Tag Archives: auction

Brentford 2.0 – Here we go again.

6 Sep

It seems barely five minutes ago that the Covid interrupted season came to a close. The Griffin Park auction has only just completed and my nerves still feel shredded after reliving the agony of Stoke, Barnsley and the Craven Cottage outfit. The most painful play-off campaign out of our nine attempts still sore. Still niggling. Still a sense of incredible frustration after coming so, so close. Yet now we are back underway as fellow Championship stablemates Wycombe Wanderers visit in the first round of the League Cup. The first ‘competitive’ game at our new home, Lionel Road. 

The end to last season was horrible, for all those well documented reasons. Shut out of our home (as were fans of all clubs) in an attempt to control the pandemic. Denied the chance to say goodbye in person. Having our hopes raised by that most amazing run in before that heart-wrenching conclusion. We know what happened. We won’t overly rake over it anymore after today (although if you would like to read more then news incoming…) because it won’t change anything. Except, perhaps, provide inspiration. The desire to know how good we are and to go one better this time.

If anything, it may have been frustration of a different sort to actually reach the top flight and then remain locked out. Perhaps, in an odd sort of way, it’s better to take the long route around? Ok, I’m clutching at straws but the point being that the green shoots of optimism are returning. 

The pain IS still there but now it is more of a reminder than a cloud of doom hanging over the head’. ‘Supporters’ abusing Thomas and the team after they had  “bottled” it, they had “choked it and worse (not my words but let’s not forget all that nonsense, it did happen) now more a historical reminder about the nature of football fans. It’s emotional stuff. 

I get people were upset. I was too. Hugely. As were my family. Having to answer a hundred questions of “What happened?” or respond to condolences from well meaning colleagues nothing more than something designed to illicit a response of “F**k the f**k off and then f**k off some more” . But it didn’t. Lips bitten and friends were politely spoken too.Just as our on pitch heroes were  – even if a few morons may have coped a bit in return..

That was then. This is now. It may feel like mere minutes have passed but progress has been significant. Charlie Goode and Ivan Toney have both joined the squad. Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahama are both still Bees. For now. I can’t see either player staying but would love if it somehow happened, of course. Josh Dasilva is our latest international U-21 and Lionel Road has opened for business.

One has to say it looks magnificent. Today is our first proper chance to see it when Sky TV host the game with Wycombe. It is sure to be a different Brentford team to the one which travel to Birmingham City for next weekend’s Championship opener (also on Sky). As much given the international games taking place at present. 

The list of absentees is a huge one, with Pontus and several assorted Danes (not a prog rock band) amongst those joining Josh and Bryan Mbeumo in representing their countries. Whatever happens I’m not going to read too much in to this one – certainly in terms of who may start next weekend. Who Thomas sees as his first choice, starting XI when the squad is fully fit. 

Yet at the same time it will give a steer as to how well we may go. As to who might want to stake an early claim for a place. Most importantly, it is a competitive football match. A chance to prove that last season’s denouement has done nothing more than serve as a reminder how important EVERY point is. 

People point to the final few games but let’s not forget the opening day disappointment at home to Birmingham City. Some of the turgid 0-0s and home reverses in the first few months. Once we hit form we were amazing. But it took a while to get going and, ultimately, that’s what saw the team fall just short.

It was amazing fun getting to that point. I can’t wait to start the next stage of the journey. I can’t wait to get inside Lionel Road. Perhaps next month a few of us may be afforded that privilege.Here’s hoping, Until then, it’s TV, radio (where BBC London have today’s game) and whatever I-follow deal may be offered up.

Off-field, the conclusion to the Griffin Park auction has seen supporters now collect their wares. This Kit-nerd has been left well happy, having picked up a couple more mid-90s efforts for little more than the price of a club shop replica

Paul Stephenson’s long sleeved ‘away’ was pick of the crop – for this kit nerd

There were admiring eyes, out of respect, cast at the pick up time when the winer of the KLM cheque arrived at the same time as yours truly in order to collect his purchase.

