Wiki B Team Contracts Updates - Summer 2021

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JimmyP206

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Agree. To be honest I am disappointed in the project so far. Sorensen & Forss appear to be the only ones to have really gone right through the system into the first team. The likes of Rasmussen, and Bidstrup only had a fleeting visit to the B’s as I suppose Stevens has, whilst Gunnarson other than one plus season has spent a great chunk of his development on loan. Mepham is often claimed as B Team but he was Academy. I am hopeful this new crop are of a much higher quality, and it would appear that we have paid very good money for many so fingers crossed. I would not be so disappointed if we could have transferred some of the likes you have mentioned plus Cole, Read, and Oksanen for free, but with a sell on but even that does not seem to be happening. Adams may be such a player but then no club appears to have rushed to get him on loan this season which has surprised me.
Agree, the signings this season have been very high quality and I am disappointed with the project too, I accept it is cheaper than the academy, or atleast it was at first. Other than Mepham, who wasn't even discovered by the b team, no one else has warranted a significant transfer fee. Hopefully that changes this year as we have put a good amount of investment in, according to Giles it is between 500k and 1m this year spent on players. Players must be very cheap then, we have had probably 10+ arrivals, albeit from places such as Salisbury Town and one or 2 free agents
 

Frothybaby

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Agree. To be honest I am disappointed in the project so far. Sorensen & Forss appear to be the only ones to have really gone right through the system into the first team. The likes of Rasmussen, and Bidstrup only had a fleeting visit to the B’s as I suppose Stevens has, whilst Gunnarson other than one plus season has spent a great chunk of his development on loan. Mepham is often claimed as B Team but he was Academy. I am hopeful this new crop are of a much higher quality, and it would appear that we have paid very good money for many so fingers crossed. I would not be so disappointed if we could have transferred some of the likes you have mentioned plus Cole, Read, and Oksanen for free, but with a sell on but even that does not seem to be happening. Adams may be such a player but then no club appears to have rushed to get him on loan this season which has surprised me.
As discussed in the b team production thread, what value the games Sorensen and Forss have provided by playing as well as the value of each player. Also those that have gone for a fee. Meps, Roeslev and Bidstrup are arguably not b team. Think Fin is though. Also we will learn as we do this, but playing throughout Europe may be harder in current times. So the experience gained will be different to previous seasons.
 

Les Beeavinu

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It's cheaper than an academy and has produced a higher return. Has to be considered a success in that context. Would like to know what the BFC view is on the percentage of players they hope to be successful with.
 

ruislip bee

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It's cheaper than an academy and has produced a higher return. Has to be considered a success in that context. Would like to know what the BFC view is on the percentage of players they hope to be successful with.
A question for Phil perhaps.
 

TadB

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As discussed in the b team production thread, what value the games Sorensen and Forss have provided by playing as well as the value of each player. Also those that have gone for a fee. Meps, Roeslev and Bidstrup are arguably not b team. Think Fin is though. Also we will learn as we do this, but playing throughout Europe may be harder in current times. So the experience gained will be different to previous seasons.
Well that is the whole point, what has been achieved playing in Europe? "Also those that have gone for a fee" , who has gone for a fee? Most of those who leave the club from the B team struggle even to find a club let alone find a club to pay a fee for them. Stevens trains with the first team his connection to the B team is fleeting. I am beginning to think we would be better of using the B Team as a reserve team with smaller numbers but of higher quality, and utilising the bench players more often.
 

AB

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It's cheaper than an academy and has produced a higher return. Has to be considered a success in that context. Would like to know what the BFC view is on the percentage of players they hope to be successful with.
I dimly recall something about the club aiming for the academy to develop 2-3 first teamers a season if in L1, one in Championship, fewer in PL. I’d expect them to be hoping for a bit more than that from the B Team and it seems to have delivered on that front. Generating one genuinely PL ready player every 2-3 seasons would I think be a pretty good return to start with. But apart from the current crop of the three Mads who got Championship experience with us I think the current/next crop will need to get to a level where they either burn up their L1 loans or can be loaned to Championship clubs and be good enough to play regularly and well for them.
 

Bangor Bee

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I've been thinking for some time that the quality of signings for the B team has generally been below what one would have hoped, and that this is reflected in their lack of progression. I guess only traditional scouting is used for B team player recruitment as fewer stats will be available. Still, Gilbert and Pressley now have the chance to show what they can achieve (both offer something different) and perhaps the most recent batch of recruits, who must have cost a fair whack, will demonstrate a step change in quality. However, I've not been particularly impressed with the recent B team performances that I've watched -- simple things like control and passing have been disappointing.
 

jlove

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The step between B Team and First Team has increased as the first team has progressed and first team acquisitions have moved from around £1M-£2M to the £8M-£12M range this season. The direct returns from the B Team will reduce numerically and it does seem to be transitioning to a mixture of the previous, with the younger players, and an induction (fitness & conditioning plus tactics) to fast-track to the first team, for the in-betweeners. There's nothing wrong with adaption as the club progresses.

It's certainly allowed us to bring on board academy players from the big clubs that see the chances of progression at BFC. It needs to be measured as part of the whole.
 

