The Brentford B team is less than three years old and 12 players have already progressed to make First Team debuts. At Brentford's Jersey Road Training Ground there is a board that lists those that progress - named after former Technical Director Robert Rowan. Robert died in late 2018 at just 28-years-old and played a key role in the formative years of the B Team, helping to bring in players and set up the games programme.
Eight of the 12 are still on the books at Brentford while others have moves on with Chris Mepham, most famously, now playing at Premier League AFC Bournemouth. Most have multiple professional games under their belt and international honours. Here is a look at the 12 and how they could line-up if they all played together.
Patrik Gunnarsson [Iceland]
GK | Debut: 09.03.19
Starting out at Icelandic team Breidablik, Patrik joined us last summer. The most recent First Team debutant to come from the group, he replaced an injured Dan Bentley in Brentford’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough at The Riverside this month.
Nikolaj Kirk [Denmark]
RB | Debut: 17.02.19
Often the captain of the current B Team group, Niko is technically a loan player from Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland. A hard-working squad player capable of playing in midfield or defence, he made his first appearance against Swansea City in the FA Cup last month.
Chris Mepham [Wales]
CB | Debut: 07.01.17
The most expensive sale in the history of the B Team, Chris started out as an academy name at Chelsea. After being released, and failing to impress Tottenham and QPR, Brentford snapped him up. He went on to make his debut against Eastleigh in the FA Cup. In January, he was sold to Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.
Mads Bech Sørensen [Denmark]
CB | Debut: 14.08.18
An imposing centre-back and youth international, Mads found his way to Brentford from AC Horsens a couple of years ago. There he had already played 20 Danish league games before joining Brentford B. Last summer, Mads graduated across to the First Team group.
Ilias Chatzitheodoridis [Greece]
LB | Debut: 08.08.17
Originally an Arsenal Academy product, the Greek fullback moved to West London in the inaugural year of the B Team system. A successful loan at Cheltenham Town last season lead him to a permanent move back home to Panathinaikos in the summer
Reece Cole [England]
CM | Debut: 07.03.17
Reece was another product of the Brentford youth system who transitioned into the B Team three years ago. His first appearance came at Nottingham Forest from the bench, before brief loan spells with Newport County and Yeovil Town. Maidenhead took him on loan earlier this season, with Sol Campbell taking him to Macclesfield in January.
Zain Westbrooke [England]
CM | Debut: 29.04.17
In front of 24,500 fans at Craven Cottage, Zain made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Fulham at the end of the season. While with The Bees, he completed loan deals at Solihull Moors and Leyton Orient. Last year, Zain moved to Coventry City on a two-year contract.
Jan Žambůrek [Czech Republic]
CM | Debut: 23.02.19
A Czech midfielder, youth international and Kevin De Bruyne lookalike, 18-year-old Jan first came on for Brentford during a 5-1 win over Hull City just a few weeks ago. He joined Lars Friis’ side from Slavia Prague during the summer transfer window.
Justin Shaibu [Denmark]
FW | Debut: 09.08.16
Justin moved here from Danish side HB Koge in July 2016, making his debut for The Bees a month later. The Danish forward replaced Emmanuel Ledesma in Extra Time against Exeter City in the EFL Cup. Since then he has taken up loan spells with Walsall and Boreham Wood but remains a Brentford player.
Marcus Forss [Finland]
FW | Debut: 14.08.18
A goal-machine for the B Team, Marcus scored 21 goals in 23 starts last season. That earned him a place in the First Team this summer, where he scored on his debut against Southend United in the Carabao Cup.
Theo Archibald [Scotland]
FW | Debut: 19.08.17
Former Celtic youngster Theo made his footballing debut for loan club Albion Rovers in Scotland before he joined Brentford B. His first outing for us came against Ipswich Town in the league after coming on for Lasse Vibe. At the start of this season, Theo spent six months with Forest Green Rovers but has since returned.
Jan Holldack [Germany]
MF | Debut: 09.08.16
Jan Holldack was a youth player at German side FC Koln before he joined The Bees. In 2013, he represented his country at Under-18 level before heading to Griffin Park. A member of the Development Squad, he transitioned to the B Team in 2016. A loan spell back home with Wuppertaler SV followed in the 3. Liga. In August 2017, he returned to Germany permanently with KFC Uerdingen 05.