Marcus Braddock previews Saturday's pre-season friendly against Brentford
This weekend sees our new manager Mr Askey face his first home fixture for Shrewsbury Town in front of the home fans. Championship Brentford are the visitors and will give us a good test ahead of the new season. Last season saw the Bees finish ninth in the Championship, a position they occupied two seasons previously after finishing 10th in 2016/7. They've been in the Championship since their 2013/4 automatic promotion after finishing second to Wolves. Their best finish to a season during their time in the second tier was 2014/5 when they came fifth and took part in the play-offs, albeit unsuccessfully.
We Meet Again
Brentford have a three ex-Shrewsbury Town players on their books including midfield powerhouse Ryan Woods. Ryan came through our youth system and turned into one of the best players we've ever produced but eventually left for Brentford after almost 100 games for us. Goalkeeper Luke Daniels also spent time at Montgomery Waters Meadow as a loan player for West Brom making 44 appearances in a season that saw us reach Wembley via the Play-offs. Midfielder Romaine Sawyers had a short spell with us in 2012 although he was very young and only here for seven games on loan from West Brom.
Last seasons top scorer was Neal Maupay who signed last closed season from St Etienne. The Frenchman repaid Brentford's faith and rumoured £1.6 million fee with 12 goals. Brentford's second placed goalscorer is Ollie Watkins who signed for Brentford a few days after Maupay for an undisclosed fee from Exeter City. The 22 year old scored 10 goals in 39 starts having scored 21 in 55 starts for his previous team.
This morning saw Derby County sign Brentford winger Florian Jozefzoon for an undisclosed fee. The 27 year old midfielder scored seven goals from 43 appearances. Just over two weeks ago Brentford signed Algerian striker Said Benrahma from Nice. He's been capped once for Algeria and spent last season on loan in the French second division with Châteauroux, scoring nine times in 31 appearances. Brentford have also brought in Charlton defender Ezri Consa Ngoyo this closed season. He played against us four times for last season so should know his way here on his own!Brentford have also lost defender Andreas Bjelland who left on a free after an injury blighted career with the Bees.
As with all pre-season friendlies I'm not going into this one with any expectation but I am hoping for a good performance from Mr Askeys team. The result of these sorts of games is unimportant compared to fitness, tactical assessment and appraising players ability. I'm quite interested to see how our new signings start at home as they look to find some form and maybe work out who any triallists might be. Either way, it will be good to get back to the Meadow, the world cup is nice but it's no substitute for real football.