TadB

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The step between B Team and First Team has increased as the first team has progressed and first team acquisitions have moved from around £1M-£2M to the £8M-£12M range this season. The direct returns from the B Team will reduce numerically and it does seem to be transitioning to a mixture of the previous, with the younger players, and an induction (fitness & conditioning plus tactics) to fast-track to the first team, for the in-betweeners. There's nothing wrong with adaption as the club progresses.

It's certainly allowed us to bring on board academy players from the big clubs that see the chances of progression at BFC. It needs to be measured as part of the whole.
I do get the progression bit, however, those have been left behind are barely league standard. Very few have had successful loans, so few that other than the two that have made it through, almost. Most of our loans are deemed bad loans where excuses are made for the individuals, but in essence the players are not up to standard. I consider that it would accurate to say that no B team player who has left the club is anywhere near Championship standard so had we not been promoted there would still be no B Team prospect available. So either the raw material was poor or our system of coaching needs an overhaul. I do get the impression that some who seek to defend the B team system wheel out Stevens, Bidstrup, and Roerslev but all three effectively signed and, moved straight into the first team squad. Their skills were learned elsewhere, not in the B Team.
 

jlove

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There’s no guarantees with recruiting the younger ones; there’s certainly a good percentage that go on to professional careers and a few that will be with BFC. It’s really not useful to say that the successful ones were « moved straight to the first team squad » as that’s just a measure of success that proves the evolution of the recruitment.
I don’t really understand what you’re suggesting as a change.
 

TadB

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We There’s no guarantees with recruiting the younger ones; there’s certainly a good percentage that go on to professional careers and a few that will be with BFC. It’s really not useful to say that the successful ones were « moved straight to the first team squad » as that’s just a measure of success that proves the evolution of the recruitment.
I don’t really understand what you’re suggesting as a change.
I appreciate the competitive nature of academy football. I understand that the B team structure is cheaper than the old academy. I listen to the many who extol it’s virtues, but the successful alleged B Team Players in the true sense of the word did not progress through the B Team structure. Yes, I do agree that the three mentioned are a great example of our successful recruiting system, but very little to do with the B Team. What do I suggest? Well other than reducing the numbers, and only signing those, who are already almost there but not quite, expensive yes. Add those sitting on the Bench and other members of the 1st Team squad in need of a game to play matches akin to a Reserve Team. Plus a better and more intensive coaching as I fail to see any successful product so far. Although I am like us all keeping my fingers crossed for Pressley but there have been so many false dawns that I will not be holding my breath.
 

JimmyP206

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Well that is the whole point, what has been achieved playing in Europe? "Also those that have gone for a fee" , who has gone for a fee? Most of those who leave the club from the B team struggle even to find a club let alone find a club to pay a fee for them. Stevens trains with the first team his connection to the B team is fleeting. I am beginning to think we would be better of using the B Team as a reserve team with smaller numbers but of higher quality, and utilising the bench players more often
I've had a look and the ones who have gone for a fee and where they are now:
Fredrik Hammar to Akropolis IK - Still with the club
Joe Hardy to Liverpool U23 - Just signed a 2 year contract with Accrington Stanley
Canice Carroll to Stevenage - Recently joined Oxford City in the NL South
Ali Coote to Waterford - Currently with Bohemians in the Irish division
Kolbeinn Finnsson to Borussia Dortmund - Still with the club
Lukas Talbro to Nordsjaelland - Currently with Kerteminde BK because of national service or something, his pro career was slightly delayed
Kyjuon Marsh-Brown- Bedford Town, currently with Hemel Hempstead
Emmanuel Onariase- Rotherham, currently with Scunthorpe United
All according to Transfermarkt
Special mention to Raphael Assibey-Mensah who was released 2018/19 and went to the German 4 or 5th league, did really well and has recently joined Freiburg's second team and plays in the 3rd tier, despite being 22, surprising they think he will progress to first team at 22 but good luck to him
Sorry for the long post!
 

TadB

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I've had a look and the ones who have gone for a fee and where they are now:
Fredrik Hammar to Akropolis IK - Still with the club
Joe Hardy to Liverpool U23 - Just signed a 2 year contract with Accrington Stanley
Canice Carroll to Stevenage - Recently joined Oxford City in the NL South
Ali Coote to Waterford - Currently with Bohemians in the Irish division
Kolbeinn Finnsson to Borussia Dortmund - Still with the club
Lukas Talbro to Nordsjaelland - Currently with Kerteminde BK because of national service or something, his pro career was slightly delayed
Kyjuon Marsh-Brown- Bedford Town, currently with Hemel Hempstead
Emmanuel Onariase- Rotherham, currently with Scunthorpe United
All according to Transfermarkt
Special mention to Raphael Assibey-Mensah who was released 2018/19 and went to the German 4 or 5th league, did really well and has recently joined Freiburg's second team and plays in the 3rd tier, despite being 22, surprising they think he will progress to first team at 22 but good luck to him
Sorry for the long post!
I do not wish to get in a battle over this so this will be my last on transfer fees. That said, there are some on this list where we may have received some small compensation, but most will have gone for free. Hardy yes, Finnason probably, Onariase possible (but what did he do there, and where has he been since). Mensah, released means free, Hammar maybe, the remainder were worth absolutely nothing. I believe very little that I read on Transfermarket. Your very complete list makes my initial point, in that other than Finnsson, none of those players are anywhere of note, and all the listed clubs are playing well below the Championship level. The B Team was started in the Championship for the purpose of suppling first team players for a Championship Club, other than one on your list, and I do not know what team he is playing for at Dortmund none are playing at a club anywhere near the level of the English Championship. If the best that the B team can do is produce players for the likes of Oxford City, and Bedford Town then they best pack up now. The best way to argue that these past years have been successful is to total the value of Forss and Sorensen, establish the total cost of running the B Team plus the cost of buying, and wages of players, and deduct one from the other. That is something that we can only speculate about, however, I am sure that the club will have a fair idea of the sum. It is my guess that we are well in the red, maybe!
 

