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Brentford B Team

Brentford B in Focus: The Staff

A look at the staff members working within the B Team setup

25 August 2020

The core Brentford B aim is to provide a pathway into the First Team for young footballers. Over the years, the setup has provided players with the opportunity to develop, and so far 16 players have made their debuts for the senior side.

Working in the background, the B Team has a dedicated and talented team of staff members who all work incredibly hard to ensure the players are given all the help they need to get them ready for First Team football. We take a look at the staff members below…

Neil MacFarlane- Brentford B Head Coach

Beginning his second season in charge of Brentford B, Neil MacFarlane brings a wealth of experience and guided the young Bees to a successful first year in charge.

In his career as a professional footballer, he made his name as a defensive midfielder in his native Scotland before taking up coaching roles with the likes of Falkirk, Coventry City and Fleetwood Town.

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His first management role came at Aggborough the home of Kidderminster Harriers in 2018. Prior to that he was in Cyprus coaching top-flight side Pafos alongside former Hearts colleague Steven Pressley. MacFarlane and Pressley played together during a four-year spell at Hearts, from 2002, while the former was on his way to making over 300 professional appearances north of the border.

The 2019/20 season saw Neil guide Brentford B to two cup semi-finals, and the first player to be promoted to the First Team under his stewardship was Mads Roerslev. Fredrik Hammar also made his Brentford debut after working under Neil.

Sam Saunders- Brentford B Assistant Coach

After retiring from professional football on 21 June 2019, former Brentford player Sam Saunders took the role of B Team Assistant Coach.

Sam made his start in football with Welling United, before spells at Ashford Town, Carshalton Athletic and Dagenham & Redbridge between 2001 and 2009.

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He went on to make 206 appearances for Brentford in all competitions, including helping the squad reach the 2011 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final. After losing out in the 2013 Play-Off Finals, he then played a key role in promotion from the third tier a year.

The last of his 30 Brentford goals came in a 3-0 win over Fulham at Griffin Park in April 2016. He left the Club in 2017 after seven-and-a-half years in West London, moving to Wycombe Wanderers for three seasons. Sam has been working under Neil MacFarlane, learning his trade as a coach as the side played in two cup competitions and toured across Europe during the 2019/20 campaign.

Allan Steele- Brentford B Technical Lead

Allan Steele is in his sixth year with the Club, splitting his time between Education and Welfare manager and B Team coach. The UEFA Pro Licence coach started out as a PE teacher after graduating from the University of Chichester.

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After taking his coaching badges in Spain and then gaining experience in America, Allan was brought in at Griffin Park. He has been Kevin O'Connor's assistant since the 2016/17 season, when O'Connor was also promoted to B Team Head Coach. One of Allan’s key roles is helping to provide the most effective fixture list to give the players the best opportunities to develop and make it into the First Team.

Jani Viander- Brentford B Goalkeeper Coach

With league experience in six countries, Champions League appearances and 13 caps for his native Finland, Jani brings a lot to his role of B Team goalkeeper coach.JANI.jpg

After a varied playing career that stretched from HJK Helsinki to Bolton Wanderers, he hung up his boots in 2010, opting to take up coaching in his favoured position between the sticks. In 2012, he found his way to England as Norwich City's Academy goalkeeping coach before heading to Griffin Park two years later. Jani played a key role in helping Patrik Gunnarsson to a First Team promotion and has also helped Nathan Shepperd earn his first Wales U21 call-up.

James Purdue- Strength and Conditioning Coach

James Purdue started his career in Sports Science after studying it at University before specialising in football. Initially with Reading, he moved to Brentford as Academy conditioning coach in May 2012.

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James then stepped up to work with the First Team after the initial departure of Chris Haslam to Wigan Athletic in early 2014. He is now tasked with leading the B Team's strength and conditioning, both on the pitch and in the gym.

Matt Bramhall- Strength and Conditioning Coach

Matt used to work at West Ham United before joining Brentford in 2019. He plays a key role across both the First Team and B Team setup in ensuring the players are in the best possible shape and ready for action.

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Liam Horgan- Brentford B Physiotherapist

Liam plays a significant role as physiotherapist at the Club. His role deals with the medical requirements within the group and is often the first point of contact when players are injured during a match. He often guides the coaches in ensuring that players return from injury in the best possible way.

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Richard Potts- Brentford B Physiotherapist

Richard shares responsibilities with Liam on the physiotherapy front. When Brentford B head out on tour across Europe, either Liam or Richard will be on hand to provide expert physiotherapy for the players.

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Lewis Jordan- Brentford B Analyst

After completing a degree at the University of Chichester, Lewis started an internship at Portsmouth Football Club. There he worked on analysis of the academy for the south coast outfit.

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Moving on from this he spent some time in Beach Soccer before returning to football with Southampton as a performance analyst. In April 2018, Lewis joined Brentford B and provides detailed analysis of opposition as well as reflection on the B Team performances after the game. He often provides presentations to the players and has recently taken up a small role in helping out with player education.

Jordan Marley and Trish Taylor- Brentford B Kit Assistants

Jordan and Trish work closely together to ensure the players are provided with everything they need regarding kit.

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Both play an integral role within the setup with help in logistics and ensuring 20+ kit bags make it safely across Europe when the side head out on tour.

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