Oh my. This was incredible in the flesh. Much bigger than expected (as all novelty cheques should be) and fully framed. I have to be honest that I’d had eyes on this when the catalogue was published but, like the Gary Blissett player board and the turnstiles, it moved out of my price range way too fast. 

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That’s life. That’s money. That’s not to be bitter. Anything but. Personally, I’m ecstatic with what I’ve been able to pick up. I just can’t wait for the chance to wear one of these in anger at a game. The only downside to this being that Kevin Dearden’s shirt fits quite nicely. Hey, I’m 50 next month and let’s say it was from early in his career.

The GPG has a cracking thread on the auction pick up already. You can find that here to see who has started to put what, where. Do take a look and please add to it.

As for Griffin Park, the clean up has begun already. Jota has been taken down from the gates whilst the ticket office and many external fitting have been removed. It won’t be long before the bulldozers move in and then we really are doing nothing more than living in the past. Albeit, plenty of happy memories. Barnsley, perhaps, aside….

As for Griffin Park, the clean up has begun already. Jota has been taken down from the gates whilst the ticket office and many external fitting have been removed. It won’t be long before the bulldozers move in and then we really are doing nothing more than living in the past. Albeit, plenty of happy memories. Barnsley, perhaps, aside….

Now, the only way is forward. The past is just that. The season is here and the bookies have us 6-1 favourites for the title. On a personal note, the club have been generous enough to keep the Park Life column going in the matchday programme. I don’t get paid for that and don’t want to. I love the club, I love being involved and writing still needs to remain personal . Or, where needed, probing. 

However, it is mentioned more to reflect how the ongoing interaction with our supporters is continuing. This is something which had been a huge part of Griffin Park life and, personally, I’m so glad we are continuing down this track. The fans are what make a club. The relationship with them what defines us.  There are so, so many involved behind the scenes.  

Sorry. It’s been a bit rambling today. Not hugely structured. A few thoughts thrown up in the air and let’s see where they land. I’ll be on the sofa at mid-day and can’t wait for it all to start again. It’s going to be different but it’s still going to be Brentford.  

Here’s to 2020-21 being the best season yet.

Supporters have always been involved – despite the size of their novelty cheques

THE main item has now been collected

Who goes? Who stays? Who is back to his best?

3 Sep

New month. Same Brentford. Transfer rumours hang around like a bad smell. The wait for live action seems an eternity away. Despite our new stadium finally hosting a game (the 2-2 friendly draw with Oxford United) the headlines are dominated by talk of Arsenal, Aston Villa and even West Ham looking at the likes of Rico Henry, Ollie Watkins and David Raya. Plus ça change. It’s Brentford, innit.

Sergi does his thing against Oxford. Twice.

The prospect of attending a game in person still seems a long way off. Arsenal allowing 2,500 fans into the Emirates in October – presumably in a bid to keep the atmosphere identical to when it is empty – was the talk of the pub last night. How accurate this is remains to be seen, of course.  Then there’s the obvious question is whether we / other clubs could follow suit? How would tickets even be allocated? One thing’s for sure, it’s a tightrope of supporter happiness that I wouldn’t want to tread. Especially for the Bees when we’ve got the prospect of visiting our new home added to the mix of what is already a desperate craving to see a ‘live’ game again. No matter how sparse the attendance. 

Good luck there. Good luck everyone. Until then we can at least see a few games on TV. Sunday’s cup tie with Wycombe Wanderers is on Sky. As is the season opener at Birmingham City. I’d love to be there in person for that one but instead , the couch beckons. Urghh. The chance to see our team in action will be undertaken from the sofa instead of St. Andrews or Lionel Road. Welcome to season 2 of Covid 19.

Who will start either game, though? The much rumoured signing of Ivan Toney was revealed during the week. He slotted straight into the team for the Oxford game. That, a line up which (like the 2-1 reverse at West Ham) was missing Said Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and David Raya. Read what you want in to that. Likewise, take heart from this post by the GPG….