JimmyP206

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I do not wish to get in a battle over this so this will be my last on transfer fees. That said, there are some on this list where we may have received some small compensation, but most will have gone for free. Hardy yes, Finnason probably, Onariase possible (but what did he do there, and where has he been since). Mensah, released means free, Hammar maybe, the remainder were worth absolutely nothing. I believe very little that I read on Transfermarket. Your very complete list makes my initial point, in that other than Finnsson, none of those players are anywhere of note, and all the listed clubs are playing well below the Championship level. The B Team was started in the Championship for the purpose of suppling first team players for a Championship Club, other than one on your list, and I do not know what team he is playing for at Dortmund none are playing at a club anywhere near the level of the English Championship. If the best that the B team can do is produce players for the likes of Oxford City, and Bedford Town then they best pack up now. The best way to argue that these past years have been successful is to total the value of Forss and Sorensen, establish the total cost of running the B Team plus the cost of buying, and wages of players, and deduct one from the other. That is something that we can only speculate about, however, I am sure that the club will have a fair idea of the sum. It is my guess that we are well in the red, maybe!
That's exactly what I was doing, backup up your point that when we do get a fee for anyone it is often miniscule and they end up leaving the club anyway
 

The Pipe

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Very easy to be disparaging about the B team and certainly it would seem that as yet, we have not produced any gems that have gone elsewhere for any realistic monies. However when we had an Academy any decent players on our books could be brought for peanuts by any Premier League club.

I dont have enough knowledge of the present B team squad but if, over the next season or two 3 players progress to the first team and are anywhere near decent then the potential savings on transfer fees makes it a justifiable business proposition.

I would hazard a guess that likes of Phil and Rasmus are fully aware of the cost income ratios and as we seem to add players to the squad on a regular basis believe that the process will add value over the longer term.

I would also consider that playing “ reserve” football is unlikely to develop the players as much because generally speaking those games are more for the benefit of existing squad players to recover fitness and often are played with a low intensity.
 

Mr Tree

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I think it's fair to say that being unable to play around Europe (and invite clubs here) has hurt a bit over the last 18 months. Part of the attraction of the project was the tailored fixture programme, and our options there suddenly shrank dramatically. The opportunity for us to build contacts and networks higher up, as well as for the lads to test themselves against different styles, was valuable for all, and I'm sure they're chomping at the bit to get started again on that.

Otherwise i do fear a little over-analysis above. This is basically a glorified reserve team - how many reserves ever broke through properly? I don't mind our "reserves" being 18-20 years old. Makes sense really...
 
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Mr Cynical

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I think it's spectacularly harsh to say the B team isn't working... The fact that we have 4 ex B teamers in the first team squad in the Premier League would suggest otherwise.. Ok, Bidstrup perhaps wasn't involved in the B team for long (if at all) but Sorenson and Forss are now established first teamers, with Roerslev not far behind. That's a load more than we've managed from reserves/youth team/academy in a long time. Not far behind them you have Fin Stevens, who's still only 18, Gunnarsson, who's been making great progress and then the likes of Haygarth, Gordon and Gilbert who've made brief first team appearances and whom you wouldn't be upset about appearing in cup games. Pressley's made a promising start at Wimbledon as has Gilbert at Swindon. Maghoma, Gordon, Hockenhull, Shepherd, Russel and Mogensen have all been training with the first team.

I think it's a mistake to judge the success or otherwise of the B team on players who've left. There's always a fair amount of wastage in a youth team/development side. We can't expect to have 11 gems every year. Some will progress whilst others will stagnate. It's just the way of things. Equally some players will realistically just be brought in to make up the numbers.

As Mr Tree points out in the post above, the lack of decent match opportunities over the last year or so has not helped the B team, but equally I think our progress on the pitch in the last few years since Smith left have caused problems as well. Players we brought in to be potentially decent Championship players are perhaps now not good enough (Oksanen?) for the level we're expecting them to compete at to get a place on the bench. Loan opportunities have been difficult too and we've been unfortunate in some players picking up injuries and losing out on development time (Mogensen, Zamburek, Maghoma).

Overall I think it's been a success and is continuing to support the first team squad as well as having the potential to bring through new first team squad members. The signing of Oyegoke suggest we're now in a positon where we can start to pick off some of the better academy players from other PL clubs and that bodes well for the future...
 

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Very easy to be disparaging about the B team and certainly it would seem that as yet, we have not produced any gems that have gone elsewhere for any realistic monies. However when we had an Academy any decent players on our books could be brought for peanuts by any Premier League club.

I dont have enough knowledge of the present B team squad but if, over the next season or two 3 players progress to the first team and are anywhere near decent then the potential savings on transfer fees makes it a justifiable business proposition.

I would hazard a guess that likes of Phil and Rasmus are fully aware of the cost income ratios and as we seem to add players to the squad on a regular basis believe that the process will add value over the longer term.

