Tag Archives: griffinpark.org

Is this the future ? Next season’s ‘must start’ player, ‘must have’ fashion item and big ticket.

23 Mar

Take a couple of days away from the blog and it all happens. Despite international break meaning the visit of Sheffield United is still a week away, Brentford fans have been kept well on our toes with a surfeit of good news. The interview conducted by the GPG with Matthew Benham has been published. Season ticket prices for 2018/19 have been revealed. Chris Mepham has made his international debut for Wales whilst Andreas Bjelland’s Panini incarnation for Denmark in the 2018 World Cup has been released to the world (thanks to Beesotted for spotting that one).

Chris does his thing. What a man !

First up, the GPG and Matthew Benham. Whilst he may not say much publically, when Matthew does give these sort of interviews they are well worth a read. This one is no different. I’m sure we’ve all seen it already although if you’ve missed it then it’s here.

Another very personal piece about his thoughts, hopes, investment (which is now up to £106million. One. Hundred. And six. Million. Pounds) and the future of the club amongst other varied topics. I’m not going to regurgitate it here, suffice to say this is well, well worth a read and so good job all round to the GPG readership and production team on this one. When Matthew speaks, it’s definitely worth listening.

The one point I did want to dwell on was in regards to his thoughts for a potential April Fools joke. Per the interview, at one point Matthew considered Rasmus would have appeared modelling the new look third and third scarves (Brentford, Fulham and QPR). The associated blub from Rasmus would, in Matthew’s words “Use loads of marketing speak and say like “this ticks a lot of boxes”.  “

Seriously. What a shame this never happened. This would have been absolute genius whilst the reaction alone would have been incredible. Better still, the hopefully positive fallout once our more knee jerk elements ( I’m sure I’d have bitten too) realised they’d been had. There’s no better way to get a positive reaction than taking the occasional moment to have a good natured laugh at yourself.

It did get me thinking though. Discussing this point on Twitter afterwards with @crumblechris , it has potentially lead us to stumble across a club shop winner. Whilst we all know the usual half and half scarf is the devil’s own product, merging two tradtional rivals onto one piece of ad-hoc merchandising, why not celebrate a more positive partnership? That of our co-directors of football.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…the Phil and Rasmus half and half scarf.

Phil and Rasmus half and half

Kamo models 2018/19’s ‘must have’ fashion item. Possibly

I’d never, ever wear anything with a QPR crest on it but I’d happily hand over my money in the club shop for one of these. Matthew, Mark, Cliff. If any of you are somehow reading (unlikely, I have to be honest), how about it…?

Next up, season tickets. The news was announced yesterday that these are being frozen for the third, successive season. This is fantastic . Moreso given juniors have had their reduced to £49 in the family section. Talk about a way to get that next generation of fans along to Griffin Park . If you haven’t got one, then what better time to upgrade the membership card? Another season of Championship action (at the very least) awaits along with a team who, on their day, have played some of the most exciting football we’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Brentford as an established Championship side? It’s happened. Now to see if we can take this to the next level. Full details are on Brentford ‘official’.

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The 5-0 destruction of Birmingham City. About as a complete a peformance as we’ve ever seen.

Congratulations Chris Mepham. We all know what an incredible start he has had to league life but to move up to his national side so soon shows just how much he is destined for big things in the future. Hopefully at Griffin Park and then Lionel Road. Yet there he was making his debut for Wales in China on Thursday afternoon. A 6-0 win was just about as perfect as it could have got for him. The only downside, if there can be one, being Wales missing out on that additional goal which would have seen the game officially deemed a bracketing. Of course, the magical scoreline being 0-7(seven).

Whilst I’ll leave the interviews (and genuine effort) to the likes of Beesotted and the GPG, what I can say (clanngggg, the sound of a name being dropped) is that I was fortunate enough to catch up with both Rasmus and Phil earlier in the week. Specifically during the event to mark ground being broken at Lionel Road. Talking with them about transfer strategy (including those summer moves to Birmingham City) you could hear the genuine pride and pleasure about the way Chris has come through and filled the void left by Harlee. Along with Brentford currently having five B-team players on international duty at U-19 level, you can’t deny the fruits of their labours as The Bees look to their next first XI.

