Josh Clarke said he was grateful for the support of the coaching staff for giving him the chance to improve as a player during the 2017/18 season. The 24-year-old played 32 games in all competitions for Brentford during the season, many of them as a left back. Josh has predominantly played at right back or right wing during his career and admitted he had to work on his new role but said he was happy to have the chance.
Josh said Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith, the Club’s coaches and fellow players had helped him in his unfamiliar role and made him a better player. The speedy full back admitted his season had been up and down, particularly with not featuring much at the start of the campaign. But injuries gave him a chance and with the trust of the coaching staff, Josh played 28 league games and started more Championship matches than any previous campaign.
“There have been ups and downs this season,” said Josh. “I wasn’t really playing at the start of the season and then got in at left back. I was happy to get a chance and to improve. The gaffer trusted me out of position and I am grateful for that.
“It will help me in the long run, to play out of position. It is awkward at times as it is a different body position but I have been working with the coaches and other players, that has made it better for me.”
Josh was speaking at the Brentford FC Player of the Year Awards Dinner, held after the final game of the campaign. The Bees drew 1-1 with Hull City, dominating for long periods, taking the lead but conceding late in the first half. Josh admitted it was a familiar occurrence and something for the squad to work on.
The Bees ended the season ninth in the Sky Bet Championship. They were six points outside the top six and Josh said winning games like the Hull one would ensure 2018/19 would be a good season for The Bees.
“We wanted to end the season with a win so not winning games like today is something we will work on in pre-season,” he said. “We took the game to them and created chances but we didn’t take them. It summed up the season, this has happened to us a lot. If we can get that right next season we will be up there.
“Our squad is improving. We have a lot of young, talented players and if we carry on working, particularly on the final ball, we will be up there.”