I would also consider that playing “ reserve” football is unlikely to develop the players as much because generally speaking those games are more for the benefit of existing squad players to recover fitness and often are played with a low intensity.
I was not being disparaging about the B team just stating that since it has been formed it has produced just two players for the first team squad. The sad fact is that those who did not reach those heights have not made even a dent on the Championship. Only a couple have managed to find a club in the lower league, and then only just. Reserve team football does not have to be as we remember it. I am envisaging it being run as the B is run but with fewer prospects, less dross, comprised of players on the fringe of the first team squad as were Bidstrup, Stevens, and Roerslev when they arrived. A small group could be padded out with those in the main squad need to keep developing. I am hopeful that a move may have been made towards that end with the arrival of Oyegoke, Russell, and possibly Pert -Harris (although bought as a first teamer). Currently the B’s have a touch of the Emperors new clothes about them, they have certainly not been the production line that we would all have liked them to be.
 

Beat Poet

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I'm with Mr Cynical, like, the B team has been a massive improvement on the Devs and ultimately it's not entirely about producing players for the first team...there's also the part about it providing a stepping stone into senior football (whether with Bees or not), to help with its attractiveness to potential new signings. Going by the Wikipedia definition of what constitutes fully professional players, we have Archibald, Assibey-Mensah, Chatzitheodoridis, Cole, Finnsson, Hardy, Laurent, Mepham, Onariase, Senior, Tsaroulla, Tzanev and Westbrooke establishing careers for "theirselves" right now. There are three full internationals amongst them. There's a few others between contracts, but yeah, it's not the greatest CV. I contend that with the "Mepham ain't really ours" thing, well none of them are really, given that many of them sign their first professional contract when they join Brentford.
 

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I think it's spectacularly harsh to say the B team isn't working... The fact that we have 4 ex B teamers in the first team squad in the Premier League would suggest otherwise.. Ok, Bidstrup perhaps wasn't involved in the B team for long (if at all) but Sorenson and Forss are now established first teamers, with Roerslev not far behind. That's a load more than we've managed from reserves/youth team/academy in a long time. Not far behind them you have Fin Stevens, who's still only 18, Gunnarsson, who's been making great progress and then the likes of Haygarth, Gordon and Gilbert who've made brief first team appearances and whom you wouldn't be upset about appearing in cup games. Pressley's made a promising start at Wimbledon as has Gilbert at Swindon. Maghoma, Gordon, Hockenhull, Shepherd, Russel and Mogensen have all been training with the first team.

I think it's a mistake to judge the success or otherwise of the B team on players who've left. There's always a fair amount of wastage in a youth team/development side. We can't expect to have 11 gems every year. Some will progress whilst others will stagnate. It's just the way of things. Equally some players will realistically just be brought in to make up the numbers.

As Mr Tree points out in the post above, the lack of decent match opportunities over the last year or so has not helped the B team, but equally I think our progress on the pitch in the last few years since Smith left have caused problems as well. Players we brought in to be potentially decent Championship players are perhaps now not good enough (Oksanen?) for the level we're expecting them to compete at to get a place on the bench. Loan opportunities have been difficult too and we've been unfortunate in some players picking up injuries and losing out on development time (Mogensen, Zamburek, Maghoma).

Overall I think it's been a success and is continuing to support the first team squad as well as having the potential to bring through new first team squad members. The signing of Oyegoke suggest we're now in a positon where we can start to pick off some of the better academy players from other PL clubs and that bodes well for the future...
Many of the points you have made I have covered in my previous recent posts on the subject. I am positive about the B team ideal, however, the purpose in discussing the issue the B project needs to be enhanced if it is to achieve to goal for which it was set for. To seek to improve this part of the project is not a criticism of the recruitment process. I do not intend to repeat what I have said over my last few post but respectfully ask that you read them. One thing I will restate is that Stevens, Bitstup and Roerslev-Rasmussen had only fleeting attachment to the B Team. All three were on their arrival moved speedily into the first team squad where most there development has/is taking place. There is currently only two players Sorensen, and Forss who can justifiably be claimed as products of the B Team. The most disappointing aspect is the very low level of football that those that remained achieve after moving on. However, please read my previous posts as I have attempted to be positive but realistic.
 

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I'm with Mr Cynical, like, the B team has been a massive improvement on the Devs and ultimately it's not entirely about producing players for the first team...there's also the part about it providing a stepping stone into senior football (whether with Bees or not), to help with its attractiveness to potential new signings. Going by the Wikipedia definition of what constitutes fully professional players, we have Archibald, Assibey-Mensah, Chatzitheodoridis, Cole, Finnsson, Hardy, Laurent, Mepham, Onariase, Senior, Tsaroulla, Tzanev and Westbrooke establishing careers for "theirselves" right now. There are three full internationals amongst them. There's a few others between contracts, but yeah, it's not the greatest CV. I contend that with the "Mepham ain't really ours" thing, well none of them are really, given that many of them sign their first professional contract when they join Brentford.
Mepham was Academy
 
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Mr Cynical

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Many of the points you have made I have covered in my previous recent posts on the subject. I am positive about the B team ideal, however, the purpose in discussing the issue the B project needs to be enhanced if it is to achieve to goal for which it was set for. To seek to improve this part of the project is not a criticism of the recruitment process. I do not intend to repeat what I have said over my last few post but respectfully ask that you read them. One thing I will restate is that Stevens, Bitstup and Roerslev-Rasmussen had only fleeting attachment to the B Team. All three were on their arrival moved speedily into the first team squad where most there development has/is taking place. There is currently only two players Sorensen, and Forss who can justifiably be claimed as products of the B Team. The most disappointing aspect is the very low level of football that those that remained achieve after moving on. However, please read my previous posts as I have attempted to be positive but realistic.

