Hatters head of goalkeeping Kevin Dearden spoke to the media ahead of Town’s game against Brentford as he reflected on his time playing for the Bees during the 90s.
From 1993 until 1999, the 49-year-old made over 200 appearances for Brentford and fondly recollects his time at Griffin Park.
Starting on a more light-hearted note, Dearden said: “I think the shorts were a lot shorter and I was probably considerably lighter! But I had some good years there.”
On signing for Brentford, the goalkeeping coach added: “Dave Webb took me in there, they just got relegated from the Championship into League One and he was in the process of a big reshuffle. So a lot of players came in and a lot of players went out but I spent a good five years there. Some good people are still there and it will be good to see them tomorrow.”
During his time between the sticks for the Bees, Brentford enjoyed some success but often faltered at the most crucial times.
“I think Brentford’s record in the play-offs is pretty ghastly and we were probably the start of that. Semi-final got knocked out on penalties by Huddersfield and two years later lost a final to Crewe.
"There were some really good years. We were unfortunate in the first year because that was a reshuffle of the Premier League and we finished second but went in the play-offs instead of going straight up. Birmingham went up and they were spending fortunes on players so we were unlucky that year.”
Dearden moved into his new role of head of goalkeeping over the summer with the arrival of Imanol Etxeberria as technical goalkeeping coach – with Kevin enjoying his new position.
Talking on his role, he said: “I’m on the training ground every day but I don’t take all the sessions, we share them between myself and Imanol. Then I’m looking further afield with the club and lower down in the academy, keeping an eye on them.
“So my role is really the whole keeping of the goalkeeper role, rather than just working the first team goalkeepers on a daily basis. I’m out on the training ground every day which I love and is where I want to be so I’m really enjoying the role.”
He joined Town’s coaching staff in December 2014 and since Graeme Jones has taken over as manager in the summer, Dearden has been full of praise for the former Belgium assistant boss.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. Graeme is a fantastic bloke, really inclusive, he lets everyone have an opinion and he listens to people.
“From a goalkeeping point of view, he lets me get on with my work, he trusts me. He’s not looking over my shoulder worrying about what we’re doing and he’s been really supportive of the goalkeeping department and he’s been really positive on the training pitch. He’s a really good coach and I think he will become a really good manager.”
On tomorrow’s game, the goalkeeping coach feels the squad have plenty of confidence behind them after a good run of performances.
“There has been a bounce in training this week. I think we’ve had two positive performances, I know the Leeds result just fell the wrong side, but we felt it was a positive performance, followed by another positive performance and a win.
“We go to Brentford on Saturday with a bit of confidence, with a bit of bubble in the camp and hopefully we can go there and continue the good performances we have put in, if we do then we can get a good result.”