CLUB chiefs believe the setting up of a new academy shows the ambition of Brentford FC under owner-elect Matthew Benham .
The move came to light last week when Barry Quin left the club after two decades looking after the youth team, which will be replaced by the academy.
It will be funded by Benham, whose loans have kept the club afloat in recent years, and who has an option to buy the club outright in five years from supporters’ trust Bees United.
Benham has long been a champion of developing young talent at Brentford - three years ago he created a special fund to bring in promising youngsters, which paved the way for Ryan Dickson to join.
David Merritt, chairman of Bees United who also sits on the club board, said: "This is a signal of both Brentford FC’s and Matthew Benham’s personal ambition.
“Having an academy is almost unique for a League One club, and it’s something Brentford certainly wouldn’t have been able to do without Matthew’s money."
In recent years, only Karleigh Osborne has broken through from the youth side to become anything like a regular in the first team.
Others such as Charlie Ide, Darius Charles and Clark Masters have had fleeting moments of first-team fame, but have since drifted into non-league football.
However, Merritt insisted this should not reflect badly on Quin, who has done an excellent job with limited funds.
He said: "Barry has been a sterling servant to this club for many years, and could only dream of the sort of money involved in an academy.
“However, I believe the idea of the academy will be to bring more homegrown players through the Brentford ranks, something Matthew is very passionate about."
The new academy will probably take about a year to set up and be licensed, so will probably not play competitive matches until the season after this.
And when it does, they will come up against Premier League academy sides rather than youth teams from the lower leagues.
The move may also result in the training ground at Jersey Road being redeveloped, or a new base acquired, as the FA lays down strict guidelines for academy facilities - such as having having indoor and artificial pitches.