Stevens and Roerslev both had a good season in the B team I think? Bidstrup, yes, he was one who flew straight into the first team squad so fair enough.

What exactly IS the goal for which the B team was set up for? I don't remember seeing a specific aim other than to provide a better pathway into the first team squad and to prepare players for a career in football be it with us or someone else. We've certainly achieved the first aim. I think the whole point of the B team system is that players benefit from both the B team coaches and the first team ones with regular sessions with the 1st team squad. I don't think the club sees a line between the two, in fact that's the whole point, the coaching is fluid between the two systems so B team players can easily join in on first team sessions and squads. We've seen how effective that is with the various B team debuts in league/cup matches and in pre-season games.

As for how much money we're making moving on players who aren't good enough here, I don't really see why that's an issue? There's always going to be players who don't make the grade. I don't think we should be expecting players we're letting go from our B team to be selling for ££££? We're just not that established yet and if they were that good we'd probably keep them. We're not Chelsea academy, we can't scoop up the best young talent from around the world and then flog them or loan them for a huge profit.

You've also got to remember that this is still an incredibly young project. 5 years old this year. For a `17-21 yr old group, that's not a lot of time. Zamburek and Oksanen for example, feel like they've been here forever but are still only 20. It's constantly evolving and reinventing itself. We'll have learned a lot about recruitment at this level from the early years. Covid and Brexit have also caused a huge rethink and I think have had a huge impact on the type of players we've brought in recently. I agree, it's difficult to see how players like Jeffries and Hercules are going to make an impact on the first team but you can't expect every player to be a potential star. Most academy sides are built to let the one or two real gems shine and develop. The majority of kids have no chance whatsoever of getting anywhere in football.

Can it improve? Undoubtedly, but I think it's certainly proved it's worth so far. You're right, it would be good to get a regular first team starter from the B team but there's still plenty of time and I don't see how a reserve team model would prove any better?
 

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To see how well our B team develops players we need to imagine how some of our current older players would do in it.
Take 28 year old Ethan, and imagine him joining us into the B team as an 18 year old. How would he progress, through it and get enough experience against adult players to be able to become the Ethan we have now. I struggle to see his full career happening with us, and that is a big worry.

Now we don’t know whether Fin Stevens has the ability to reach similar heights, I certainly hope he has but I fear that he isn’t getting the minutes and involvement in games that he needs. I know you don’t want young players to be out of their depth before they are ready but he deserves some opportunities. He was an unused sub v Forest Green, I hope he gets more than that v Oldham. If we do progress we are very unlikely to have similar opposition in the next round, so his chances become even more remote.

Is a players stature still important at this age? Joe Adams, 20 continues to impress me he is 5ft 9 and Fin, 18 is 5ft 8 both could get lost in our system. Tariq Lamptey, 20 is only 5ft 5 and he now has 19 Premier League appearances for Brighton, it would have been far more if it wasn’t for injury. So if they are good enough they are big enough.

Marcus Forss now has a contract until 2026 but I worry that he isn’t getting enough first team football to hold his current ability, let alone at 22 he should still be improving as a player. I very much doubt that is happening currently.

Are we missing a step in the progression of players from being a very good B team talent to becoming a regular in the first team irrespective of whether we are in the Premier League or the Championship?
 
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To see how well our B team develops players we need to imagine how some of our current older players would do in it.
Take 28 year old Ethan, and imagine him joining us into the B team as an 18 year old. How would he progress, through it and get enough experience against adult players to be able to become the Ethan we have now. I struggle to see his full career happening with us, and that is a big worry.

Now we don’t know whether Fin Stevens has the ability to reach similar heights, I certainly hope he has but I fear that he isn’t getting the minutes and involvement in games that he needs. I know you don’t want young players to be out of their depth before they are ready but he deserves some opportunities. He was an unused sub v Forest Green, I hope he gets more than that v Oldham. If we do progress we are very unlikely to have similar opposition in the next round, so his chances become even more remote.

Is a players stature still important at this age? Joe Adams, 20 continues to impress me he is 5ft 9 and Fin, 18 is 5ft 8 both could get lost in our system. Tariq Lamptey, 20 is only 5ft 5 and he now has 19 Premier League appearances for Brighton, it would have been far more if it wasn’t for injury. So if they are good enough they are big enough.

Marcus Forss now has a contract until 2026 but I worry that he isn’t getting enough first team football to hold his current ability, let alone at 22 he should still be improving as a player. I very much doubt that is happening currently.

Are we missing a step in the progression of players from being a very good B team talent to becoming a regular in the first team irrespective of whether we are in the Premier League or the Championship?

The B team are literally playing adult players every game now we can't go abroad and are having to fill our fixtures with National League and League Two sides. They came up against Benteke the other day.....

