Having spent years trying to make it back to the top flight - losing three play-off finals along the way - Brentford finally exorcised their demons last weekend to secure their place in the Premier League following an historic 2-0 win over Swansea.

UCFB Wembley graduate Alex Southern, a Partnership Sales Executive at the club, was lucky enough to bag a front row seat for the showdown. Here, he tells us about Brentford’s long-awaited promotion, the part he played in it and his time at UCFB…

Congratulations on Brentford’s promotion to the Premier League! How did it feel to win the play-off final on Saturday?

It was unbelievable. To experience the scenes that unfolded on Saturday is why I want to work in the football industry. To be honest, it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. I think once the Premier League fixtures come out it will start to feel real.

Were you able to get to Wembley for the big day? If so, what was it like?

Luckily I was able to watch the match at Wembley with a few friends and family, which made the day extra special. The atmosphere was incredible, particularly as we were given such a small allocation of tickets. Brentford fans always make themselves heard and Saturday was no different.

How did you all celebrate?

After the full-time whistle there was an opportunity for all members of staff to celebrate with the players – it was definitely a night to remember.

What does it mean to Brentford after all the heartbreak to be promoted to the Premier League for the first time?

For the last few years, it’s always been a question of when we reach the Premier League, as oppose to if, and we’re all delighted that Thomas Frank, his staff and the whole team were able to achieve promotion. The impact of Premier League football on the club and the community will be huge and we can’t wait for the journey to start.

Tell us about your role as Partnership Sales Executive at the club and what this entails.

My role at Brentford is to primarily deliver new official club partner acquisition across new stadium venue partnerships and club partnerships. I also cross sell additional commercial opportunities having originally joined the club as a Premium Sales Executive.

What have you been able to take from your studies on the Football Business and Finance programme?

Studying Football Business and Finance provided me with great insight into how finance affects football clubs at all levels, and I think it’s vital to be cognisant of the financial implications of the industry when working in football.

During your time at UCFB, you also worked at QPR and Sheffield United. How important do you think it is to gain industry experience while studying?

I think it’s just as important as the degree itself, if not more so. Roles within football are hugely sought after so it’s essential to stand out from the crowd and gaining industry experience is the best way to do it.

What advice would you look to give to someone who is looking to study at UCFB?

Try and gain industry experience alongside your studies. Football clubs will rarely say no to another pair of hands, so don’t be afraid to reach out to clubs even if they are not advertising for a role. If you’re tenacious and persistent, the opportunities will come.