 We all know they have their ear very close to the ground and are pretty much spot on when it comes to advance warning of incomings and outgoings. The spine of the team would seem to be remaining intact. Our ‘keeper and left-back going nowhere. Aston Villa and West Ham (won’t happen – see every rumour, every season) forced to dig very deep should they want to try and prise the others away. 

I’m a realist. I know how the club works and the signing of Ivan Toney would suggest the out-door is going to swing. Who, when and where the questions that remain to be seen? I’d happily be proven wrong, of course, and this be the season to really go for it from the off. To make a full tilt charge for the top of the Championship after coming ludicrously close last time out. To do this with a full fat squad bursting at the seams. But we all know that’s not our model.

Keep it lean. Keep it trim. Keep it topped up with talent. Have the B-team step straight in when the time comes. The bookies still have us as 6-1 favourites for the title. Sergi Canos is fit again and chomping at the bit. His brace against Oxford United seeing him become the first person to score at Lionel Road. The ever popular wideman is sure to be a key player this time around after that crippling blow suffered at Nottingham Forest last time out. Indeed, he could have had a hat-trick but for a penalty being saved (It’s Brentford, innit).

Match action , here

We’ve bought shrewdly with Ivan and Charlie Goode following our usual model of buying highly-rated young talent from divisions below us. Of knowing these are players already able to compete at this level. And beyond. Toney was heavily linked with the top flight so it’s great for us he’s made the decision to go there with the Bees. He was also linked with the Scottish Premiership so it’s nice that he has chosen to step up rather than sideways following the move from Peterborough.

As for the rest of this week, distraction from transfer rumours begins with the auction pick up. That starts today with winning bidders able to start collecting their items from 9am in The Hive. Good luck to anybody who ordered a turnstile…..

Come for the collection. Stay for the excuse for one last, last, final, last visit to Griffin Park. 

The previous, last , last visit to Griffin Park

Nick Bruzon 

New kit revealed as Tom wins the auction star prize.

29 Aug

And suddenly pre-season feels like it is upon us. Having already beaten Wayne Rooney’s Derby County (missed that one, oops) Brentford travel to the London Stadium this afternoon to take on West Ham United. The big questions there not being so much will we be in our new kit after it was finally released last night but more who will feature? This, after the reports linking all manner of clubs from Aston Villa to AC Milan with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Rico Henry and Said Benrahma show no signs of abating.

Yet, so far, the only transfer news of any real note has been incoming. Centre back Charlie Goode ( I can’t even begin to imagine what song will be sung for him) joining from Northampton Town. Their player of the year earning the Cobblers a club record fee when he moved to Lionel Road last month. With Pontus Jansson, Julian Jeanvier and Ethan Pinnock already on the books, before you even get to the B-team, does the mean the out door may be swinging soon? Moreso with talk of Ivan Toney refusing to go away although, so far, nothing concrete?

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He can move any mountain

Today’s game is unlikely to give that many clues even though we play Championship rivals Wycombe Wanderers in the league cup in just eight days time. The first competitive fixture to take place at Lionel Road after Griffin Park finally closed the gates yesterday. That final farewell tours coinciding with the conclusion of the ‘everything must go’ two day auction. Will Thomas Frank use this for experimentation or are we going to get significant clues as to what happens next? To see who his preferred line up will be? These games traditionally see huge swathes of substitutions and so I wouldn’t be reading too much into his team either way. Regardless of who starts or misses out.

Instead, with live stream from West Ham available via the Bees’ club site just prior to kick off, it’s more a chance to put your feet up and enjoy crowd free football once more. To get stressed because there’s no sign of Benrahma. To put 2 + 2 together when Ollie goes off / doesn’t come on – although hopefully come up with 5. With a fortnight until the league games start (Birmingham City away) I’m sure our Directors of football have it all in hand. Whatever that plan may be. 

