Tag Archives: Miami

Matthew Benham goes shopping as Bees go abroad

3 Jul

It was all go at Griffin Park yesterday as Brentford news appeared quicker than a Keith Stroud yellow card. Matthew Benham led the charge, with the announcement that he has become the majority shareholder in Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland.

The Danish outfit, who finished third in the top flight last season, bear a number of similarities with the Bees – notably a strong academy programme, an 11.800 capacity stadium in their MCH Arena and a record that sees them always finish as runners up in major finals.

Matthew is quoted as saying that the two teams will be run independently (no bad thing given their supporter’s club is ‘The Black Wolves’ – I’ve seen enough of the Wolves last season to need some downtime) and you can read the full BBC story, here. Where this will lead, who knows but if Matthew’s tenure brings half as much success and excitement as it has done at Brentford then the Danes are in for some good times.

Back in TW8, the ticket office were proud to reveal details of the 5,000th season ticket sale, with supporter of 30 years, Louis McCubbin, being the man at the right place in the queue. He received a commemorative shirt for his trouble along with a mixed bag of comments on social networks.

Personally, I think that to have sold out over half of Griffin Park (home section) before a ball has even been kicked in anger is a fantastic achievement. The club could have put a massive hike on season ticket prices but chose not to – much to my surprise and pleasure.

So what if one supporter gets recognised? For me it is all about the significance of the achievement rather than an individual. Personally, I bought my season ticket on day one and for no other reason than to make sure I had a place when the next chapter of the Brentford story begins.

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

And as for that team, they are now in Florida having reached Tampa last night for their training camp. Harlee Dean’s ‘one word weather report’ was ‘HOT’ whilst who could forget the electrical storm as England warmed up for the World Cup campaign in Miami last month? It certainly could be hard work in those conditions.

Welcome to Tampa

Welcome to Tampa

Previous trips to Germany and Norway have seen Peter Gilham’s tour diary. So far (6.30, Thursday morning) this is yet to appear on the clubsite but, given the time zone, understandable. However, I’m hoping we soon get the chance to start reading what are always an amusing and enjoyable series of articles.

Whilst I have no doubt that this tour will see the players acting as responsibly as on previous ones, it did get me thinking about what happens when Brentford trips go wrong. Specifically, the first team ‘holiday’ that took place after we’d defied expectations (to the point the players had already booked a summer escape) to reach the final of the 1985 Freight Rover Trophy against Wigan Athletic.
Interviewing Danis Salman a few years ago, he described this saying:

“We’d already paid for the holidays out of our pocket and but it was going to be not even a week after we came back before the final. I turned around and said to the boys – we’ve got to cancel the holiday. You know what’s going to happen; we’ll go out to a hot country, and come back just a few days before a final a Wembley. I was the only person that had that view and was getting slaughtered. I just thought – this is our one chance, and the supporters, to go to Wembley and a have a great time.

We’d already played against Wigan – home and away – and I think I’d scored against them twice that year. But no, no – they wanted to go on holiday and yeah, true to word we got on holiday and had Chris Kamara, Terry Hurlock, myself. We had a good team that year but went out every day for a week.

We got beat three-one.

I have no doubt that the hardest that the lads will push the social side on this trip will be Sam Saunders topping up the tan. As Danis went on to add, “Modern day football would probably be totally different”.

As soon as the club’s ‘Adrian Mole’ gets writing, we’ll find out……

‘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.

Who is the real Brains of the bunch? Is this our away shirt?

8 Jun

The atmosphere surrounding England in the forthcoming World Cup is, quite literally, electric but for me there is as much excitement in the drip feed of the new kits to be worn in the league next season. Of course, we all know what the Brentford home and goalkeeper efforts are going to look like but what about the away version?

It’s fair to say that nobody knows. Like the mid-season appointment of Warbs to the Griffin Park managerial hotseat, could it be as big a surprise? Well, the clues are out there for the eagle-eyed reader (for eagle eyed, see also: stabbing wildly in the dark).

As regular commentator Bernard Quackenbush mentioned the other day, the reveal of the Brentford kit very much resembled the opening credits of TV’s Thunderbirds. A close up of each ‘vehicle’ from which it would be impossible to recognise the final design spec until the camera pulled away for that wide angle ‘reveal’.

I quite liked this analogy, until I started to look a bit further into this year’s Adidas catalogue. Amongst their designs already released are those for Middlesborough (h) and West Ham (a). Both feature broad, diagonal sashes and, particularly in the case of West Ham, could have been taken direct from Gerry Anderson’s puppet laboratory (a more sinister sounding place, I’m yet to imagine).

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The Adidas ‘sash’ template for the forthcoming season. All a bit too ‘Gerry Anderson’

I have no issues with a shirt sash if done correctly – see Peru and Crystal Palace – but the latest Adidas effort is as subtle as Adrian Chiles desperately filling 40 minutes of lightning storm delayed England football last night. “Slow down”, he exhorted Ian Wright, “you’re talking too fast. Don’t you remember Poland? We’ve no idea how long we have to talk for”.

And given we seem to have thrown a lot of eggs in the basket marked ‘home and gk’, does this mean there is any room left for something special in the away design? Recent Brentford away efforts have seen black, yellow/black, black/gold, and the two-tone blue.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter but if we adopted this, with the aforementioned ‘sash’ template, then I can only see us with something very much akin to the West Ham model. And that would not be good.

Brentford away 2014??

Crudely photoshopped image of how a blue/blue sash kit might look

Still – this is all pure guess work. I have nothing more to base this on beyond unsubstantiated speculation and crazy theories. But it’s one to think about in the short term.

Our club hasn’t disappointed us so far and I am sure that, whenever the announcement is made (any comment, Mark Devlin?) we could be in for a treat.

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The Thunderbirds style home shirt ‘teaser campaign’. Number 4 is, erm, Gordon Tracy

Could a returning hero seal it today?

18 Apr

Brentford take on Preston North End on Friday, knowing that a win (combined with defeats for Rotherham United at Wolves and Leyton Orient at Crawley) will be enough to see promotion from League One confirmed.

It is a big ask, and moreso because I can’t see any slip ups coming from the O’s or Rotherham. Both those play off teams are still in with a theoretical chance of ‘automatic’ themselves and so will be desperately fighting, like hungry dogs over an empty bucket of KFC, for every point possible.

But whatever they do is irrelevant (our title aspirations aside, of course) as long as Brentford win.

As long as Brentford win”. It sounds so simple on paper and, in theory it should it be.

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.