Tag Archives: launch

Can we learn anything from the sharp Blades?

8 Jun

Mention the name Sheffield United and most Brentford fans will likely be taken back to ‘that’ game at Bramall Lane in 2013. Others might think of the great Bob Booker –  cult hero at both the Bees and the Blades over a career the stretched from 1978 to the 1993. And when it comes to on field matters, there’s also the fact that both teams play in red and white stripes.

Likewise, as the other Sheffield club they are automatically disassociated from the alleged supporters’ band who blight games at both Hillsborough and those involving the national side. We covered that off yesterday (thanks, Wednesday) – it’s here if you are feeling masochistic.

And they were the ones involved when Keith Stroud decided to ‘go rogue’ – even by his standards – as we reached the denouement of the 2012/13 season. Three red cards (two for the Bees), four penalties and more yellows than a Coldplay tour in a game which eventually ended 2-2.

We all know what happened after that. Bournemouth secured ‘automatic’ whilst Brentford had to get a win in the final game against promotion rivals Doncaster. I forget what happened next, exactly. If only somebody had mentioned it afterwards (Clem, I’m looking at you) or recorded the moment for posterity, but I’m pretty sure there was some sort of incident in the penalty box.

But the real reason for mentioning Sheffield united today is because they’ve just launched their new home shirt for the 2016/17 season. It is a return to the red and white stripes after the 125 year anniversary special worn last campaign. And like Brentford, the Blades use Adidas as a technical sponsor.

The launch, which took place in front of a select group of competition winning supporters , has now been published all over the Internet. And it has immediately forced yours truly into thinking if we could see some clues in the template to worn by the Bees next season ?

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Can we read anything into the new Sheffield United shirt?

What do you think? A stone cold classic or somewhat of an abhorration? Would you be happy to see the Bees running out wearing this template?

Somewhat reminiscent of our own effort from 2004 with the black shoulder bars, might we wear similar? Or is this bespoke to United?

I have no clue. Like the rest of us, I’m going to have to wait until late July to find out. No amount of prodding kitman Bob on Twitter is making him blab. Although if Mark Devlin is reading ( you never know) here’s another club getting the fans involved in their launch….

Its going to be a long month. Thank goodness the Euros are now upon us.

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The Bees have had black shoulders before

Nick Bruzon

Plug time (regular readers know the score from here) : As ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense, relive these moments once more and remind ourselves of the pain induced by Stroud and the fallout from that penalty’ you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

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What’s in the box? (without video – for now…)

10 May

I really didn’t think the end of the season could get any better for Brentford. The rebuilt team had rediscovered their mojo after hitting the low point of that home defeat to ten man Blackburn. From there, an epic run had taken us to a final position of 9th despite multiple high profile departures from last years’s squad over the course of the campaign. Life was good once more. Then Kitman Bob started to do his thing. Again.

To be honest, Sunday night’s ‘player of the year’ dinner – where Alan Judge and Sergi Canos swept the board – had already provided a moment of pure Twitter gold. Namely, ‘Brentford official’ capturing the moment that Buzzette arrived at the awards.

Buzzette arriving at Beespoty (1)

Buzzette (and Buzz) are brilliant. Non-stop energy and an unlimited supply of ‘high fives’ for our young  – and old – fans. Yet it is more than this. The beaming grins and desire to get involved in just about anything Bees related always put a smile on my face and do make me wonder if any performance enhancing substances have been involved. (kids, of course they haven’t ).

But the sight of Buzzette pulling a travel suitcase into a Heathrow hotel and waving to the (presumably) throng of paparazzi really did take things to a surreal level. Even by her anthropomorphic standards.

And when it looked like we’d hit a new high, things stepped up a level.

On the way home from work last night the phone started going crazy. Messages popping up alerting me to a Twitter update from Kitman Bob. Just for the record – specifically addressed to me rather than some ’stalker’ type ‘alert’ that goes off whenever our man from the boot room posts an update. ‘Kit obsessive’ merely being a nom de plume in the programme (honest !).

It’s here. Kind of. Next season’s gear. Brentford have specialised in the slow reveal over the last few seasons. Mark Devlin and Mark Chapman have intrigued us with their own take on the strip, tease. Now it is Bob’s turn.

Twitter was awash with questions after our enigmatic Kitman released the following picture. Granted most of them were from yours truly but I wasn’t, quite, alone…

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What’s in the box? Are there ANY clues to be taken from the picture? When do we get to see these for real?

I’ve given up guessing but Bob / Mark – if you are reading then any more clues would be gratefully appreciated.