The one thing we can be sure of is that whomever makes up the squad for the forthcoming season, we now know what they’ll be wearing. A day which began with yours truly marvelling over the new West Ham third kit – credit where due – ended with the same reaction towards our new away shirt. You’ve all seen the pictures by now, I am sure, after Brentford official dropped it onto Twitter with minimal fanfare in the early evening. The days of Mark Devlins’s six day strip tease in the build up nothing more than a distant memory. 

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A full house were present for the new kit launch

A dark grey affair with a mottled body and that glorious red trim. Simple but oh-so effective. I love it. The home version is much more of a traditional effort, featuring the return of stripes on the back and a lot of red on the arms and shoulders. Safe and steady although growing on me rapidly after having the early thunder stolen by the change kit.

Great job Umbro. Great work from Kitman Bob. Well worth the wait. The queue for the online shop when they went live suggesting he and the team have struck gold again. 

When I did get on, the loyalty points seem to have disappeared. Surely not? Or is it just user error ( the likely answer) and they have been moved to another part of the site? Certainly, the TAPs are still there on the ticketing side of things. Go figure. Although if somebody could help this technophobe find where they are, that would be appreciated.  

The other news yesterday was the end of the auction. With several items being understandably pulled for historical reasons there was still plenty of interest for those with deep pockets (i.e. the turnstiles) aswell as all manner of other things available. Everything from prints and pictures to signs, boards, laminated menus and trophies was up for sale. If it could be unscrewed from Griffin Park, you could buy it. Not to mention more than enough kits from days gone by. Any loitering on the site from yours truly was purely for research purposes, although one or two gaps may have been plugged.

I have to be honest, this didn’t sit overly well with me at first. Some of the items seemed to be way too close to the historical bone to be up for sale and it’s great that things such as gifts form other clubs and stadium designs were withdrawn. Likewise things such as the certificate of thanks for the poppy donation remained. Would it have been that hard to discreetly file it had we not wanted something of this nature? 

Yet, equally, much of this would only have ended up in a skip and so the fans have been given a chance to take a bit of Griffin Park with them. It’s a delicate balancing act but some of the prices being paid show how much it meant for the chance to own a part of club history. Besides, it would be hypocritical to get overly hissy given the opportunity afforded to, and taken by, this kit nerd.

With any luck, many of the items that didn’t make it on to the site or which were later withdrawn may now get the chance to go on display. Somewhere. I’d love to take a look around a Brentford museum if one were ever to be created in or around Lionel Road. Perhaps exiting via a club shop… 😉  There’s a whole wealth of Brentford history and seeing so much of it, for the first time in places, was exciting stuff.

Yet whatever your thoughts, it brought us this moment. If for no other reason a reason to be thankful that the club chose to go down the auction route. Here’s hoping Tom wears his new ‘kit’ when we’re allowed in to Lionel Road.

 

Who wants Harry Potter, Banana and Adam from the Bluetones this badly?

30 May

Ladies and Gentlemen – the clock is ticking. With Premier league football due to restart ‘behind closed doors’ * on Wednesday 17th June with Manchester City v Arsenal and Aston Villa v Sheffield United, it is expected that the Championship will follow suit shortly after. Brentford fans could see some return to action – even if it is rattling around an empty and almost silent stadium as we get our promotion push back on track with the game at Fulham. Advantage them, then. Rattling around an empty, silent stadium something they are no doubt used to. If Mr Benham is reading (unlikely, let’s be honest) then giving Harry Potter a temporary assignment as a trainee journalist  / ball boy may not be the worst decision ever made.

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Simon’s decibel level could be an inspired reason for selecting him as a ball boy

But until then, what are you going to do? Well, this column has appeared with a little less regularity than normal in recent weeks. There’s only so much one can write about ‘that’ virus, wistful looks towards Griffin Park and wondering just what the heck is going on at present or if we may ever be able to see Brentford in action. 

