One-year contract extensions have recently been taken up on Brentford B trio Fredrik Hammar, Arthur Read and Nathan Shepperd.
All three players have been key members of the squad under Neil MacFarlane during the 2019/20 season as the side took on teams in the likes of Scotland, Spain, Portugal, France, Austria and Cyprus. We take an in-depth look at each player and how they fared this season as they ready themselves for another year with The Bees.
The tenacious Swede has shown fantastic desire to win for Brentford B this year. The youngster, who made his First Team debut this season against Stoke City in the Emirates FA Cup, joined the Club in January 2019 from Akropolis IF. He has played 38 times for the B Team since joining, netting seven times.
Fredrik spent time in pre-season with Thomas Frank’s side and netted twice for Brentford B against FC Midtjylland's Reserves in early August, but an injury set the youngster back as he headed for the treatment table as he missed out on a trip to Scotland at the beginning of October with Neil MacFarlane's side. But the youngster steadily built his fitness in time to feature in the young Bees’ second fixture in Spain a month later when they were narrowly beaten in an entertaining 3-2 defeat to FC Cartagena.
Fred would steadily build his minutes with a second half display in an impressive 2-1 win over Celtic Reserves up in Scotland before helping the side to one of their most impressive results of the season as they beat a very strong AFC Wimbledon side 3-1 at Kingsmeadow a few days later.
His performances for Brentford B as well as his impressive training earned the youngster the opportunity to make his debut for the First Team in The Emirates FA Cup Third Round against Stoke City. With Brentford 1-0 up courtesy of an Emiliano Marcondes strike, Fredrik would play the final 10 minutes of the match at Griffin Park to help the side into the next round of the competition. The debut came towards the end of a week where the youngster had been in Portugal with Brentford B where they played three fixtures.
Fred then returned to the Brentford B fold to help the side to the semi-final of the Middlesex FA Senior Challenge Cup following a battling 1-0 win over Wingate & Finchley. Shortly after, Brentford B would find themselves involved in a behind closed doors fixture with Chelsea U23, and it would be The Bees who would take the win with Fredrik himself getting on the scoresheet against a talented Blues team as Neil MacFarlane’s side won 2-0.
The young Swede would then feature for Brentford B in another cup quarter-final as he helped the side to a penalty shootout win over AFC Wimbledon shortly before the side travelled to Paphos in Cyprus. Fred would net in the first half against Pafos FC in what was a 6-0 win for the side. His final appearance of the season would be in the 2-0 win over a Rangers XI.
A summer signing after departing Luton Town, Arthur Read was a consistent figure for Brentford B in the 2019/20 season.
He made 30 appearances as the young Bees toured across Europe and the midfielder also helped himself to five goals along the way.
Arthur was part of the side that headed out to Denmark on tour for fixtures with FC Midtjylland and Puerto Pro FC before returning to England to feature against West Ham United's and Bournemouth’s U23 sides.
Arthur would then come up against his former club in September at Griffin Park as the youngster played 90 minutes in a match that saw The Hatters claim a narrow 1-0 win.
He would be a key man for The Bees when they travelled to Aberdeen Reserves at The Balmoral Stadium in Scotland as Brentford B picked up a 3-1 victory with the youngster putting in a strong 90 minutes display.
A trip to Spain in early November would see Arthur find the net for the first time as he helped the side to a 4-0 win over Albacete U19s. A dominant display would see the midfielder get the third goal of the game as the side pressed high to win back possession before Gustav Mogensen squared the ball for Arthur to sweep home calmly.
Arthur would score another that month in one of Brentford B’s most impressive performances of the season as they battled in the Glasgow wind and rain to overcome a talented Celtic Reserve side at their training base. A Jaden Brissett penalty and Arthur’s close-range finish would help ensure a 2-1 win for Neil MacFarlane’s side.
The midfielder kept up his scoring form into early December as he helped Brentford B past Harrow Borough in the London Senior Cup in what was a 7-1 win. As a poor clearance fell to Dru Yearwood, he squared the ball to the Brentford B man who finished with precision from the edge of the box into the bottom right-hand corner.
On a trip to France at the turn of the year the young Bees would find themselves up against a Bordeaux Reserve side with the match played in Marmande. A tough match saw the French side race to a three-goal lead, but Brentford did get on the scoresheet late on with Read collecting another goal when Mogensen made a nuisance of himself and caused the goalkeeper to punch straight into the path of the midfielder who finished coolly.
The week’s stay in Portugal saw the midfield man feature heavily as he helped the side to a 3-3 draw with FC Seoul, a 3-0 win over local side FC Ferreiras, and a 4-2 defeat to FC Astana which saw a performance from Arthur and his teammates perhaps deserve more from the match on the day in terms of score line.
His final goal of the season would come in the impressive 6-0 win over Pafos FC in Cyprus. After Jaden Brissett’s effort from close range was well blocked, the ball fell to Arthur who curled expertly into the bottom corner as Brentford B impressed in the sun.
A player who has shown excellent character and leadership during his first year with the young Bees, Nathan Shepperd has had a very good first season. With 26 Brentford B appearances to his name, the Welshman’s progress has been evident as the season progressed.
Having departed Swansea City last summer, the youngster signed under Neil MacFarlane and gained regular minutes in pre-season before heading out to Denmark for the early season tour.
Games in August and September would see game time shared between the likes of Nathan, Patrik Gunnarsson, Ellery Balcombe and Simon Andersson but going into the end of September and October the Welshman began to gain more game time under his belt.
Clean sheets would come against the likes of Beckenham Town, Albacete U19s and Huddersfield Reserves before the end of 2019. More impressive displays would follow for Nathan as he continued to make key saves for the side in tours of Portugal and Cyprus.
As the side entered March the youngster was boosted with news of a first international call up for the Wales U21 side ahead of European qualifiers. Unfortunately for him, the matches were unable to go ahead due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Speaking about his first call up, Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane was full of praise for the youngster. He said: “For Nathan to get a call up to the Welsh national setup was fantastic, so he’s in a great place, he’s been training with the first team throughout the season. I think he’s in a really good place to come back with the B Team next season to kick on at the Club and internationally.”
Nathan’s final appearance for Brentford B during the 2019/20 season saw him turn out an impressive display against a Rangers XI at Met Police’s stadium as the side battled to a 2-0 win with the youngster making some excellent saves.