Fin Stevens is not going to get lost in our system. He's v highly rated and at only 18 and only a year from joining from Non-league has been played in the first team. He'll get his chances don't worry. Joe Adams is great for the B team but he's got to 20 without an appearance even on the subs bench for the first team so I think that tells you what his chances are. Great player at that level but can you see him start or come on in the PL?

I have no doubt that all our players are developing, even if they're not starting games. We have a fantastic coaching team, just look at the way players like Josh DaSilva, Canos, Mbeumo, Benhrama, Watkins developed. Ethan Pinnock, who you mentioned earlier is a fantastic example. Looked out of his depth when he joined but has come on leaps and bounds and now looks a proper PL defender. That's not coincidence. Dean Smith recently said that he had no qualms whatsoever about playing Watkins in the PL because he knew how good Brentford's coaching was.
 

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The B team are literally playing adult players every game now we can't go abroad and are having to fill our fixtures with National League and League Two sides. They came up against Benteke the other day.....

Fin Stevens is not going to get lost in our system. He's v highly rated and at only 18 and only a year from joining from Non-league has been played in the first team. He'll get his chances don't worry. Joe Adams is great for the B team but he's got to 20 without an appearance even on the subs bench for the first team so I think that tells you what his chances are. Great player at that level but can you see him start or come on in the PL?

I have no doubt that all our players are developing, even if they're not starting games. We have a fantastic coaching team, just look at the way players like Josh DaSilva, Canos, Mbeumo, Benhrama, Watkins developed. Ethan Pinnock, who you mentioned earlier is a fantastic example. Looked out of his depth when he joined but has come on leaps and bounds and now looks a proper PL defender. That's not coincidence. Dean Smith recently said that he had no qualms whatsoever about playing Watkins in the PL because he knew how good Brentford's coaching was.
I don’t doubt what our coaching staff does for players but at the age of 20 when we make the crucial decision of who to keep many are still developing physically.

Ivan in 2015
 

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The whole point is that the B team hasn't reached it's full potential. It is a better pathway but very very few players actually make that path and the ones that do don't even start. We haven't developed someone who has been a regular starter at any point in the B team lifetime so far. Sorensen and Forss for example are definetly great players and could arguably start at a championship club but have never been 1st choice in their position for us. I think Forss would be valued at a lot when he was scoring like 10 in 10 from the bench but the lack of game time has seen him slip off a bit. Forss's possible value could say that the B team has made us money but I doubt any fee we get for Forss or sorensen would cover 4 years of B team running costs. 95% of the B team players end up back in their home country or in the lower leagues of English football. Though, this year it seems like our signings have been very good so I get the feeling that the B team will prove it's worth very soon
Sorry for long post again!
 

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Forss was being chased by Dortmund at one point so I imagine his value would have been quite high, just speculation as to whether that would outweigh the B team running costs for past 4 years
 
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I don’t doubt what our coaching staff does for players but at the age of 20 when we make the crucial decision of who to keep many are still developing physically.

Ivan in 2015
I’m sure we take that into account when making our decision. We gave a first team contract to Zamburek for example who was by no means at his physical peak at the time.. we can’t just hold onto players forever on the off chance they’ll develop a couple of years down the line. For one thing they’d overload the PL squad and for another it’s not fair on the players themselves. I don’t want us to be another Chelsea, hoarding players until they’re 24 so they’ve wasted half their career before they’ve even really started..
 
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The whole point is that the B team hasn't reached it's full potential. It is a better pathway but very very few players actually make that path and the ones that do don't even start. We haven't developed someone who has been a regular starter at any point in the B team lifetime so far. Sorensen and Forss for example are definetly great players and could arguably start at a championship club but have never been 1st choice in their position for us. I think Forss would be valued at a lot when he was scoring like 10 in 10 from the bench but the lack of game time has seen him slip off a bit. Forss's possible value could say that the B team has made us money but I doubt any fee we get for Forss or sorensen would cover 4 years of B team running costs. 95% of the B team players end up back in their home country or in the lower leagues of English football. Though, this year it seems like our signings have been very good so I get the feeling that the B team will prove it's worth very soon
Sorry for long post again!
It’s 5 years old! We probably won’t know for sure how successful it’s been until at least 10 years down the line, particularly given the first couple of years will have been pretty experimental and with how the club has developed on the pitch over that time.. I think for us to already have a few players consistently in the first team squad at PL level 5 years on for a 4 yr age group is outstanding… yes jt would be great to develop some starters but it’s already knocked our previous youth development for 6..
 

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The whole point is that the B team hasn't reached it's full potential. It is a better pathway but very very few players actually make that path and the ones that do don't even start. We haven't developed someone who has been a regular starter at any point in the B team lifetime so far. Sorensen and Forss for example are definetly great players and could arguably start at a championship club but have never been 1st choice in their position for us. I think Forss would be valued at a lot when he was scoring like 10 in 10 from the bench but the lack of game time has seen him slip off a bit. Forss's possible value could say that the B team has made us money but I doubt any fee we get for Forss or sorensen would cover 4 years of B team running costs. 95% of the B team players end up back in their home country or in the lower leagues of English football. Though, this year it seems like our signings have been very good so I get the feeling that the B team will prove it's worth very soon
Sorry for long post again!
Good post! Most UK players don't even make the lower leagues.
 

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Stevens and Roerslev both had a good season in the B team I think? Bidstrup, yes, he was one who flew straight into the first team squad so fair enough.