Last time out, the subject at hand was the pack of ‘Griffin Park favourites’ Top Trumps I’ve created for Harry’s birthday this coming week. Primarily to cure my own excruciating boredom aswell as giving a soon to be 7(seven) year old some chance of maybe helping cope with missing all those familiar faces we’ve come to know and love on a Saturday afternoon. No Buzzette, Billy(s), Mr. Benham or Peter Gilham? No worries – they’re all here in Top Trump form. 

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The cut and thrust of the article being that I’d made a couple of these up (for no other reason than if you are ordering one, may aswell get a couple to put back for emergencies / other) and one of the spare packs has been put up for auction on eBay. All monies received for this will then be given to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.

The thinking here being that it would be a chance to give these to a fellow fan whilst raising a few quid for the Trust – something more important to me given this season’s annual e-book may be somewhat delayed, if it appears at all. (Everyone now breathes sigh of relief).

Genuinely, double figures was my optimistic hope but with the auction due to end on Saturday afternoon around 4.30pm the current bid is sitting at £122. What?  Who?  Wow! How generous are our supporters? Is anyone that curious as to what their fictional ‘Charm’ rating is? Assuming, of course, it is a Brentford fan who currently tops the auction – safe to say it probably is. I can’t imagine the audience for these extending much beyond TW8, let’s be quite honest.

Whatever the reason and whomever it is, thank you all for indulging my nonsense in the build up. More importantly, huge thanks to all those who have put in a bid. We all know about the great work done by the CST. Even this week, looking out of the window on ‘Lockdown’ enforced ‘Work From Home’ protocol, there they were in St. Paul’s Park handing out kitbags to the local kids – at a safe distance 🙂 

If you would like the chance to get involved then the auction is here. Just as I thought these would do well to limp into double figures, I can’t see anything topping this ridiculously generous bid but if nothing else, should anyone be bored enough this afternoon then you can see the denouement of the auction at around 4.30pm this afternoon.

If nothing else, seeing Billy (Reeves) update his profile picture on Twitter has already been the highlight of my week. There may be no football at present but at least we can still enjoy ourselves.

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Thank you. Have a great weekend. Let’s hope there is some good news on the playing front soon. 

* can we please all assume this phrase is being included by default ongoing.

Nick Bruzon

The good, the bad, and the ugly. A week in football for Brentford and the rest

29 Aug

Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw that featured the greatest miss ever seen at Griffin Park. Huddersfield remain top of the pile with 13 points from 15 whilst Newcastle United have begun their slow, inexorable climb to the top of the Championship table having disposed of Brighton at St.James Park. That’s 3 out of 3 for the Magpies. Nottingham Forest and Barnsley are leading scorers after securing heavy wins. The former, in particular, eliciting a wonderful excuse from Leeds United boss Garry Monk. One that we will get to further on.

That’s the most recent Championship action in a nutshell. Yet there has been so much more going on in the division and beyond. In the next of our regular Monday morning feature we look back at those things you might have missed from the world of social media over the last seven days.

We’ll start off, as ever, with Brentford. This time the game with Sheffield Wednesday. Given this column deals with things you might have missed, here’s one specifically for Lucas João. That. Miss.

You can play this again and again. It doesn’t get any better for the Wednesday man. It doesn’t stop raising a smile for Bees supporters.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, Brentford got away with murder in this one. Thanks, in no small part, to the wonder form of goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.What an acquisition he already looks as top drawer save followed top drawer save.

But for Sam Hutchinson’s injury time equaliser it would have seen his Griffin Park goal remain unbreached over August. Natalie Sawyer and BBC Billy Reeves nailed it, along with a somewhat bold update from the BBC man.

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Wow. Billy. That’s a big claim. I’ve nothing but the utmost respect for Billy’s opinions. Whether commentary delivered from his perch above the meridian line or gentle probing at the denouement of a game, he knows his stuff. So if he says this, then its safe to say that a new Brentford legend is already being created.