If Chris just missed out on a slice of football mythology, Andreas Bjelland has achieved it. Being immortalised in Panini form. Big thanks to the eagle-eyed team at Beesotted who spotted this one when the World Cup sticker book was revealed this week. As big an honour as an international cap, Andreas, Denmark and Brentford could become one of the most valuable commodities in playgrounds and offices up and down the land this summer.

Congratulations, Andreas. Here’s to 2022 when we see Chris Mepham (Wales and Brentford) alongside you in the book.

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Got it. Got it. Need it. Could Andreas see his stock increase?

Nick Bruzon

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Big new ambitions? Or downsizing? What do you make of stadium news?

17 Aug

Thursday morning. We’ve all had time to digest the news out of Griffin Park. Namely that in a week’s time Brentford FC will be presenting plans to Hounslow council for an amendment to our design for Lionel Road  – the key points of which include : a location move (3 metres south),Premier League quality ‘outside broadcast facilities within the stadium itself, the relocation of BFC Community Sports Trust outside the ground and the capacity reduction from 20,000 to 17,250. The target date for all of this is now late 2019 / early 2020.

The statements on the club site and in the programme from Cliff Crown & Mark Devlin have gone on to further elaborate on the reasoning about this in what, I have to be honest (and I’d say this to their face) reads an awful lot like a game of buzzword bingo in places. Especially with regards to the housing element of the project which is so key to making it a success.

And if you’d like to read more whilst helping the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust …. the rest of this article can now be found in the Kindle e-book Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18. Inspired by ‘that’ interview it contains the least bad of these columns in one, handy volume as it looks at our own campaign as well as wider divisional life and the promotion / relegation races.

As a bonus there’s a whole host of new material. New that is, for my pages. Specifically, all the programme articles submitted (both home and away where, if nothing else, you can get the original versions of both Birmingham City and Millwall).

In addition, There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18 takes us all the way back to the start of this latest leg in the journey. That penalty. League One. Harlee Dean was a hero. Jota was something we thought happened to the temperature for one week in July. Alan Judge had joined on loan whilst the Marinus Experiment was something nobody had contemplated. Bringing things bang up to date by the inclusion of this year’s volume alongside the four previously published campaign round ups, it has five seasons in one weighty tome. As weighty as a download can be, that is.

Relive the memories. See how often the same material gets regurgitated. Remind yourself about the likes of Betinho, Martin Fillo, Javi Venta and Marcos Tebar. Certainly, if there’s no Marcos Tea Bar at Lionel Road it will be an opportunity missed.

All proceeds from any sales will go to the Community Sports Trust. For less than the cost of a half / pint respectively, they may help while away some time on the commute. By the pool on holiday. In the bathroom. Who knows? It will certainly do some good for the Trust, whose work has been well documented at Griffin Park but you can read all about it on their site.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been given something very special. A 2017/18 third team shirt with Lewis Macleod’s squad number on the reverse in the EFL typeface. Anyone with half an interest in Bees kits will know that these were never made available in the club shop.  Anyone who has read any of this before will know what a kit nerd yours truly is so when I say this is rare, take that in good faith!

To be in with a chance of owning it, download a copy of either before the end of June 2018 and you’ll go into a draw to win this. Just DM/tweet me (@NickBruzon) a copy of your purchase confirmation mail and I’ll add your name to the list before selecting a random Bees fan to win this on July 1st.

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Lionel Road monorail

Lionel Road. A new look – sans monorail – is coming

 

Griffin park GP

Griffin Park. Wonderful but not a long term future

 

Nick Bruzon

Ten games in – TW8 faces its own Chernobyl

6 Oct

The nuclear reactor that powers the Griffin Park Grapevine fansite was, last night, reported as being close to going into meltdown. On Twitter,  #brentfordfc was also on the verge of ‘going critical’. Understandably so,

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

I’d love to blame the ref – but I just can’t (entirely)

31 Aug

Well   – that sucked. A coarse, gross and base analogy perhaps but, to be honest, how I still feel hours after the ref blew. the final whistle.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Always a legend – despite the suspect hammy

16 Aug

With no game having been played since the win over Sheffield United last week, ‘The Last Word’ took the chance to catch up with former Bee, Paul Gibbs.

