Which part of the team needs strengthening?

Last updated : 13 July 2003 By

With pre-season training now well underway, July is traditionally a month when football clubs assess their requirements for the arduous season ahead and player movement invariably reaches a peak.

This year is destined to be no different and with a record number of footballers available on the transfer market, it is to be hoped that Brentford manager Wally Downes will acquire a few new faces before the visit to Tranmere Rovers on the season’s opening day.

Now in the latest reader poll, the Bee Hive asks you to vote for where you feel the side is in most need of strengthening.

Before you vote, please be realistic is your assessment. Our wonderful club does not have a limitless supply of money and we are not, for example, necessarily able to purchase a whole host of Premiership quality players.

The categories are pretty much self-explanatory, but to help guide you the Bee Hive has compiled this small article.

With Paul Smith having signed a new contract extension only last week and Northern Ireland U19 representative, Alan Julian, a more than capable deputy, the custodian duties appear to be taken care of. This being said, you may have other ideas, especially if Smith is sold onto one of the Premiership big boys.

Marshall: Will his experience be missed?
Looking at the defence, the unit that performed so admirably last season remains pretty much in tact, apart from the loss of the experienced, Scott Marshall.

Whilst Michael Dobson, Ibrahima Sonko, Leo Roget and Matt Somner appear as good as most of our competitors, is the backup pairing of Andy Frampton and Lee Fieldwick going to be consistent enough to cope with playing 30 odd league games should Roget, for example, miss a number of matches as indeed, he did last season?

The midfield department, not necessarily our strongest forte last term has been further weakened with the departures of the mercurial Martin Rowlands to local rivals, Queens Park Rangers and the hard working Jamie Fullarton.

Perhaps it is your opinion that Eddie Hutchinson and Jay Smith could do with further support in the middle, especially as Kevin O’Connor and Stephen Hunt, providing he stays, are more likely to be found in the opposing penalty area.

The Bees attack, I think it is reasonably fair to conclude, struggled somewhat during the second half of last season. Rowan Vine worked tirelessly and has hinted at a return, whilst Mark Peters and Jay Tabb have shown they possess enormous potential, but is this enough in the competitive world that is Nationwide Second Division football?

Alternatively, you may think all areas of the squad are in need of improvement, or even that Downes himself may not be the right man for the job!

Anyway the choice is yours, think carefully and cast your vote today.