Personally, for now at least, the goalkeeper more simply known as Chesney to us terrace numptys remains ensconced in my ‘all time Brentford XI’. This, for the record, being :

Szczesny, O’Connor,  Evans (T) , Hreidarsson, Grainger, Evans (P), Forshaw, Sinton, Tabb, Deano, Bliss.

Which meant that this week’s Terrace Talk made very interesting viewing. Let’s be honest  though, Terrace Talk always makes very interesting viewing and this latest edition is no exception although it has had an early release this time around – hot off the presses on Saturday afternoon.

Peering behind the curtain, we get to learn ‘jumper man’s real name, aswell as watching  Billy, Sean, Mark Burridge and a whole host of supporters put together the all time best ever Brentford XI.

Sean Ridley – genius

The last piece of Brentford news this week comes from Kitman Bob. How many of you spotted this on Friday?

It’s not even September and already our (sartorial) fate for next season would seem to have been decided. Stripes? A sash? More white? The Funky Bee ? Just what have we got? I’m not sure I can handle the thought of going 10 months knowing that the information is already out there. Somewhere.  Any chance of a clue, Bob? Or do we need those pliers?

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Away from Griffin Park , we’ve got top comedy from Leeds United who lost 3-1 to Nottingham Forest at the weekend. Quite rightly, we picked up on the somewhat regrettable choice of words used by Dean Smith last weekend when he noted about our own loss to Rotherham: “The better team lost on the day but that’s football sometimes.”

My own observation at the time was  that , “It’s the sort of quote you’d expect from a Russell Slade or Steve Evans and whilst, perhaps, made on the spot is the type of thing we’ve all leapt on and laughed at in the past. Certainly, when made by an opposition manager.”

So there was no irony lost when less than a week later Steve Evans replacement at Leeds United (for now) Garry Monk seems to have picked up where his predecessor left off.  His post match update providing the headline of the day via Paul Taylor at the Nottingham Post (@Nottmtails on Twitter):

Garry Monk

But if Garry took defeat for his Leeds team badly, then the same needs to be said about West Ham United fans as they crashed out of the Europa League in the first European tie to be played in their new stadium.

There can’t be many of us who haven’t seen the level of fury emanating from this video clip.  A meltdown to make even the GPG seem tame by comparison. Not to mention a few somewhat inappropriate views on the opposition. Views not condoned by these pages.

For the record, anybody watching West Ham lose to Manchester City in yesterday’s televised game would have seen what is surely a new record for the Hammers. Even going by today’s over-hyped media standards.

There were just 9 seconds on the clock after kick off before the first mention of their ‘new ground’. And this, in an away game. Given they haven’t got a televised game (at least, for Sky viewers) until 30 October against Everton, hopefully this will be it for now. Hopefully…

Finally, mascot news. First up Grimsby Town who have taken an innovative approach to marketing. They’ve offered supporters the chance to be ‘Mighty Mariner’ , the equivalent of Buzzette, via an eBay auction.

Sadly, there were no takers. The listing closed without the £160 starting price being reached. Whether anybody subsequently filled the costume or got their hands on that giant fish remains unclear. Would Brentford fans pay for the chance to be Buzzette for the day? Stranger things have happened. And for charity, who knows……

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But if Mighty Mariner wasn’t popular, the same could never be said for the ever wonderful Kingsley at Partick Thistle. Huge thanks to @rickburin on twitter for reminding us of the sheer, unadulterated genius behind the creation.

I love Buzzette and could never forsake her for another. But Kingsley remains the stuff of dreams. What a star!

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Kingsley – who said romance was dead?

Nick Bruzon

A letter to Father Christmas. And kitman Bob

3 Dec

And relax. After a frenetic period of speculation, match action and the eventual appointment of Dean Smith as the new Brentford Head Coach, supporters can finally catch their breath. Fans tuning in to last night’s Southampton – Liverpool Capital One Cup action were reminded of a Griffin Park great whilst those amongst us with a kit obsession have a tough choice to make later today.

