“I was playing striker and a little bit of right-wing and it was going ok but not that well,” said Henrik. “We had one season where we had six games left and we couldn’t go anywhere. We had some trouble at right-back and the coach came to me and said he was going to play me at right-back for those games, no matter how badly I played. I am not going to say that it was a success at the beginning but for the season afterwards it was my place on the field. I like to make deep runs. I hope it has given me and advantage to play striker before. I can see some of the options and I like to go forward. Obviously, I still had to work defensively but you have to learn all through life.”