Zain Westbrooke has been back in pre-season training for over a week now, a few months after making his professional debut for The Bees at Fulham. At the end of last week, Zain joined iFollow to discuss the opening days of pre-season and what he expects in the year to come.
"It's been good," said Zain. "It's been tough. There's been a lot of running, mostly with the ball though, which has been good. There have been a lot of football sessions but it's what you expect, it's been tough."
The 20-year-old made 38 appearances for the B Team during the 2016/17 season, playing 94 per cent of the total minutes available to him under Kevin O'Connor. He explained his feelings on the previous campaign.
"I was pleased with how last season went," said Zain. "I got given the captaincy early, pushed on from there really. I think I led the B Team quite well, we had quite a bit of success, got some good crowds to the games, got good experience and then ended up getting my debut at the end. Personally, I was very pleased.
"I think when I made my debut, I probably didn't think about how big it was. Making it at Craven Cottage, in a derby, at the end of the season with a big crowd. I think I was more in the moment there but now reflecting on it, I'm pleased with how I dealt with that. It's quite a big thing to do and I think I handled it quite well."
While talking about his year to come, Zain admitted that he had got the taste for First Team action and wanted to push on with that.
"I want to have more of what I got there. I need to be playing First Team football, wherever that may be. I want to step into Brentford's First Team but I know we've got a really good team out there and it's going to be difficult. I need the experience, I need the exposure and it's what I'm going to try and get.
"They're always a very welcoming group when any young person steps in, for me as well. I think now they know me a bit better, so it's easier just stepping in, I feel like part of the team."
This year's B Team schedule sees The Bees face Everton, Chelsea and Benfica B, something Zain clearly isn't surprised about.
"It looks like a good programme from what I've seen so far. I expected nothing less from last year, the games we had, I knew it would get stepped up again.
"We're going to Hungary to play against a First Team, then a B Team, and then we'll come back and in a few days we're going to Benfica to play them, which will be a great game."