Ten years ago, even the most ambitious Brentford fans wouldn’t have dreamed of where they might be today. Habitually a club flipping between the third and fourth tiers of English professional football for much of its history, these days supporters are looking forward to a much brighter future, particularly in what’s now their fourth consecutive season playing in the Championship.
The first season in the second tier took many by surprise, with Brentford finishing the 2014-15 season in fifth position, only to be beaten by Middlesbrough in the promotion play-off semi-finals. That concluded what was nearly the phenomenal achievement of back to back promotions, from League One to the Premier League.
Since then, ninth and tenth position finishes in the Championship have been nothing to be ashamed of, because this is still a modest club compared to others at this level of the game. However, a positive start to the 2018-19 Championship season once again has fans hoping that soon, their team might reach the promised land of the Premier League, for the first time in the club’s history.
If the betting predictions for the Premier League are anything to go by, Manchester City seem destined to win the title again, with Chelsea and Liverpool expected to provide the strongest challenge to the reigning champions. Meanwhile, still riding high in the Championship and jostling for promotion, Brentford are one of the teams dreaming of rubbing shoulders with the English football elite.
Griffin Park has been home for Brentford since 1904 and for the football romantics amongst us, getting to see the venue host Premier League games would be a most fitting farewell, for what has been such an iconic location in football for over a century. As the only football ground in England with a pub on every corner, Griffin Park quite literally remains a refreshingly unique venue, cherished by regulars and visitors alike on matchdays.
In the summer of 2020, work at the new Brentford Community Arena is expected to be completed, with construction progressing well and at a good pace after commencing early in 2018. The new 17,250-seater venue will feature stylish modern designs and all the latest facilities, giving Brentford Football Club luxurious new surroundings in which to host their games. Additionally, London Irish RFC will also play their Premiership Rugby games at the venue.
Of course, moving to the new venue gives Brentford one last chance this season, to earn their current Griffin Park home a nostalgic last hurrah in the Premier League. The subsequent 2019-20 campaign will be their last at the ageing venue, before the club moves into the Brentford Community Arena just ahead of the 2020-21 season, during what will also be the 130th anniversary of the club being founded.
Most fans of Brentford would likely be content to see Premier League football at either venue, after so many years in the lower tiers of football, but undoubtedly, the most ardent will want to do so first at Griffin Park. This would be a fantastic milestone in the history of the club, before times and traditions change, welcoming a new era with a new home.
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