Boreham Wood v Brentford
Tuesday 20th July 2021, 7.30pm
Meadow Park, Pre-Season Friendly
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Tuesday, Wood face a tough test as they look to get off to winning ways in pre-season following defeat to Luton Town, hosting newly promoted Premier League side Brentford at Meadow Park.
The Bee’s enjoyed a successful 2020/21 Championship campaign, achieving promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history after a play-off final win over Swansea City.
Wood are looking to achieve success of their own after a disappointing season in which they finished 14th, and will be desperate for an improved conclusion to the upcoming campaign.
2021/22 SEASON REVIEW
Wood are looking for improvement for the upcoming season, taking plenty of disappointment from the last one. A 14thplace finish can be considered mediocre compared to their previous fifth place finish, with a 12-game unbeaten run that only included two wins playing a pivotal role. Throughout the season play-offs were a possibility, but these hopes soon faded along with the team’s form towards the end, with successive defeats to Wrexham and Eastleigh mathematically confirming these hopes to have fallen. Despite this, an FA Cup run did a lot to improve morale amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with a visit of Millwall in a first ever appearance in the tournament’s third round proving exciting times are still around for the club. Luke Garrard’s men will be keen to recreate the success of the 2017/18 and 2019/20 seasons, finding that bit more clinical edge and solidity at the back to enjoy another impressive campaign.
Brentford have enjoyed an outstanding period in their history over the last few years. Since their promotion to the Championship in 2014, they have been a stable side in England’s second tier with regular top half finishes but rarely having genuine attempts at promotion. This all changed after Dean Smith left to take over the reins of boyhood club Aston Villa. Assistant Thomas Frank took charge of the first team and oversaw a comfortable mid-table finish in his first season, before beginning to make history a year later. A hugely impressive season saw the Bees reach the play-off final, and while they were disappointingly beaten by Fulham at Wembley they took this experience with them the following year.
Playing expansive, high-pressing football, a 21-game unbeaten run saw them rapidly rise up the table to secure third place for a second successive campaign. They faltered a little towards the end, being denied automatic promotion in April as they sat ten points behind Watford in 2nd and 15 behind league leaders Norwich. Nonetheless, Brentford then went on and made amends for their previous final defeat by winning the same fixture this time around, and are looking forward to their first season at the pinnacle of English football for 74 years.
BEES PLAYERS TO WATCH
A controversial move from Leeds United in the summer of 2019 raised many eyebrows. Marcelo Bielsa’s men had just suffered a failed promotion attempt despite topping the league for long periods and the Swede decided to start weighing up alternative options. Jansson soon decided to join Brentford.
Five successful years with Malmo brought a move to Serie A in 2014, with Torino announcing his arrival on a free transfer. Regular football was hard to come by, however, making just nine and seven league appearances in his two seasons in Italy. The attractive proposition of Bielsa came calling and a move to Leeds soon came to fruition, this on an initial loan that was eventually turned permanent. Jansson became one of the best defenders in the Championship with plenty of links to Premier League clubs. He stuck by the Whites though, becoming a firm fans’ favourite. Defeat to Derby County in the 2019 play-off semi-final proved to be the final straw however, as Jansson chose to swap Elland Road for Griffin Park in a £5m deal.
Coming in immediately as club captain, Jansson’s arrival was a real statement of intent for the Bees. He is composed on the ball and strong in the challenge, enjoying getting stuck in and relishing battles with the opposition attackers. Despite facing more play-off disappointment after their defeat to Fulham in the 2019/20 Championship play-off final, their successful attempt this time around means Jansson is finally a Premier League footballer at the third time of asking, and he will undoubtedly be looking forward to the biggest test of his career.
Norgaard joined the Bees in the summer of 2019 following a short-lived spell in Italy with Fiorentina. The 27-year old came through the ranks at Lyngby, only making a solitary senior appearance before joining Hamburger SV, although a move back to Denmark with Bronby followed after just a season in Germany that brought no first team opportunities. 147 appearances in all competitions over five years caught the eye of teams around Europe, and Norgaard’s good form earnt him a move back to one of Europe’s top five leagues when Fiorentina announced the arrival of the Dane on a four-year deal. This proved to be unsuccessful however, playing just six times in Serie A.
His stint at Brentford has been a different gravy, however. Normally found at the base of a midfield three, Norgaard has been a revelation in the centre of the park since his move to West London, coinciding with two promotion attempts to the Premier League and the second of which being successful. He keeps things ticking over with a crucial role in Thomas Frank’s system, helping to shield the back four as well as allowing the attacking players to showcase their talent. His good form even earnt him his first senior Denmark call-up in September 2020, as well as featuring in the recent Euros in which they reached the semi-final.
Despite coming through the ranks at Northampton Town, Toney is perhaps best known for his spell at Newcastle United. Specifically, what could have been. Six loan spells with Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town, Scunthorpe United and Wigan Athletic failed to pull up many trees, and he was soon allowed to leave on a permanent basis. Peterborough United were his next destination with Toney penning a long-term contract. His debut campaign saw him net 23 times in all competitions as well as having a hand in nine assists, with this tally increasing to 26 goals and seven assists the following season. His excellent form won the League One golden boot as well as the League One Player of the Season award and clubs began sniffing around.
Peterborough’s £10m price tag was considered too high by many. Instead, fresh off the sale of Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa, Brentford were in need of a replacement and took a punt on the League One top scorer. This decision proved to be one of the best by any club in recent years. The 25-year old smashed home 33 goals in all competitions, breaking the record for the most goals scored in a single Championship season that was previously held by Glenn Murray with 30. Toney is the definition of a penalty box striker, always looking to get in the right place at the right time to score goals. He likes to play off the shoulder of the last defender and use his pace to get in behind, although he is equally comfortable dropping deep to get involved in build-up play and his goal tally clearly shows he is a top finisher. With Premier League football secured, Toney will be keen to take this form into the new season and show why his former employers in the North-East were wrong to let him go.
LAST TIME WE MET
Boreham Wood 1-2 Brentford
Friday 6th July 2018
Meadow Park, Pre-Season Friendly
Goals from Ollie Watkins and Lewis Macleod secured pre-season victory for the Bees despite a first half Morgan Ferrier penalty opening the scoring.
Brentford started off the stronger team with a couple of chances for Neal Maupay as well as a penalty appeal turned away from Josh Clarke, however it was Wood who drew first blood. Morgan Ferrier had a penalty appeal of his own prove successful following a challenge from Reece Cole, with the English C team international stepping up himself to slot it away. The Bees weren’t behind for long though; more chances for Maupay as well as for Cole tested Wood’s goalkeeper before Ollie Watkins got on the end of a magical Ryan Woods cross-field pass from inside his own half, cutting inside and firing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner just before half time.
Dean Smith’s men continued to keep up the pressure after the break with opportunities for Emiliano Marcondes and Sergi Canos, finally making it pay when Lewis Macleod netted just after the hour mark. The Scotland youth international tucked his shot low into the bottom right-hand corner following some fine build-up play involving Marcondes, Chiedozie Ogbene and Marcus Forss. Wood’s search for an equaliser included limited clear-cut chances, with Brentford able to see out the victory.
HOW TO WATCH
Due to the updated government guidelines, both home and away fans are now able to enter Meadow Park to watch the game live. All tickets are encouraged to be pre-purchased, any sales taken on the day are also encouraged to be via debit/credit card.
We will also be streaming the game on our BWFCtv Match Pass, for both home and away fans for just £7.99 which will include a pre-match show, a digital programme and the stream of the game.
Alternatively, you can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.
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