This afternoon’s game could provide an emotional reunion for one member of the Brentford playing staff against his former side.
21 months after his last competitive appearance, Alan Judge may return to action this afternoon against the club with which he made his name in English football. The Irish midfielder spent three seasons at Notts County between 2010 and 2013 making more than 100 league appearances and scoring 16 goals.
That form at Meadow Lane earned him a move back to Blackburn Rovers, the club he first joined following his move across the Irish Sea, in the summer of 2013. Six unsuccessful months later Alan was on the move again, this time to Brentford on loan.
Seven goals in 22 appearances towards the end of our 2013/14 promotion season was just a taste of what was to come as Alan joined permanently that summer. He found the net a further three times the following season as The Bees made the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs on our debut season but even better was to come.
Before his 2015/16 campaign was cruelly ended in April 2016 by a horrific leg-injury, Alan had netted 14 goals, as well as providing 11 assists, in 40 appearances, form which earned him his first full international call-up, the Players’ and Supporters’ Player of the Year gong at Griffin Park, and a nomination for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season award. Having returned to the bench before Christmas, Alan may be in line to step back on a football pitch in anger this afternoon for the first time in 637 days.
Alan is not the only connection between today’s two squads although opposing fans may have a job remembering seeing the other two players in action. Bees midfielder Nico Yennaris played two games on loan at Meadow Lane from Arsenal late on in the 2011/12 season while County midfielder, Rob Milsom, who will miss today’s game with injury, featured seven times for The Bees during the 2007/08 Sky Bet League Two season.
Going further back in time, others to have represented both clubs include Ben Burgess, Tommy Lawton, Gavin Mahon, Sam Sodje, Matt Somner, and Myles Weston.
Tickets for Saturday's match against Notts County are on General Sale now from just £10 adults and £5 juniors. Get your tickets here.