Ellery Balcombe said the promotion of Chris Mepham to the Brentford First Team showed there was a clear pathway at the Club. The Brentford B goalkeeper is currently away with the England Under-19 squad but spoke to brentfordfc.com while on international duty. He said that when defender Chris Mepham was given a long-term contract and promoted to the First Team group it was a boost for him and the other Brentford B players.
There have been opportunities for B Team players throughout the season so far. Justin Shaibu was promoted to the First Team group in the summer and there have been debuts for Ilias Chatzitheodoridis and Theo Archibald to add to the opportunities given to Reece Cole and Zain Westbrooke last season. Mads Bech Sørensen was also part of the squad for the recent match against Middlesbrough.
“Chris being promoted has shown many of us that there is a clear pathway to the First Team,” said Ellery. “Also with other players such as Mads and Ilias getting chances, it shows the boys that if we impress in our games we get good opportunities with the First Team. I have been training with the First Team at times as well, it has been good for my development and a good experience. I am hopeful I can push for a spot.”
Ellery is currently with the England Under-19 squad in Eastern Europe. He did not play in a 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic last week but is hoping to get a chance in the second match, against Slovakia today, Monday 9 October. He said it had been another enjoyable experience.
“It’s always good to be selected to represent your country,” said Ellery. “And even better if you can get lots of game time. This has been a good camp so far and I am hoping to play against Slovakia. I then want to put in a good performance and help us get a win.”
Ellery is currently the only contracted goalkeeper in the B Team group. He has helped the squad to a good start to the season. Kevin O’Connor’s side have won nine of 13 games and taken some notable scalps. Ellery said Brentford B had to maintain their high standards and said he wanted to continue his own development this term.
“This season has been good so far,” said the goalkeeper. “It’s been good to get wins over teams like Benfica and Everton. We need to make sure we maintain our high standards and keep up our good start to the season. The squad has grown and I think we have a lot more players and a lot of different talents. We have many different types of players that help the team in different ways.
“We have had some good opposition, like last year. We have played a lot of big sides but this year it’s been different as we have more away trips in place which will give us a wider variety of teams and styles. I am looking forward to the games we have coming up, especially when we go to Italy in a couple of weeks. We have some big games out there.
“I think I’ve become more of a presence and a leader on the pitch and I need to maintain that throughout the season. I am the only B Team keeper at the moment and it’s been good because in training I can really work a lot more with the coaches and players. My aim for the rest of the season is to try and push for a spot in the First Team, get a lot of big wins with the B Team and continue to play for England.”