Hogan’s Heroes! – 21/7/14

hoganWell he’s finally arrived!

After a week of rumour and speculation our sixth preseason signing put pen to paper and was announced to the supporters this morning.

Striker Scott Hogan has been signed from Rochdale for an unannounced fee thought to be in the region of £750,000.

If this figure is anywhere near correct then it will have taken our spending to a figure well in excess of two million pounds – a truly staggering sum and one unprecedented in the club’s history.

The signing further reinforces Matthew Benham’s determination to cement Brentford’s status in The Championship and ensure that we remain in that division when the time comes to move to our new stadium in Lionel Road.

It is a signing that reeks of confidence and ambition and Hogan follows the pattern of the majority of the earlier signings this Summer.

The club’s blueprint, so effectively created and put into practice by the Benham, Warburton and McParland think tank is to bring in young emerging, developing and to a degree, unproven talent and see them improve and their value appreciate over the coming season.

In Hogan we have obtained a twenty- two year old striker of immense talent and potential who scored nineteen goals for a promoted Rochdale team and in the process bullied and terrified a disjointed Leeds United team – who were anything but – in an FA Cup giant killing.

Under the astute Keith Hill, Rochdale play football in the right way with short passing to feet and Scott has had a good grounding in the game, is eager to improve and impress and will relish the opportunity to play at a higher level.

Rochdale have a justified reputation for developing and selling on good young strikers and Scott is following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Rickie Lambert, Grant Holt, Adam Le Fondre and Glenn Murray.

If he does half as well as those four, and hopefully better than their last major striker sale in Bobby Grant, who has struggled at a higher level, then everything should be fine.

Brentford now possess a squad that is surely the envy of many of their rivals and Peterborough Chairman, Darragh MacAnthony today acknowledged our transfer success and saw us as an outside bet for a successful season in The Championship.

It also gives me a nice warm glow to sit down by the pool in Tenerife and revel in the strength of the squad.

We now have a member of the PFA Division Two Team of The Year in Hogan, the First Division Player of The Year for both 2013 and 2014 in Alan Judge and Adam Forshaw plus two members of the PFA Team of The Year in Forshaw and Jake Bidwell not forgetting Andre Gray, the top player in The Conference last season.

Add in Alex Pritchard, short listed for Division One Player of The Year, Moses Odubajo, James Tarkowski and Harlee Dean and you can see we are awash in young talent.

Jonathan Douglas, Alan McCormack and Tony Craig will provide the necessary experience and here we are with just under three weeks to go before the big kickoff with a squad that looks lean, mean, strong and ready to do the business.

I suspect that there will be one more striker to come in and perhaps some defensive cover on loan but this strikes me as potentially the best Brentford squad that I can recall.

Roll on the ninth of August. I can hardly wait!

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