But I’m going to start, briefly, at St. Marys – simply because of the one sided scoreline that saw Liverpool run out with an astounding 1-6 victory. Even more so given the speed with which Southampton opened proceedings – Sadio Mane grabbing the opening goal with less than 40 seconds on the clock to give the home side an early lead.

For me this was significant for several reasons – not least the ongoing quest for brackets. Liverpool grabbing their sixth in the 86th minute left us with that delicious possibility of the videprinter ticking over to 7(seven). Sadly, it wasn’t to be but that period is a moment that always adds an extra frisson of excitement to any game for neutrals (or is that just me?).

For us Bees, there was additional significance in this being The Saints heaviest home defeat since going down 6-0 to Brentford back in March 1959. That, a game where the legendary Jim Towers did his very best to single-handedly inflict brackets as he bagged four goals.

His reward – having to walk home, as Jim himself explained in a ‘Where Are They Now’ interview a few years ago “By the time we got back to Brentford all the buses had finished and I didn’t have a car in those days. I had to make my own way home after scoring four goals. I don’t think Jermaine Defoe had to do that!”

Say what you want about Liverpool, but they looked good doing it last night. The black ‘third’ shirt is another trait they share with Brentford as the Bolton game saw our equivalent get another airing on Monday. I have to be honest that my own initial enthusiasm for our blue ‘away’ kit has worn off a tad but this new one is a stunner.

There’s none of the superfluous trim that has blighted previous efforts – specifically our last attempt back in 2009-10 where we had more additional gold than Mr. T.

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Pity the fool who wears this one

This is just simple black and white with a wonderful hint of silver. And I want one. Badly. Indeed, from talking to Brentford fans it seems I’m not alone in this respect and so can only imagine a series of hastily scribbled notes are being written to Father Christmas.

But equally, much though we love it, fans are also aware that this shirt is not on general sale. The only way to get one as things stand (aside from being Sam Saunders) is via the charity auctions in aid of the Royal British Legion which end today.

This really is a wonderful way to raise money for a great cause although, regrettably, the current prices are probably a leap too far for yours truly. Nice though these are, Mrs. Bruzon would probably have my guts if I came home for Christmas with Sam’s match worn shirt for me and no budget left for anything beyond some magic beans for her.

Given the chances of getting one through general release are as likely as seeing a bracketing, perhaps the marketing chaps or Kitman Bob might have next season’s ‘away’ shirt under their noses without even realising it.

I can’t wait….

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The ‘3rd’ kit is proving very popular amongst fans I’ve spoken to

Nick Bruzon

Get your hands on a signed shirt while we await a strip tease

10 Jun

The Brentford pre-season countdown is on.

Season tickets bought for dad and junior – check.

Booked some risky weekends away that could clash with any number of games when the fixture list is released – check.

New home shirt – no sighting.

I admit it. I have an unhealthy obsession with this as any regular reader to this column will know. And one of the highlights of close (or is it closed?) season is the release of next year’s kit.

Despite clubs normally releasing theirs at a rate of knots, so far only 9 of the 24 Championship teams have shown their colours so Brentford aren’t alone. And of those 9, just Ipswich Town and Rotherham United are the only ones to release their full range. Truly, it is a torturous wait.

When it happens, Brentford do make a habit of doing things differently, although we are yet to match Blackburn Rovers’ effort from last season (below). Infact, to be fair, no club is yet to match Blackburn Rovers’ effort from last season – a stunning masterclass in video. It was a great effort, on a par with Southampton’s teaser campaign this time around.

Birdy – dressed for success. Off the pitch, at least

That’s not to say we don’t try to be different. The 2011 away shirt was revealed in the window of a bath showroom (being the then sponsors), whilst last year saw the five day drip feed campaign aka Mark Devlin’s strip tease.

