Wales Under-21 international defender Chris Mepham has signed a new long-term contract and been confirmed as part of the Brentford First Team squad. The 19-year-old has been part of the Brentford B Team group for the past 15 months and has now graduated to the next level. Chris signed a new five-year contract today, Monday 18 September, to commit his future to Brentford in to the next decade.
Chris joined Brentford early in 2014 as an Under-16 player and turned full-time a few months later after earning a scholarship. He signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2016 to be part of the newly-formed Brentford B squad. Chris then signed an extension to that contract in early 2017 and made his professional debut days later, appearing in the FA Cup win over Eastleigh.
The defender – who made his debut for Wales Under-21 earlier this month – was involved in First Team pre-season friendlies this summer and was an unused substitute in the Carabao Cup wins over AFC Wimbledon and Queens Park Rangers. He was also on the bench for the first time in a Championship game on Saturday when The Bees drew with Reading. Chris has a family connection with Brentford as his uncle was on the Club’s books during the 1960s and this is his latest progression through the ranks.
Chris first played for Brentford’s Under-21 team when he was just 17 and racked up 21 appearances at that level before he turned professional. Last season he made 35 appearances for Brentford B and scored four goals, including two in the showpiece game against Manchester United at Griffin Park. He has played six games for the B Team this term.
Dean Smith, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “Chris has shown a real progression during the last 12 months and is developing into a player that we believe can get to a high standard. With a fierce determination and excellent attitude to go with his footballing ability, we are pleased that he has chosen to continue his development with Brentford. I fully expect him to be pushing the senior centre backs within the First Team.”
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, added: “It’s great to see another player progress from the B team squad, following Justin Shaibu last season. The B team is a long term project, but the ultimate objective is for those players to establish themselves in the first team squad and then eventually start regularly for the first XI. We are sure that Chris has the potential to achieve that goal.”