Brentford B have made their second signing of the summer with defender Ben Hockenhull joining from Manchester United on a two-year deal with a club option of a one-year extension. The youngster will formally link up with Neil MacFarlane’s side from 27 July.
The 18-year-old centre back, who has been with United since the age of six, has risen through the youth sides at Old Trafford and most recently has been a part of the Under-18 squad working under Neil Ryan.
Ben has been part of the side that were sixth in the Under-18 Premier League prior to the curtailment of the season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During the 2019/20 season Ben made 14 league appearances and provided two assists for the side.
The imposing central defender also featured twice in the FA Youth Cup which had seen United seal themselves a place in the semi-finals of the competition, but for the match to be prevented from going ahead due to the lockdown. That campaign had seen the youngster play 90 minutes against Leeds United in a 1-0 win, as well as playing the full match in the sixth round in a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic’s youth side.
Photo Courtesy: Manchester United
The young English defender’s last match for United came against Sunderland’s Under-18s as the Red Devils picked up a 4-0 win away from home with the youngster adding an assist in early March. Recent results prior to the curtailment of the campaign also saw Ben feature in a win over Blackburn’s Under-18s, in which he wore the captain’s armband, as well as matches with Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion’s youth sides.
Discussing Ben’s arrival, Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane said: “First and foremost, Ben is coming from a top football club. He’s somebody that has fantastic presence on the pitch.
“As a centre back size is important in English football, but he’s got much more to his game than that. He’s fantastic on the ball and in possession, and with us being a possession-based team, that will stand him in good stead. We think there is lots more development in Ben and he will be a great addition to the squad.
“I’ve met Ben and his family, they are fantastic people, and that’s a big thing at this football club in that we bring in good characters. Ben is very level-headed and has got real drive and passion to do well at Brentford.”