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Taking a look at... Brentford

A look ahead to each of our Championship opponents next term, moving on to the Bees

8 June 2018

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The next opponent we focus on is a team which had a very encouraging campaign in the Championship in 2017-18 as we take a look at Brentford...


It was a season of surprise initially as the Bees won just once in their opening nine Championship games. But that win, which came against Bolton, started their rise and Dean Smith's outfit then went on an eight-game unbeaten run, which included four wins along the way as they defeated the likes of our near neighbours Preston North End and Leeds in that streak. They were really finding their feet and their home form was really impressive too, especially when they lost only two more games - both away - in 2017, to end the year on a high. There was real hope going into the turn of the year with their exciting brand of football but defeat at Wolves and FA Cup elimination at the hands of Notts County saw them hit the buffers slightly. Battling back, Brentford showed their consistency and although they ended the campaign strongly, with just one defeat in their last nine games, Smith's side just missed out on the play-offs.


A Midlands native, Dean Smith has been in charge of the Bees since November 2015 following an impressive few campaigns at Walsall. He's turned Brentford into a play-off chasing side ever since arriving in west London and is someone with an eye for a young prospect following the acquisitions of the likes of Dan Bentley, John Egan, Romaine Sawyers, Ryan Woods and Ollie Watkins, to name but a few. As a player, centre back Smith began his playing days with local club Walsall, appearing over 100 times for the club before moving to Hereford United and then Leyton Orient, where he would play almost 300 times across a six-year period in east London. The early 2000s saw Smith move to Sheffield Wednesday before finishing his playing days at Port Vale, where he hung up his boots in 2005 to move into coaching.


With a pub on each corner of the ground, Brentford is a prime away day for many EFL club supporters. This could well be the final campaign at Griffin Park, with a move to a new stadium on Lionel Road scheduled in for the end of 2019. Brentford's current home holds just under 13,000 spectators. Rovers fans will be housed in the Brook Road Stand at one end of the ground. This two-tiered stand can cater for 1,600 fans.


Goals from Charlie Mulgrew, Danny Guthrie and a Craig Conway penalty secures a 3-1 win against the Bees back in May 2017, but it wasn't enough to keep Rovers in the Championship.


Current Bee Alan Judge came through the Rovers youth system and would have two spells at the club, whilst another Irishman in Jonathan Douglas spent four years with Brentford, appearing close to 200 times for the club. Former Rovers striker Marcus Bent began his career at Brentford, whilst another forward in DJ Campbell earned his break in the professional game with the Bees. Jordan Rhodes also had a succesful loan spell with the west Londoners in 2009.


Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz claims to be a Brentford fan, as does Eastenders actor Dean Gafney. Former Sky Sports News presenter Natalie Sawyer is a Bee and often produces commentary on Brentford games. They have further famous faces with musician Phil Collins and FA chief Greg Dyke both being fans of the club too.

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