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Andreas eyes special moments at World Cup

Danish defender looks back at season and ahead to tournament

23 May 2018

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Andreas Bjelland said the prospect of going to a World Cup with Denmark and playing was one of the biggest things in his career. The defender has been named in his country’s provisional squad for the tournament, which starts next month, along with fellow Brentford defender Henrik Dalsgaard. Andreas was part of the squad for the UEFA European Championships in 2012 but didn’t play and said that getting on to the pitch at an international tournament would be “something special”.

Denmark qualified for the tournament last November. They played Republic of Ireland over two legs in a qualification play-off and won 5-1 in Dublin after a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. Andreas said that was an unbelievable night and there was an incredible feeling among the Danish players.

“If you go to the World Cup it is one of the biggest things you can achieve,” said Andreas, speaking after Brentford’s 2017/18 season came to an end. “Denmark is not the biggest country. If I go and play it will be one of the biggest things in my career so far. It is good to go to a tournament but when you go you want to play. This time I hope to play. You are part of something special. It is not every day you go to a World Cup.

“It is always good to go with the national team, they are like a family as you have played together for years, and with the results as they were you come back with confidence. The win in Dublin was unbelievable. We knew it would be tough but we played really well and the atmosphere in the changing room after was incredible. To know you had qualified for the World Cup was unbelievable.”

Brentford finished the season in ninth place in the Sky Bet Championship. They Bees finished six points outside the Play-Off places and Andreas – speaking at the Club’s Player of the Year Awards Dinner – admitted the squad were hoping for more. He said the 5-0 win over Birmingham City was a highlight, as well as winning three tough games in eight days over Christmas, and said the future looked promising.

“I don’t know if it is fair but we were hoping for a little more,” said the centre back. “Overall it has been an OK season but I think we could have achieved more. I think we have progressed as a team. We have a really good group and a young group so there will always be ups and downs. But we found a good level and it looks promising for the next season.

“Birmingham was a highlight. When you score lots of goals and keep a clean sheet, it is always good. I was also pleased with Christmas and the points we got from a busy schedule. There were difficult games and we got good results.”

Andreas is now at the end of his third season with The Bees. He picked up a serious knee injury in his first competitive game for the Club in August 2015 and missed the whole of the 2015/16 campaign. Andreas said he struggled to find a rhythm in his second season with Brentford but felt 2017/18 had been a good one for him.

Andreas turns 30 during the World Cup and his contract at Griffin Park expires on 30 June. A new one has not been agreed and the defender said he will wait and see what happens. He said he had a family to think about but felt he had more to give.

“I knew I needed a strong pre-season and to find myself again,” said Andreas. “I struggled in the first season with a knee injury and tried to find a rhythm last season. This season has been really good. I have been pleased with it both at Brentford and the national team. I had a nasty knee injury and it took me a long time to get over it, sometimes you wonder if you will. I feel I got back to my level this year.

“I am going to wait and see. The World Cup is a big window for me. I will take it day-by-day after that. I have a family to look out for. I feel I have something to give to the game. I think there is something left in me.”

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