When Mathias Jensen came off the substitute’s bench to play the final minutes of Denmark’s memorable win over France on Friday, he ticked off another Brentford landmark. Denmark came from behind to win on Friday evening in their UEFA Nations League A Group One match. Mathias was on in the final stages as Denmark scored an 88th minute winner and earned his 17th cap.
In winning that 17th cap he drew level with Brentford and Denmark team mate Christian Nørgaard. The pair are now joint-third on the list of our most-capped players. Both are closing in the Club Record for most international appearances while with The Bees.
Brentford players have been involved in international football for longer than The Bees have been a Football League side. Brentford’s first international was Joe Connor, who played twice for the Ireland national football team, which represented the island of Ireland from 1882 until 1950, in 1903. Tommy Shanks also represented Ireland in 1905 and it was then almost 30 years until Dai Hopkins became Brentford’s third international, representing Wales.
Brentford played in the upper echelons of the First Division in the late 1930s and nine players won international honours, including the Club’s only two England internationals to date – Billy Scott and Leslie Smith. Only Dai Hopkins made a real impact while on Brentford’s books, with his 12 caps remaining a Club Record for more than 50 years. That was broken by Malta international John Buttigieg.
John signed for Brentford in November 1988. He spent just under three years with The Bees, leaving at the end of the 1990/91 season. In that period, John made 20 international appearances. His 97 games for his country leaves him eighth on Malta’s most capped player list.
Brentford players were selected for their countries throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but no-one earned more than 12 caps until Henrik Dalsgaard and Kamohelo Mokotjo. Both joined Brentford in 2017 and were part of their international squads while with The Bees. Henrik earned 22 of his 26 Denmark caps while with The Bees, which makes him the Club’s most capped player. He was the first Brentford player to appear in a World Cup, helping Denmark reach the last 16 in Russia in 2018.
Kamohelo played 15 times for South Africa while with Brentford and is now fifth on our most-capped list. Kamohelo, along with Julian Jeanvier for Guinea, played in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He is one of only a few Brentford players - a list that also included Mathias, Christian Nørgaard, Henrik, Marcus Forss, Halil Dervişoğlu and Frank Onyeka - to have appeared in an international tournament.
Denmark have three more games to play in the next ten days and there is a chance for Mathias to become the third Brentford player to earn 20 caps. They will go to the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year and a few Brentford players will hope to be involved as Denmark will play at least eight more games in 2022, our most-capped record is under threat.