And, when it does happen, how about a video for the launch?

Whether involving players, supporters or both? Perhaps a special ‘Terrace Talk’ as Jo Tilley leads the build up to the ‘reveal’, perhaps looking at fan favourites over the years in the pre-amble?

Or, of course, we could just try to emulate the aforementioned Blackburn Rovers. For any club to match their 2014 effort featuring ‘Birdy’ would, surely, be a challenge too much.

But, we’re Brentford. We’ve got great colours, an innovative approach, genius Jo, video whizkid Sean Ridley and even a few players who could probably do the ‘model’ thing (catwalk rather than Rasmus, Phil and Matthew’s stats).

If anybody can give it a go, it’ll be us.

Words aren’t enough 

Nick Bruzon

Blue Monday – are we looking a bit Chelsea (away from home)?

29 Jun

So after all the anticipation, the full design spec of the Brentford away shirt (expected to be revealed on Monday) remains a mystery. Of sorts.

Instead of the full kit, we were treated to a teaser picture along with the description on the club site of “bold blue away shirts”. As fans awaited the long hoped for unveiling, at 3.45pm ‘official’ Twitter could only confirm : We are still waiting to get confirmation regarding the home and away kits.

To read the rest of this article, season 2015/16 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full, as :   Ready. Steady. Go Again. : Brentford FC season review 2015 – 2016

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, it’s the annual clean up to make more space on the site for the inevitable follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

But wait, like all the best infomercials, there’s more. The last three seasons of the Last Word : Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup; Tales from the football village and Ready. Steady. Go Again are also available in one combined volume as: 

Brentford Football Club – The Bees are going up. Season reviews: 2013/14, 2014/15 & 2015/16 

We did. And we still are ! 

The away kit 'teaser'

The away kit ‘teaser’

We've worn various blues 'away' from home before

We’ve worn various blues ‘away’ from home before

 

Great shirt but no strip tease (and the top five away kits)

1 Jul

Finally – the wait is over. Brentford have unveiled the ‘away’ kit to be worn in our first season back in the Championship. And, in my humble opinion, it’s a classic.

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As seen on the official club website

Gone is the boring ‘all black’ of seasons gone by and, instead, we have been offered what seems to be a cross between Borussia Dortmund, Colombia and Aston Villa (a) 1985-87. I know a shirt has hit the right spot when Mrs. Bruzon’s initial comment on seeing it, was: “That’s really good; I think I’ll get one of those instead of the home kit”.

Even the sponsor doesn’t seem too obtrusive whilst Sam Saunders is sure to be pleased that the yellow colour will match his marigolds.

The only real disappointment (and I use the word very loosely) was the lack of a teaser campaign / any build up to the big announcement. Coming from a self-confessed kit nerd, who was desperate to see this, that may sound somewhat hypocritical. However, I’ll also admit I quite enjoyed Mark Devlin’s strip, tease (and that’s not a phrase I ever thought I’d hear myself say) for the home kit.

Had it always been the plan to reveal this to the world on Tuesday , given the official launch date is July 27th, or was it the result of leaked images appearing on the GPG? Well, if the latter then it’s a real shame and moreso, because it revealed that Griffin Park’s version of Julian Assange has a terrible taste in carpets.

You can see the official photos and story on the club website, here. And for those of you who hadn’t seen the ‘tip off’, this is the picture that ruined it all for those that were enjoying the mystery.

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Thanks for ruining the surprise

And on the subject of away kits, what better time than for a top 5? So here are my favourite 5 Brentford away kits.

5: 2011/12 Unveiled in the window of a bathroom showroom and a universally popular effort. Mainly, because the Bees were actually playing in the yellow and black of stripes of, erm, a Bee. Bonus points for being that rare example of a good Puma kit.

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4: 1987/88 For me, ‘traditional’ Brentford away colours are blue and blue. This Spall kit had it all – two tone stripes with matching collar and cuffs (stop sniggering).

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3: 1992-94 As worn in our previous ‘Championship’ campaign and, finally, a recognised name in Hummel after the previous deals with technical sponsors Osca, Hobot and Chad. Migraine inducing design; nostalgia inducing memories.

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2: 1983 I don’t even recall ever seeing this in action (live) but this number from Osca is so simple it’s genius. Cracking red sponsor and badge, too.

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1: 1991-92 As worn in the season that saw promotion to the Championship. And on the personal side, the first time I wore this replica saw a 1-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage. What better omen could you ask for?

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‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14) – amongst other things – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

England down but not (quite) out. At least Brentford shone.

