LIKE Rangers, Brentford have taken a unique route in challenging their young players, and after the two met on Sunday, the Bees described Gers as “the most dangerous team they’ve played against.”
The West London outfit are now into the second season of a three-year strategy where they have a reserve (or ‘B’ team) playing against some of the best talent around rather than competing in a youth league.
Graeme Murty led a Rangers XI down to their Jersey Road training centre on Sunday, and returned with a highly impressive 5-2 victory.
Speaking to rangers.co.uk this morning, Murty explained: “We were very good in patches and we were a massive threat in the final third. Brentford paid us the compliment of saying we were the most dangerous team they’ve played against, and they were really impressed with what we were doing.
“We take that complement as it is meant as it can’t have been easy for them. We had it last week where we had a big reverse score against us.
“I thought they dealt with the result fantastically well as a staff, and we were very open and honest about our feedback with one another in trying to get both of our squads into a better place than they are at the moment, and they are really looking forward to coming back up here to play us again.
“Every team we have played against has said that so far, and it is a good compliment to the standard we are playing at right at the moment.
“Since they have started this ‘B’ team route, they have put a new board up at their training ground showing how many debuts they have had from their ‘B’ team, and it is something they are really proud of, and they have had a number who have come through.
“We are hoping our experiment here bears a similar type of fruit, and we get an increased number of our young players through to our first-team, because that is the end goal of this entire Games Programme.”
Striker Ryan Hardie grabbed a hat-trick in the rout, while there were also goals for Aaron Nemane and Jamie Barjonas.
The squad which travelled to London was a mix of both Academy and first-team players, with Brentford’s starting XI also reflecting that.
Murty continued: “It was good, as our best young players get to see what first-team life is like, but they need to have some support at times with some mature athletes. Not all the time, but sometimes, and the players really relish playing with guys who have been in and around the first team.
“They relished too going and playing against players who have been in Brentford’s first team. We told them the mix of player that we had, and they went and changed their mix to include some players who had been on their first-team bench and in and around their first-team, so the overall level from both sides was really, really good, and you could see the younger players stepping-up and striving to be at the right level.
“I have to pay tribute to them as I though they handled that part of it – first-team players shifting the ball at a first-team tempo particularly well at the weekend.”
The planned fixture with Tottenham Hotspur on October 10 has now been postponed until later in the season at their request.
That does however allow Murty to work on some more individualistic aspects over the next couple of weeks.
He added: “We have a load of boys away on international duty, but we are in today and we will be training with the under-17s today as we both have diminished numbers, so we are going to work on aspects of both games that need tidying or worked on.
“The players will be having a bit of a rest after that, but then we will be working very, very hard to try and get some good distance into the players who haven’t maybe played a lot of the time.
“So it is a good time for them to go and hone skills while we are working in smaller numbers, and as a coach, it is a really good time to try and nail down some finer details with the players rather than be really general with the whole squad, go and hit some specific areas that the players need to work on.”