Bradley Clayton said the day he left Brentford Football Club for the last time was a sad one but that his release allowed him to explore new opportunities. Bradley, who will turn 21 in the summer, has been with the Club since he was nine but was not offered a new contract and will officially leave when his deal ends at the end of the month. It brings to an end an 11-season association with The Bees.
Bradley turned professional in the summer of 2015 having taken an unusual route. He played for Brentford’s Youth Team for two years from 2013 while completing his A-Levels rather than training full time. He signed a new contract last summer and in two seasons with Brentford B he scored 14 times in 60 appearances, albeit his 2016/17 season was affected by injury. He ended his time at Griffin Park with the captain’s armband as Brentford B beat a Manchester City side to end the 2017/18 campaign.
“It is a sad day,” said Bradley, speaking after his last day with the Club. “It is never nice to say goodbye to people I have known for years but I will keep in touch and I have to make my own way now. I was gutted to not get a new contract, I wanted to stay and make it in to the First Team here. But that is how football is and it opens other opportunities.
“I have to make another career for myself. I will be going to other clubs on trial and trying to sort something out for myself. It is possible to go down and come back up. I see what others have done that this is not the end for me. As long as there is an avenue, I will be trying.”
When Bradley first joined The Bees, the Club was in a very different place. Bradley outlined the way the Club has grown in his decade at Griffin Park and said his two years as part of Brentford B was a very positive experience.
“I have been with the Club for 11 years,” he explained. “When I joined I was in the Centre of Excellence and the Club was in League Two. It is completely different now, the quality of everything has sky rocketed. I have seen a lot of people come and go and I have a long list of friends. I have enjoyed my time here and enjoyed Brentford B, it has been a very positive experience. I would have liked to have done better and have had some injuries but I can’t be too disappointed with myself.”