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Isaac receives call-up to face Premier League Brentford

Team news ahead of Saturday's match at Plough Lane

16 July 2021

Eighteen-year-old Isaac Ogundere will have a great opportunity to test himself against Premier League opposition in our first pre-season friendly on Saturday.

The right-back, who can also play anywhere across the back-line, is heading out to Leatherhead on loan, but first he will get valuable game-time against newly promoted top-flight club Brentford. That means he will get to face the club he left at the age of 13. Isaac was one of the stars of our FA Youth Cup run last season, his leadership skills really catching the eye, and he signed his first pro contract last month. 

Wil Nightingale and Dan Csoka will miss out, though Robbo confirmed that neither of the injuries are serious.

“Will has got a slight chip in his arm," said Robbo. "It is very minor and he could probably play if he wanted to. He is a whole-hearted player and it’s early days in pre-season. If he fell on it or got a knock it could get worse, so there is just no point. He is very fit and he can do everything apart from contact training now. He has been out working hard, but we just need to keep him out of a few of the pre-season games, just in case he got a knock and it got worse.

“Dan Csoka has very slight tightness in his hamstring. He hasn’t pulled it, and we are just keeping him out as a precaution. That leaves us a bit light at centre-back, but it’s a great opportunity for Isaac Ogundere, a first-year pro, who will be coming in. I am excited to see how he gets on against Premier League opposition. He has been training with the first-team and doing well. I’ve also got a trialist centre back in too. Although not ideal, it provides an opportunity to others.”

Dons supporters will tomorrow get a chance to watch new signings Luke McCormick, George Marsh, Darius Charles, and Zaki Oualah in action, but Aaron Pressley, signed on loan from Brentford, will not feature. As explained earlier, Aaron is not starting training with the squad until Monday.

In his video update ahead of Brentford, Robbo explained why the Dons were starting pre-season with a test against Premier League opposition, and he also talked about the merits of the squad getting three weeks of training under their belts before tackling a game.

“In terms of starting later than most teams, I wanted to do things differently," our Head Coach added. "We’ve got the same amount of games, but I just wanted us to have three weeks before the games started. I just feel that when the matches come in very quick succession it limits you in terms of what you can do because they need to have recovery time. We wanted to have those three weeks building up to the games. You don’t know what pre-season will bring. Some games are great and some are not so great. I felt that the attitude of the lads is so good that we could get more out of them by having a three-week build-up. We will see over time whether I’ve got that right or wrong, but that’s the reason for it.

"It has been difficult because our schedule has chopped and changed. I'm sure fans have looked at it and said 'we are starting with a Premier League club and then playing against semi pro clubs'. Saturday was meant to be a test event in front of 4,000 people, so we wanted to find Premier League opposition for that, hence why we are playing Brentford. Then it got moved because the restrictions changed and we didn't want to let Brentford down. We had other fixtures after Brentford, but the opposition couldn't fulfil them due to Covid. That's why the fixtures are the way they are, but it is not a problem - it's great to have Brentford.

“They are a fantastic club and an example to so many clubs. There is so much that they do which I believe is excellent. It’s a fantastic achievement to get into the Premier League and we are really proud to have them coming down to Plough Lane.”

The match tomorrow will be streamed live on Brentford FC’s YouTube channel, and we will provide more details about gaining access to this on Saturday afternoon.

Pic credit: Stuart Tree.

Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell's interview with Robbo ahead of Brentford.

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