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Dean Smith gives his first thoughts after the summer break

Head Coach talks to iFollow about new faces, departures, fixtures and the opening day

23 June 2017

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Dean Smith returned to Brentford's Training Ground this week and sat down with iFollow to give his first thoughts on some of the summer's Bee-related news.

The Head Coach, entering into his third season with the Club, confirmed that he was feeling relaxed after some time with his family.

"It was good to recharge the batteries," said Dean. "I'm feeling very refreshed now for the coming season."

The first subject he approached was the transfer activity at Griffin Park in the last few weeks. Goalkeeper Luke Daniels and fullback Henrik Dalsgaard are new additions to the dressing room, while Philipp Hofmann departed for Germany.

"They're both players we have been looking at for a while and we wanted to bring in," said Dean, of the two new boys. "We feel that they'll both strengthen the squad. They've got the qualities, personality and character that we are looking for in players.

"Anybody we bring in we believe is talented enough for the squad, but it's the personality and character that are the key things we want to unite the squad and keep that togetherness.

"I left a message with Philipp the other day. I think the Club put out in a statement that we'd have liked it to have gone differently and I think Philipp would have as well. It just didn't quite work out for whatever reason, he had a niggling back injury while he was here which restricted him from training. So we have certainly got to replace that position now, although he didn't play an awful lot for us."

On Wednesday, the fixtures for the 2017/18 season were released but Brentford fans already knew about their EFL Cup opponents. The Bees drew AFC Wimbledon away during the first week of the new season, something that Dean seems relatively happy with.

"My first thoughts are that it's local," Dean said. "The games come thick and fast during the first month, kicking off on August 5th and if you get through that first round you can play seven games in the first month.

"There's a local feel about it, they had a good season, I went to watch them a couple of times last season. I saw them beat Chesterfield and then another game after that and Neal [Ardley]'s done very well there for a first season back in League One. They'll see it as a scalp and we want to progress in the Cup."

Dean also touched on the subject of the opening day of the new campaign, a trip to Bramall Lane to play League One Champions Sheffield United.

"I'm expecting pretty much a full house for their first game back in the Championship for a while," said Dean. "Chris Wilder has done fantastic, and Alan Knill. First getting promoted last year with Northampton and then this season with Sheffield United to get them back to where they probably rightfully should be.

"It'll be a tough game for us because they had a great season, but hopefully we can show them how tough it's going to be in the Championship."

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