Brentford B’s latest arrival Erion Zabeli feels Brentford is the right place for him to continue his development after he signed a one-year contract with a club option of an additional year with the Bees.
Zabeli, who joins from Oxford, enjoyed a successful trial period with the B team towards the end of last season with the young defender impressing during training and even making an appearance for Neil MacFarlane’s side in a fixture against Newcastle United Under-21s in May. The 18-year-old says it’s a big honour to sign for the club permanently but feels there is plenty of hard work still to come.
“It’s a very big honour for me, especially being a London boy, I know what it means to play for this club and I know how much work I’ve put in to be here but I’m also aware of where I want to get to,” he said.
“The first time I came to the training ground I remember saying I need to be here, so I had to put the work in, and I managed to impress and we got the deal done.”
The youngster went onto explain what went into his decision to make the permanent move to west London after having a strong season for Oxford’s Under-18s side, helping them reach the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
He continued: “There’s a great group of lads here and the coaches made me feel very welcome from my first day, I thought Brentford was the best pathway for me, the games programme here is very good and I’ve heard lots of stories about travelling to places like Portugal and Monaco which sounds very good.”
Zabeli is a ball-playing centre-back who will be looking to help the team with build-up play from the backline as well as taking care of his defensive duties.
Despite being confident in his abilities the new Brentford arrival says there are certain areas of his game which he would like to work on following his signing.
He explained: “I’m looking to develop the physical side, my heading and my tackling especially, I’m comfortable on the ball as a centre-back so improving the other aspects of my game will be key.”