Midfielder Ryan Woods admitted it was nice to get rid of some of the rustiness as he played his first 45 minutes of pre-season in tonight’s 5-1 victory at Aldershot Town.
Last year’s Players’ Player of the Year started Friday’s trip to Hampshire as Dean Smith’s side got their pre-season campaign up-and-running in fine style. The Bees found themselves behind at the break but roared back to score five unanswered goals after the interval to take the win. Ryan, who watched the second-half from the bench, said tonight’s performance showed just how strong The Bees squad is now.
“It is always nice to get out there,” said Ryan, speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game. “It blew out a few cobwebs but I felt pretty good to be honest. That sharpness wasn’t there but it will come. You can see the quality that we have got in this team and it is only good for myself, and everybody else, to know that quality is in abundance. All the lads that played tonight are all really good players.”
The squad returned to pre-season training last Monday and had nine tough days at Jersey Road before Friday’s game. And the hard work doesn’t stop with the players and staff heading off to France later on Saturday morning for a week-long training camp near the Swiss border.
“It has been good to get back in but it has been really tough as well,” said Ryan. “We have really been at it this year. The quality and standard has been really high this year and we are looking forward to that continuing. The Training Camp will be tough but I am looking forward to it. It will be the first time I have been away this summer so it will be nice to use my passport. We will get to know the new lads very quickly and that will help us to become a unit even faster.”
Among those new faces is South African midfielder Kamo Mokotjo who joined on a three-year deal on Friday. Kamo’s arrival only serves to intensify the battle for spots in The Bees midfielder but Ryan is relishing the challenge of proving himself once more.
“I was in the team pretty much every week last season and I hope that continues this season,” said Ryan. “I always say that I want to be the best that I can possibly be. By us signing another lad who is supposed to be very good that is only good for us. We are all young lads who are learning a lot but we are all good players as well. By adding more quality there’s no reason why we can’t at least be pushing for the play-offs.”