Despite leaving Griffin Park Imageback in 2002, Paul remains as popular now as he was then – to the extent of organizing May’s ‘legends’ match aswell as being a current ‘BeesPlayer’ pundit. He shares his thoughts on the season so far, but first  – that legend’s game.

Over the summer you were pivotal in organising the Bees Legends game v ‘Showbiz XI’. How did you find the whole experience?  I loved it! Peter Gillham called me and asked if I could help with the game. I said ‘Absolutely’! I got in touch with all my old mates from 2000 and they were all happy to play.  I got to speak to other players that were before  and after my time a time at Brentford,  which was great as I knew of them but never got to meet them. After only a few weeks I managed to get around 16-17 players confirmed and got the help from some old bees fans to assist me so it was a bit of a joint effort

And personally, the ‘hammy’ went after about a half hour. All ok now? I played in a game two weeks before at Brentford and I pulled it then. I had two weeks physio and knew it would not last but I just had to be there. I even moved our family holiday so I could play in it… (editor’s note: this is true – despite risking the wrath of mother-in-law) .

It was a game I would not miss and to catch up with some great lads I just had to be there. I lasted about 25 minutes I think and, to be honest, I thought it was going well until I decided to make an overlap run! But It was still great to be a part of it all.

Is it any

 coincidence that the Bees team started to score after you went off? That’s because I wore them down in the first 25 minutes!!  I will have to say I was very impressed with the fitness levels of all of the lads. Some of us were in the late 30’s or early 40’s but I think we played some great stuff! Scotty P and BBB were fantastic! 



Will we see you out there again? Will there be another legends game? I would love to get the club to support an Official Bees Legends team. Plymouth have a fantastic set up for their Legends and support them on their travels whilst I have people that will help get it off the ground.

I would love to get us into the ‘Masters’ and organise a London legends event but this will all have to go through the club, so we will wait and see. However, we have been asked to go to Plymouth next year and play in a Devon competition against Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay so we will get a team together for that…

Which ‘legend’ didn’t play but you’d love to have had involved?  Bob Booker he is a great guy I would have liked Martin Rowlands to play too! We all love a villain! I will get him next time!

And who impressed you the most from those that did? All of them did but Ben Burgess was amazing and Scotty Partridge, too!, Glenn Poole is a class act and Nathan Elder was fantastic!!!

Even Mark Chapman (Bees media team) got a run out in the last ten minutes? To be fair I promised him 10 mins as he works for the club but you don’t get a chance to play with the guys you support. I thought It would be nice for him to get a feel for what its like in the changing rooms and on the pitch and he did well!!

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(The centre of the action – even off the pitch)

These days we can hear you popping up on BeesPlayer. How did all that come about?
 You certainly seem to enjoy it . Initially I was just asked to say a few words but it’s hard for me to say “only” a few words. I’m passionate about football and Brentford so it was easy for me to talk about the game. I really enjoy it and will be doing more this season, commentating with Mark on the game. So that will be fun!

Mark, Luis and the rest of the team are pretty slick, wouldn’t you agree?  Not bad for something they do as a ‘side project’. They are total pros and have a huge amount of passion for the bees. Its why Brentford its close to my heart as there are so many people that do so much for the club. I was very privileged to play for them so its my time to give something back

Will we hear much from you on ‘Player’ this season? I do hope so. Its’ a juggling act for me as I work away from my family through the week and weekends are for my kids but I will get to as many games as I can. It was 11 years ago that I left and all the fans still keep asking me if I have got my boots! It is lovely they still recognise me but, with this nose, I guess people cant forget me!

As for the Bees, what do you make of preseason and the opening games ? I don’t want to get carried away but I would be very disappointed if the Bees didn’t get automatic promotion this season. Uwe has done very well this season with his additions and watching the Sheffield United game showed a real strength in depth in the squad.

Does anyone stand out in particular? The whole team looked solid to be honest, but I always look at the centre spine of the team. If you’re strong through the middle you will do well and I think the gaffer has it right this year. I still think that you may need another striker but its looking very good this year.

What’s your opinion on Uwe ? It’s hard to say as I’m not in there with him but he seems to have the support of not only the board but the players, as it looks like they are really buying into what he is asking them to do. He seems to be very organised and methodical in his approach.. This season is a big one for him after last years effort and the fans will be expecting big things this year.

