Five UCFB students have landed in-demand roles at Brentford FC for the upcoming Premier League season – the club’s first stint in the top flight for 74 years. From helping prepare Brentford’s new stadium to ensuring everything’s in place for the return of fans, the students have secured a front row seat at one of English football’s most celebrated clubs.

Eagerly anticipating the season is Andrew Leake, a BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management student. Working as the club’s match day ambassador, he said: “It feels unbelievable to work at a Premier League club. Watching football from a young age and being able to work in football now is incredible. The new stadium is lovely – smaller grounds create larger atmospheres and I get that sense at Brentford.”

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Following an agonising run of nine losses in nine play-off finals since 1990, Brentford made it tenth time lucky against Swansea in May, snatching the last place in the top flight for the 2021/22 season. No one was backing The Bees more than Andrew and Kiran Kanani, who had already landed the role through UCFB’s Employability & Enrichment scheme and were on the cusp of working amongst football’s elite throughout the year. 

Kiran, a BA (Hons) Football & Finance student and Here to Help team member, said: “Working for the club is a great honour given their incredible journey to the Premier League. To see the staff and fans preparing for the start of the season is amazing. In my role, I have to ensure that the fans are greeted before entering the stadium and are helped towards their seats. I also help with any enquiries they may have.”

There’s no gentle start for the London club either – if such a thing exists in the top flight. Their first game is a mouth-watering derby with Premier League power house Arsenal. The Bees may not be favourites for the clash, but inspired by a new league, new stadium and old fans, the students are feeling quietly confident for the game.

Andrew said: “I love an underdog story. Ivan Toney, amongst others, are coming off an unreal promotion season for Brentford, whereas Arsenal are coming off a season where they would like to improve. I’ll go for a 2-1 victory for Brentford.”

Kiran echoed: “I feel pretty sure Brentford will be able to get points against Arsenal on Friday.”