20 Jun

I have to start with the World Cup and England being beaten by Uruguay. My one word match report: Suarez.

Whatever you say about England’s failings or those things we did well (erm, Wayne Rooney scored. A World Cup goal) the ultimate difference between the two teams was a world-class striker. Say what you want about him, and many have – including my own proclamation at 9am in the office that “Suarez is knackered – he won’t do anything tonight”, but the quality of his finishing and the timing of his runs was magnificent.

With the England defence less holding the line and more tied up in knots by it, twice he opened us up as easily though we were nothing more than a jar of caramel spread.

Poor Roy looked shell-shocked afterwards. Captain Steven Gerrard didn’t even face the cameras. But, are there any positives?

Firstly we are still in it. Unlike deposed champions Spain or Australia

We can still qualify for round 2. All we need is Italy to beat Costa Rica; England to beat Costa Rica; qualified Italy to beat a Uruguay side also in need of three points; goal difference to do us a favour.

Likewise, demoralised by defeat I didn’t stay up to sit through Japan and Greece drawing 0-0. That was an extra 90 minutes of sleep I wouldn’t ordinarily have had.

Best of all though, unless the ITV sound quality was as bad as their World Cup jingle (which sounds like a Nokia 3310 ring tone and must have taken all of ten seconds to come up with) Bernie Clifton and his ‘England Supporter’s band’ were nowhere in evidence. Being on the brink of going out is frustrating enough but then having to watch Suarez destroy us, sound tracked by a flaccid rendition of ’Love will tear us apart’, would have been a final kick in the knackers.

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It could have been so much worse last night

Back at domestic level, earlier in the day the Brentford club shop held the launch of next season’s home shirt. This was another great event with players and Natalie Sawyer, amongst others, in attendance over the course of the afternoon and doing a great job on behalf of the club. As ever, they couldn’t be more welcoming.

The only thing missing was a ‘sneak peak’ at the away shirt….

England may be standing on the edge but at least anticipation for the forthcoming Championship season is cranking up nicely.

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Proud dad takes his son shopping – not even I’ve got one of these shirts yet

(‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ The combined story of Brentford’s season  2013/14 – amongst other things –  is now available on kindle. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle )

Fairplay, Phil Neville (oranges are not the only shirt – for Bees)

17 Jun

It’s official. ITV are in danger of running the BBC close in the World Cup coverage stakes. Monday’s 4-0 demolition of Portugal by Germany (poor Cristiano…. stop sniggering at the back) saw my favourite line trotted out for a second ‘light channel’ 5pm game.

For those of you just coming in from work, the score is…” appeared just after 6.20pm, in what now seems to be it’s regular slot, after a similar airing for Mexico – Cameroon. As on Friday, I was still coming home at that point but, regardless, remain excited that in these days of over size score graphics some traditions continue.

The other piece of broadcast news was the second weapon in ITV’s armoury – Phil Neville. Whilst universal criticism of the former Manchester United player may have continued after his robotic performance during the England game, he has been man enough to acknowledge his shortcomings.

In a brief, but hilarious, interview on BBC Radio 5 live (which you can hear here) Phil has promised us he’ll “show a little bit more excitement” when he’s back on TV for the next England game.

On pitch yesterday, the BBC continued giving us Doctor Phil’s ‘cure to insomnia’ by broadcasting the Iran – Nigeria game. The one positive for both teams is that they remain unbeaten but a 0-0 draw, in a group containing Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina, helps nobody – least of all the viewers who had to struggle through the dullest game of the tournament so far.

The USA rounded things off with three points against Ghana. The opening goal coming before most viewers had taken their seats – the winner after most had gone to bed. It was an exciting game but the Africans must be rueing their profligacy in and around the penalty box.

Back home, Brentford have announced details of Thursday’s shirt launch. You can read the full details on the club website but, suffice to say, we can be there but still catch the England game later in the day. With players, club staff and Bees super fan Natalie Sawyer promised to be in attendance, I think I might try and sneak out of school early to pop along to the 4pm event.

The other news that intrigued me was a comment I saw on Twitter last night, suggesting that in 2013/14 we might have gone for an orange away kit. It won’t take a genius to track that one down but, novelty value aside, it really has got me desperate to find out what next season’s change kit will look like.

News on that one is thinner than Warb’s hairline – the only thing we know being that orange is not an option this time round. Until then, here’s my crude take – featuring obligatory ‘iron on sponsor’ – of what orange could have been….

