Lachlan Brook arrived to join Brentford B on Deadline Day in October last year. The talented Aussie was given his football grounding back home with Adelaide United, a club he still follows closely given the number of relationships he built rising through the ranks in South Australia.
He made his A-League debut in January 2018 as an exciting raw talent and went on to feature a further seven times for the senior side at United- netting his first goal for the club in the 5-3 win over Perth Glory in July 2020.
A move to The Bees beckoned with the aim of forging a career in England and having had four months to find his feet in a new country, the 20-year-old says he feels he’s adapted to life well in West London, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s been good, I’ve been here for a little while now and I’ve been enjoying my time, explained the youngster as he sat down following another testing session at Jersey Road under Neil MacFarlane and his coaching staff. “It’s been a bit stop-start (due to Covid-19) and I haven’t had the best of luck, but that’s football. We’re all going through the same thing, the boys have been supporting each other on and off the field, so it’s been good.”
Having had time to get to know everyone inside the Club, Lachlan believes that Brentford and Adelaide have similar qualities and noted the togetherness and the team spirit around the place mirrors what he experienced back home.
He continued: “I came from a club where it was the same sort of thing, but we were all from the same area. Here is a little different because we’ve got players from all over the world, but considering that, we all get on really well and it’s a really tight group. There aren’t many arguments, if there are then that’s on the pitch and once training is over, we’re laughing about it in the changing room.”
Moving to a new country for an exciting challenge was always part of the draw for the young winger, but with the lockdown restrictions which have affected everyone across the country in the past year, Lachlan believes the team spirit has never been more important as the group come through the current climate together.
“It almost feels like I’m on a long away trip! Though I’m settled in my apartment, I’ve not really been able to get out and explore London. I’m a person who loves going out for lunch, grabbing a coffee, and things like that, so that part has been a little bit difficult,” said Lachlan.
“I try to stay around the training ground as much as I can, so I’m not sat at home doing nothing, and if I want to talk to friends back home, they’re usually in bed by the time I’ve finished training. I’m really looking forward to the lockdown ending so I can get out and have a look around. I live with Gustav (Mogensen) so at least I’ve got someone to talk with and what not, I don’t know what I’d do if I was living alone, I think I’d struggle. At the end of the day, it’s not ideal for anyone at the moment, but we’re all together going through it so it’s important to be there for each other as much as we can. When we come to training, we’re all excited because we get to see each other, so that’s much better.”
So, what does the youngster get up to in his spare time away from training and matches? Well, for those that follow the Aussie on Instagram, you’ll be well aware of his singing talent.
“Singing is a bit of a pastime, an escape,” said Lachlan. “I started playing the guitar as well, and I teach myself. I’m not the greatest but I get by! The boys don’t mind it, they get behind me!
“Otherwise, the time difference works well when United are playing. I get to wake up at 8am and watch them, and then by the time the game has finished I’ve got time to get to training. I’m mates with all the boys in that team, even before football, so I still keep in touch with them all the time.”
Lachlan made his Brentford B debut back in November after building his fitness for a few weeks with Neil MacFarlane’s side in training. A trip to York Road would see the youngster gain his first taste of English football against Maidenhead United- a physical test as the young Bees battled to a 1-1 draw on the road.
Since then, Lachlan has featured eight times for the side, turning out against the likes of Chelsea U23, Arsenal U23, Wycombe Wanderers XI, and Hemel Hempstead Town.
Discussing his adaptation to English football, the winger admitted it’s been a learning curve at times but is enjoying it so far.
He explained: “Everything that I’ve been told is exactly how it is. It’s tough, some games aren’t as bad as others, but for example the game against Wycombe didn’t feel like a football game at times because my head and neck were sore from looking at the ball in the air! I enjoy it, though, because those experiences are what I need to develop, to play against men, playing rough against teams that won’t necessarily play pretty football and do the same things as you.
“I’ve added more to my game, playing against those sorts of teams, you don’t get that in Australia. Back home it’s physical but teams will still try and play football. Here you can find more physicality and there’s boys trying to knock you around more, so I’ve definitely got better at dealing with that.”
Having watched on to see the likes of Fin Stevens, Aaron Pressley, Max Haygarth, Alex Gilbert and Lewis Gordon get minutes so far this season for Thomas Frank’s side, Lachlan says that only gives further motivation to the rest of the group to work even harder.
“That’s what’s on everyone’s mind. There isn’t a player out there that wouldn’t want to go and play with the First Team, that’s why they’re here,” said Lachlan. “When you see players train or play with the First Team it makes you want to train even harder and get that extra work into you so you can go up there and try to get your debut. I need to get a good run of games into me now, and once I get that, that’s what I’m aiming for.”