BRENTFORD’S stars of the future will this week potentially be rubbing shoulders with England’s next golden generation.
The club’s move from a youth team towards an academy is already paying dividends, with an invitation for their U15s to the NI Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.
The prestigious annual tournament will feature the best youth teams from across the globe, including Chelsea and Arsenal from back home.
Former Milk Cup participants include Peter Crouch, Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole, James Milner, Jermaine Defoe, Ledley King and Michael Carrick.
And the fact that the next generation of young Bees could be coming up against the new Rooney is a sign of where the club is heading, according to Ron Dangerfield , administrator for Brentford’s youth football development.
He said: "Brentford would never have been invited to this sort of tournament before – we wouldn’t even have been on the radar.
"However, through his contacts, our new director of youth football development, Ose Aibangee, managed to get us a place, playing against some of the best youngsters in the world."
The tournament was set to come to a close today, having started on Monday.
As the Chronicle revealed earlier this month, Brentford are scrapping their old youth team set-up in favour of a new academy, funded by the club’s financial backer, Matthew Benham.
It means their youngsters will regularly play against fellow teenagers from Premier League rather than League One and Two sides.