Preview: Brentford v Staines


Staines manager Marcus Gayles says the team are not there to be rolled over.


By Michael Stafford-Jones

Brentford and Staines Town football clubs are only 11.6 miles apart, but the gap between them in footballing terms is much greater.

Brentford are a fully-professional club currently fifth in League One, while Staines are a non-league outfit lying twelfth in the Conference South and represented mostly by part-time players for whom football is not their primary job. Tomorrow’s game will be their first-ever competitive meeting.

Louie Theophanus, who is Staines’ star striker and leads the goal-scoring charts with a mightily- impressive 13 goals in 16 games, is the only full-time player at the club.

Remarkably, £350-a-week Theophanus’ is also a part-time model, whose work includes flying to Madrid periodically to act as £300,000-a-week Cristiano Ronaldo’s body double in Nike adverts.

“I have ambitions to play at a higher level,” Theophanus told the Sun. “These are the kind of games if you do something good you get noticed.”

Brentford will be hoping Theophanus is not so impressive that he leads Staines to victory tomorrow. Speaking after his team’s 1-0 victory at Crawley last Saturday, Brentford Assistant Manager Alan Kernaghan underlined how keen they are to avoid embarrassment.

Kernaghan said: “Immediately you would look to us against Chelsea. There’s that underdog element. I went to see Staines play – they’re a decent outfit with good pace throughout their team. It’s a banana skin that we’ve definitely got to be wary of.”

Kernaghan said the importance of not losing games like this means resting players is unwise.

“We have to make sure that we approach it in the right manner and make sure we do well in the first 20 minutes. I think that period is especially key in these types of games,” said Kernaghan.

The game has special significance for Staines Town manager Marcus Gayle, who started his playing career at Brentford. However, he is not feeling sentimental, nor does he wish to be held back by the underdog tag his team have inevitably been issued with.

“We’re not there to be rolled over. We are not in the first round by fluke. We have earned the right to be there,” Gayle told “We are going to try and make it difficult and win the game.”

Photo courtesy of Jim Moran, with thanks.

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