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Could this have been our away shirt? No – but I quite like it

 

Strip tease continues as FA tell Barlow to ‘Take That’

1 Jun

What a Sunday – football just gets better and better. With Brentford releasing another ‘teaser’ image of their shirt over the weekend ahead of Monday’s launch, I feel more confident than ever we are in for a good one. And then, to round off the great news, word is spreading on the internet that Gary Barlow’s ‘Greatest Day’ has been dropped by the FA as the official England song at the forthcoming World Cup.

I’d said my piece on this when the news of the England song’s selection was first announced. You can read it in full, here, although the salient points were:

“Rather than the much touted prospect of Kasabian, fans are to be treated to a cover version of a Take That effort – Greatest Day. Despite the sheer laziness of having Gary Barlow (a man who comes over as so bland he’d probably have England play in beige) re-record his own song, worryingly he is accompanied by a seemingly random selection of other singers.

These include, in no particular order: Emma Bunton, Kimberley out of ‘Girls Aloud’, and ‘Sporty’ Spice Mel C – hey, she likes football and sings so why not? Then we get in to the realms of ‘who’ with the likes of Katy B ( I’m not sure if this is the comedian of ‘Big Ass’ fame) and someone/thing called an Eliza Doolittle (presumably a singer/band the kidz would recognise, rather than the character from ‘My Fair Lady’).

In footballing tradition, the England football team also join in. Except, they don’t. Instead, the sporting contingent (Mel C aside) is made up of ex-Internationals, with everybody from Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker and former Brentford player Kenny Sansom participating. I’m not sure why the current squad won’t be appearing on this , probably contractual, but I quite like the thought of Steven Gerrard trying to recreate the John Barnes rap.”

Whoever is picked in Barlow and crew’s place (does anyone have New Order’s phone number) HAS to be better than this, surely?

Just as long as they steer clear of either Robbie Williams – his ‘Let me entertain you’ being the most overplayed, and least appropriate, song in sporting history – or the (alleged) England Supporter’s band, then we should be just fine.

Painful though Barlow’s all-star cast were, the thought of Bernie Clifton and co parping through an off key version of the theme from’ The Great Escape’ might just have me reaching for the ‘off’ button.

There's no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter's band

There’s no room at the (Bernie) Inn for the England Supporter’s band

It’s almost here – June promises to be some month

31 May

What a summer awaits. In less than three weeks Brentford fans can start planning those trips to the likes of Fulham, Leeds and even a return to our friends at Wolves as the fixture list is published. By then, of course, the World Cup will have begun.

Despite the kick in the crotch of those standard half-time appearances from both the England Supporter’s band (stick to the ostriches, Clifton) and the disembodied head of Ray Winstone at, I can’t help but feel cheered by last night’s 3-0 home win over Peru. Could England do it in Brazil?

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The website of the self-appointed England band. Sorry, but their moribund parping is not for me.

Whilst blind optimism currently reigns supreme, regardless of how we fare I’ll be hooked into the 24/7 coverage (even the ITV games) – hoping England can upset the odds.

Anything could happen. The last two seasons at Brentford have shown that in even more crushing detail than ever before. It’s football; it’s exciting; it’s unpredictable; its tense; its emotional; it’s the best game on the planet. And with 32 of the World’s finest coming together next month, I’ll be watching.

But until then, Monday is the next big date in the Griffin Park calendar. Finally, we get our first full look at next season’s kit.

The club has, of course, been running a ‘teaser campaign’ this week – revealing little snippets to stoke the interest, ahead of the full unveiling. In addition, chief executive Mark Devlin has been dropping further hints in cyberspace via the medium of social network, twitter.

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A montage (training free) of those ‘sneak peeks’ that have appeared on the club website this week

Aswell as those four pictures that had appeared on the club website during the week ahead of the shirt’s 19th June launch date, ( a fifth launched on Saturday and you can see it, here),  Mark has dropped the intriguing clue that:

“It’s a bespoke design, which you may or may not approve of.”

Of course, we already know it will have stripes on the back and some form of special badge celebrating our 125th anniversary. We can also see evidence of black trim (perhaps reminiscent of the 91-92 promotion shirt); an embroidered Adidas logo and even what seem to be small areas of ‘ventex’ material (teabags to us mere mortals) around the shoulder area.

But the mention of a bespoke kit, rather than something out of the standard Adidas back catalogue, really has piqued my fascination.

I have an over keen interest in the history of the Bees shirt. I won’t deny it. However, even despite what we could politely call my ‘nerdish tendencies’ I’ve got a feeling that the club is going to show us something very special when we finally get to see this on Monday.

Much to Mrs. Bruzon’s despair, there could be another addition in the wardrobe by the time the World Cup starts.