What exactly IS the goal for which the B team was set up for? I don't remember seeing a specific aim other than to provide a better pathway into the first team squad and to prepare players for a career in football be it with us or someone else. We've certainly achieved the first aim. I think the whole point of the B team system is that players benefit from both the B team coaches and the first team ones with regular sessions with the 1st team squad. I don't think the club sees a line between the two, in fact that's the whole point, the coaching is fluid between the two systems so B team players can easily join in on first team sessions and squads. We've seen how effective that is with the various B team debuts in league/cup matches and in pre-season games.

As for how much money we're making moving on players who aren't good enough here, I don't really see why that's an issue? There's always going to be players who don't make the grade. I don't think we should be expecting players we're letting go from our B team to be selling for ££££? We're just not that established yet and if they were that good we'd probably keep them. We're not Chelsea academy, we can't scoop up the best young talent from around the world and then flog them or loan them for a huge profit.

You've also got to remember that this is still an incredibly young project. 5 years old this year. For a `17-21 yr old group, that's not a lot of time. Zamburek and Oksanen for example, feel like they've been here forever but are still only 20. It's constantly evolving and reinventing itself. We'll have learned a lot about recruitment at this level from the early years. Covid and Brexit have also caused a huge rethink and I think have had a huge impact on the type of players we've brought in recently. I agree, it's difficult to see how players like Jeffries and Hercules are going to make an impact on the first team but you can't expect every player to be a potential star. Most academy sides are built to let the one or two real gems shine and develop. The majority of kids have no chance whatsoever of getting anywhere in football.

Can it improve? Undoubtedly, but I think it's certainly proved it's worth so far. You're right, it would be good to get a regular first team starter from the B team but there's still plenty of time and I don't see how a reserve team model would prove any better?
Thanks for reading what I had previously said. You appear to be arguing for the status quo, if things don't change they become moribund, which is usually the start of terminal decline. I have little doubt that on a regular basis Rasmas leads a review into the B Team, and challenges it's current progress. The goal is to produce players for the first team at Brentford, and not for minor leagues across Europe if it is not going to achieve the aim for which it exists it will be closed in exactly the same way that the Academy was closed. Every penny matters at Brentford, the one certainty is, that we are not a social service, or a philantrophic society, if it costs more than is deemed appropriate it will close. I take issue with your view that Stevens, and Roerslev had a full season in the B Team, they may well have had that title, and played a few games, but both have spent the majority of their time here in the first team squad where they have gained most of their football knowledge. Clearly the coaching is good at least in the first team group, the B Team for me is something of a mystery, either the coaching system requires some improvement, or the raw material needs to be of a higher standard. Your example of Oksanen is a classic case, after several years here, and an unsuccessful loan to League one this year he has had to travel all the way to Clydeside to get a loan in the Scottish Championship. At the age of 20 plus he should be knocking on the door of a Championship Club although I do agree that not all will make it, but surely better than the likes of Bedford Town, and Oxford City. You rightly point out, as I have, the apparent improvement in personnel this season, however, I would like to see less players who look as if they are never going to make it, and in their place play players such as Stevens who are in need of game time. Not a reserve team as such, but a more integrated team with the Bench players. Currently it is not as good as many claim that it is so a good look at how it is working will not do any harm, there is room for improvement in most things.
 

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Another GK is a strange one. Sheppard out on loan maybe? But could only be to non-league.
 

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I don’t think the expectation even at Championship level was to get more than one B progress to being a first team regular each year. Even one would be seen as a big win. We have several who’ve played regularly at that level who, regardless of whether they were signed as first or B played a lot for the Bs. In the PL we are at least initially, not going to have many progress that far with us.

What the B team does do is give us a better return rate on youth investment than an academy (even the stars who were poached for buttons haven’t progressed that far) and, by being a mens team rather than a youth one, give the chance to play good adult football in our style for players breaking in whether recruited on first or B contracts.
 
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Thanks for reading what I had previously said. You appear to be arguing for the status quo, if things don't change they become moribund, which is usually the start of terminal decline. I have little doubt that on a regular basis Rasmas leads a review into the B Team, and challenges it's current progress. The goal is to produce players for the first team at Brentford, and not for minor leagues across Europe if it is not going to achieve the aim for which it exists it will be closed in exactly the same way that the Academy was closed. Every penny matters at Brentford, the one certainty is, that we are not a social service, or a philantrophic society, if it costs more than is deemed appropriate it will close. I take issue with your view that Stevens, and Roerslev had a full season in the B Team, they may well have had that title, and played a few games, but both have spent the majority of their time here in the first team squad where they have gained most of their football knowledge. Clearly the coaching is good at least in the first team group, the B Team for me is something of a mystery, either the coaching system requires some improvement, or the raw material needs to be of a higher standard. Your example of Oksanen is a classic case, after several years here, and an unsuccessful loan to League one this year he has had to travel all the way to Clydeside to get a loan in the Scottish Championship. At the age of 20 plus he should be knocking on the door of a Championship Club although I do agree that not all will make it, but surely better than the likes of Bedford Town, and Oxford City. You rightly point out, as I have, the apparent improvement in personnel this season, however, I would like to see less players who look as if they are never going to make it, and in their place play players such as Stevens who are in need of game time. Not a reserve team as such, but a more integrated team with the Bench players. Currently it is not as good as many claim that it is so a good look at how it is working will not do any harm, there is room for improvement in most things.
I'm not arguing for the status quo and I'm not saying it's perfect by any stretch but you've got to give it a chance. It's still very much early days and is constantly evolving. Recently we'll have had to change our recruitment focus due to Brexit which is clearly why we had so many trialists last season. With regards to more players 'making it', I think you've got to be a bit more realistic. It's a lot harder to gauge young players quality and how well they'll develop. There's so little data available. You mention Oksanen and that he 'should' be knocking on the door of a Championship team. Obviously that was the hope but there's absolutely no guarantee with players at this age. He's had a spell out injured and lockdown won't have helped but sometimes players just don't develop as well as you might hope, regardless of the level of coaching they get. Look at the two who started off the closure of the academy, Josh Bohui and Ian Carlo Poveda. Went off to Man U and Man City.. Poveda was the big star we missed out on but he's now 21 and yet to nail down a place at Leeds, maybe he can finally make an impact on loan at Blackburn this season? Josh Bohui is currently without a club after having a less than inspiring season for Colchester. It's just not that easy even with the best coaching in the country and the best 'talent' some players still end up at the arse end of the football pyramid. There are so many factors involved at that age..