Brentford launched the 2011 away shirt in a sponsor's shop front

Brentford launched the 2011 away shirt in a sponsor’s shop front

I really enjoyed this and hope we do something similar this time around, when the news is eventually able to be revealed (twelve months ago we were already ‘in the know’). Let’s just hope the away shirt doesn’t follow the same path of the unfortunate leak that occurred and somewhat killed the magic.

But, if you can’t wait then there is other shirt news. What better way to celebrate last season than with a fully signed squad shirt?

Get your own fully squad signed shirt

Get your own fully squad signed shirt

There are six of these currently on eBay; being auctioned by Sky Bet with 100% of the proceeds going to the Reverse Rett charity – the only UK charity exclusively focused on speeding treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome ( a neurological disorder that strikes little girls around the time of their first birthday affecting nearly every aspect of their lives; taking away their ability to walk, talk and use their hands) and related MECP2 Disorders.

Be quick though. The auctions end at midday today (Wednesday) so speed is of the essence. A fantastic chance to do your bit for a great cause and, at the same time, pick up a stunning souvenir of an incredible 2014/15.

You can bid on the shirts here. Good luck.

And if anybody at the club is reading, then we await the date / other shirt news with intrigue. Or, at least, I do…

 If you do want to read more about the events of 2014/15 (shirt and football related), the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme.

Could Charlie’s charity shirt provide a distraction from the weather?

7 Feb

Brentford face Crawley tomorrow (in theory) although supporters have already been warned to check the official site in case the elements interfere.

I, for one, hope the game goes ahead. The phrase ‘points in the bag are better than games in hand’  is one I’ve held dear for years. That’s not to say we are guaranteed any points – quite the opposite, I’ve been guarding against complacency for months.

However, I have to assume that our rivals will win (Wolves travel to bottom club Stevenage whilst Leyton Orient take on an out-of-sorts Peterborough) and, as such, I’d much rather there was no added pressure from having to play ‘catch up’. Likewise, nobody needs fixture congestion with postponed games having to be crammed in toward the denouement of the season.

I am sure these are sentiments being shared by the club and one employee in particular. I’ll spare any blushes by keeping their identity secret  – suffice to say that I hope we don’t have a repeat of the Michael Fish, ‘hurricane’ incident.

BFC Weather Report 5 Feb

Could Michael Fish have a protégé at Griffin Park?

 

So, if the worst does happen and the game is canned then what will you do between now and our next football fix on Wednesday?

Well, the winter Olympics start today so you could sit in front of the TV to see how the ever tolerant Russians uphold the Olympic charter, which includes the line: “. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind “

Given the well-documented comments on homosexuality, Sochi seems like something out of the eighteenth century at times. Moreso, given as football clubs all over England are now supporting the FvH campaign and, indeed, Brentford are due to do so on Saturday.

Personally, I’ll be giving the Winter Olympics a skip.  This is nothing to do with Mr Putin’s attitude to human rights but simply because they are very much the poor relation compared to their summer cousin. The fact that they need inclement weather just to take place already puts them on the back foot.

So what else can we do? Well, how about signing the Lionel Road petition? I was unable to attend the fan’s forum last night but I gather we were told that the decision would not be made by this Tuesday (thanks to @Beesotted for their excellent twitter updates). You can do that, here.

Or, there is always eBay. Specifically, for football shirts. If anybody reads this before 1.55pm on Friday morning then there is still time to bid on a stunning Brentford shirt.

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster (@CharlieCW on twitter) has just run 250 miles, visiting 40 football clubs, over a mere 7 days (do the maths – ouch !!). The challenge was undertaken on behalf of the Womens Aid Federation of England and, at the time of writing, Charlie was almost half way towards her £100,000 target.

Aswell as a ‘just giving page’, where you can learn more and donate, there is also a very special charity auction taking place to help raise funds. You can bid on a 2013/14 Brentford home shirt signed earlier this season by the entire squad.

Aside from being an excellent cause, who knows what a treasured item this could become in the future should the season end as we all hope it will.

Until then though, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Saturday is ‘Game On’.