In the League cup Uwe fielded a very different team to that from the opening game of the league campaign. Is it something you agree with?  I ask you firstly as a player and then as a supporter.  As a player I want to play every game so I hate it when the managers do that! But its good for him to see what the other guys can do and it helps develop the squad so its a good thing (now I’m not playing)!

As a fan its a good thing as you get to see what the squad players are like and to see what youngsters you have coming through the ranks!


Is there any game – home or away – you are particularly looking forward to watching? Not really I just like getting to any game I can but the last game of the season when we are four points clear will be a good one!

Who is your dark horse to watch in the league this season? Coventry, I would say, as its all against them at the moment!

Where will the Bees finish? 2nd but I would love them to win it!! 

Wolves will be strong this year and I think Preston will do well.

You can read more about the Brentford legends at:

https://www.facebook.com/BeesLegends

And

http://www.griffinpark.org/forums/showthread.php?t=105612&highlight=bees+legends

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(‘Gibbs’ even popped up on ‘Soccer AM’ before the Doncaster game at the end of last season. With Max Rushden, Helen Chamberlain and the worst penalty takers ever – until 4.45 that afternoon )

It is, quite literally, a cup competition.

5 Aug

No sooner has the league campaign begun than we are straight into cup action. As such, today we’ll take a look at the top ten Brentford cup performances of the last 30 years (and there’s also a rather special ‘caption competition’ to close) but firstly, the weekend.

As ever, if you want the minutiae of what happened on pitch then Chris Wickham or Beesotted are your best bets  – and a splendid job they both do, for the record. The Last Word is about ‘the other stuff’. So what did we learn?

Firstly, those of us unfortunate enough not to travel had the small consolation of the BeesPlayer show; the highlight of which was ‘doughnut-gate’. Whilst special guest pundit Stuart Dallas had the will power (or fear or Uwe’s wrath – delete as applicable) to resist the tray of cakes on offer from the Port Vale hospitality team, one member of club staff was unable to display the same discipline. I’ll spare this particular chap’s blushes  – if you were listening you’ll know who – but anchorman Mark Burridge reckoned it was at least three.

As Shakespeare famously wrote, “Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners”. On Saturday, the gardener was definitely not sitting in the press box.

 The top ten Brentford cup performances of the last 30 years.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Ambassador – with these goalkeepers you are really spoiling us.

30 Jul

Farewell, Simon Moore.

When the news we all feared was finally confirmed on Monday the only real shock was not so much our goalkeeper’s departure to, ironically, tonight’s opponents but the fact that Cardiff DOES, infact, have a beach. A quick search of the news channels revealed that Cardiff Council recently purchased more than 300 tons of sand to create an artificial beach in the city’s Bay. So rather than being an elaborate smokescreen, perhaps Simon really had gone to the seaside and it was just a case of one thing leading to another, culminating in his transfer to the Premiership outfit.

Whatever the course of events, it was really pleasing to see the massive outpouring of good wishes from the Bees fans towards Simon, even before the news had been ‘officially’ released. Moreso compared to Harry’s departure, which barely registered a ‘1’ on the Richter scale. Simon, see you soon in the England jersey (and maybe tonight in a Cardiff one).

So, what next?

Well, if there’s one thing we seem to have the knack of in TW8 its …

 

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

Welcome (and ‘sack the editor’ !!)

23 Jun

Axed from the extended Brentford FC programme for season 2013/14 after four year’s voluntary service (for somewhat unclear reasons), here’s a chance for our reader to continue picking up ‘The Last Word’ column.

You won’t find match reports/pictures already seen on the website or articles about old football shirts here. Nor will you find the ‘manager’s notes’ from the previous programme. That said, you probably won’t find much quality but, at least, it will be free and unedited (in a content, rather than grammatical, fashion).

So, like ITV football –  it may be ugly. It may be full of hot air. It may spout the odd cliché. But, on the flip side, you won’t have the annoying ‘BT’ flat mates popping up after five minutes of broadcast (They say – “He’s reeling one in”. I say – “All sounds a bit stalker-ish”)

Until match day, feel free to check back in. I may add something Griffin Park related. Otherwise, we’ll go live at the beginning of August when the Bees travel to ‘Fat Bob’s’ Port Vale for the opening game of the campaign