Joe Hardy, again, showed a lot of promise in front of goal but we couldn't get him near the first team. Was that our coaching? Went off to Liverpool U23s and......

I kind of see what you're saying re a more integrated team and I think we do see that from time to time with the odd behind closed doors friendly featuring a mix of first team fringe players and the best B teamers. Maybe we'll start to see more of that now we're in the PL as we want to push the players to a higher level but I think the B team as it is will likely remain for the short term at least.
 

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I'm not arguing for the status quo and I'm not saying it's perfect by any stretch but you've got to give it a chance. It's still very much early days and is constantly evolving. Recently we'll have had to change our recruitment focus due to Brexit which is clearly why we had so many trialists last season. With regards to more players 'making it', I think you've got to be a bit more realistic. It's a lot harder to gauge young players quality and how well they'll develop. There's so little data available. You mention Oksanen and that he 'should' be knocking on the door of a Championship team. Obviously that was the hope but there's absolutely no guarantee with players at this age. He's had a spell out injured and lockdown won't have helped but sometimes players just don't develop as well as you might hope, regardless of the level of coaching they get. Look at the two who started off the closure of the academy, Josh Bohui and Ian Carlo Poveda. Went off to Man U and Man City.. Poveda was the big star we missed out on but he's now 21 and yet to nail down a place at Leeds, maybe he can finally make an impact on loan at Blackburn this season? Josh Bohui is currently without a club after having a less than inspiring season for Colchester. It's just not that easy even with the best coaching in the country and the best 'talent' some players still end up at the arse end of the football pyramid. There are so many factors involved at that age..

Joe Hardy, again, showed a lot of promise in front of goal but we couldn't get him near the first team. Was that our coaching? Went off to Liverpool U23s and......

I kind of see what you're saying re a more integrated team and I think we do see that from time to time with the odd behind closed doors friendly featuring a mix of first team fringe players and the best B teamers. Maybe we'll start to see more of that now we're in the PL as we want to push the players to a higher level but I think the B team as it is will likely remain for the short term at least.
As is usual we are not a million miles apart. There is much that I agree with, but some that I don't, the thing is we both follow the B team closely, and want the same things, perhaps sometimes we would prefer that the club took a different route to the shared end. I think I have done this to death now, and it was interesting to hear different opinions.
 
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added Rocco Rees...

Goalkeeepers

  1. Nathan Shepherd (20) - exp 2022 - (1yr option)
  2. Ben Winterbottom (19) - exp 2023
  3. Matthew Cox (18) - exp 2024 (1 yr option)
  4. Rocco Rees (19) - exp 2022 (1 yr option)
Defenders
  1. Ben Hockenhull (19) - exp 2022 (1yr option)
  2. Fin Stevens (18) - exp 2024 (1yr option)
  3. Tristan Crama (19) - exp 2022 (1yr option)
  4. Jude Russell (19) - exp 2022 (1yr option)
  5. Nico Jones (19) - exp 2023 (1yr option)
  6. Lewis Gordon (20) - exp 2022
  7. Daniel Oyegoke (18) - exp 2024 (1yr option)
  8. Val Adedokun (18) - exp 2024 (1yr option)
Midfielders
  1. Jaako Oksanen (20) - exp 2022 - On loan with Greenock Morton
  2. Joe Adams (20) - exp 2022
  3. Paris Maghoma (20) - exp 2022 (1yr option)
  4. Max Haygarth (19) - exp 2022 (1yr option)
  5. Ryan Trevitt - (18) - exp??
  6. Dominic Jeffries (19) - exp 2022 (1yr option)
Forwards
  1. Gustav Mogensen (20) - exp 2022 - injured - out for the season
  2. Aaron Pressley (20) - exp 2023 (1yr option) - on loan to AFC Wimbledon
  3. Wraynel Hercules (19) - exp 2022
  4. Alex Gilbert (19) - exp 2022 (1yr option) - on loan with Swindon Town
  5. Lachlan Brook (20) - exp 2023 (1yr option)
  6. Nathan Young-Coombes (18) - exp 2024 (1yr option)
 
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