January saw the B Team embark upon their first competitive tournament. Before that, Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-23s came to Jersey Road.
The Bees began 2017 with a win, beating Wolves 4-1. Nathan Fox, Herson Alves and Danny Parish scored in the final warm up game before their next tour.
First up, a trip to snowy Germany. Bayern Munich Under-19s were the hosts for Brentford’s first fixture of a 12-day stay in mainland Europe. A 1-1 draw was the end result of a tough match on an artificial pitch at Bayern’s training ground in central Munich. Snow continued to fall throughout the match as the home team took the lead early on. Bradley Clayton was the hero before half time as his header levelled the scores.
A trip to Denmark was next on the agenda. The Kai Thor Cup, hosted by Odense Boldklub, was a two-day tournament with qualifiers on day one and the finals on day two. The Bees trained on the artificial turf in the days building up to the competition while staying in their base in Odense. The players still attest that this preparation was crucial in winning the trophy.
Day one saw Brentford come up against Esbjerg FB and Hamburg SV in two 60-minute group stage fixtures. The opening match ended in a surprising 2-1 defeat, with the Brentford team having Zain Westbrooke to thank for getting a goal back. Needing a win to progress to the final, Kevin O’Connor’s men rallied and produced a 2-0 victory over Hamburg. Luke Dunn and Justin Shaibu scored the vital goals as Hamburg then beat Esbjerg and Brentford made the final.
The final itself was a 90-minute game against Norwegian team Brann Bergen, which saw The Bees win 3-1 thanks to goals from Shaibu, Westbrooke and Henrik Johansson.
February brought the team back down to earth with three defeats from four games. After winning their first game back since Denmark, 2-1 over Reading, they were bettered by Queens Park Rangers, Stevenage and Crystal Palace.
The QPR trip introduced Rico Henry to action for the first time since joining Brentford in the summer. Under the watchful eyes of Dean Smith, Richard O’Kelly and Thomas Frank, Rico completed an hour at fullback.
James Ferry played his final game in the B Team against a Stevenage XI before moving to the club on trial and later permanently. Then the Palace match had the involvement of first team players Jack Bonham, Josh Clarke and Yoann Barbet. Palace put out a strong team and did well to come away with a narrow 1-0 win.