Mark Warburton's faith in youth has got League One leaders Brentford growing up fast

Life beyond the Premier League: He has overseen eigh victories in nine games since he replaced Uwe Rösler as manager

There is something good brewing down at Brentford. For a football club with, uniquely in Britain, a pub on each corner of their Griffin Park ground, that might not be an unusual statement to make but this is about points, rather than pints.

The League One leaders are the country's form team, with a stunning record of 15 wins and two draws from their last 17 league matches. Not even Manchester City can match that, and not even Wednesday's rare cloud on the horizon – the news of a delay in the London Mayor Boris Johnson's decision over whether to call in their planned Lionel Road stadium development for further scrutiny – can deflate the buoyant mood.

"A massive step" is how Brentford's manager, Mark Warburton, describes the prospect of a 20,000-seat stadium near Kew Bridge, already approved by Hounslow Council, west London. Yet life seems rosy enough at homely old Griffin Park right now, with Tuesday's 3-1 success over Bristol City bringing Warburton's eighth victory in nine games since he replaced Uwe Rösler as manager.

"Most of the players I had signed and knew very well," he tells The Independent of a seamless transition from his old role as sporting director. "You put your fingerprints on it, but there was no need for major surgery."

It is a first managerial post for Warburton, whose CV makes interesting reading. Once a Leicester City apprentice, he played non-league for Enfield while working in the City as a currency trader. When cruciate injuries curtailed his career, he began coaching. "I was always coaching, whether it was Under-nines or men's teams or high schools," explains the 51-year-old. "I was working in the City but I always wanted the football and reached a stage [in his late thirties] where it was either I do it now or never at all. With the culture in the City, in terms of working in a team and man-management, you can transfer a lot of those skills to the football world."

He started working at Watford under Aidy Boothroyd, becoming academy manager before joining Brentford in February 2011 as interim first-team coach. That summer he was appointed sporting director.

It was through NextGen, the junior tournament for Europe's leading clubs Warburton helped Matthew Benham, the Brentford owner, set up, that he got to know David Weir and Frank McParland – the latter was Liverpool's academy director – who have joined him as assistant coach and director of football respectively. "I like people who are keen on giving young talent a chance," says Warburton. This sums up Brentford's ethos: their academy has category two status and last week a £2m indoor training facility opened at Uxbridge High School, where their schoolboys will be based.

Warburton's background in academy football ensures a steady influx of "young, hungry professionals" like midfielder Nico Yennaris, whom he watched as a 10-year-old and has been freshly recruited from Arsenal. "Boys like Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell are now key players for us and I watched them at 14, 15 for Everton," he adds.

Another of Brentford's young, hungry brigade is Marcello Trotta, the Fulham loanee whose penalty miss on the final day of last season against Doncaster cost automatic promotion. "We could easily have had a negative reaction at the start of this season but the boys have been really focused," says Warburton.

There is a long way to go before promotion, he adds, but there is no hiding his ambition. "We are not going up to the Championship just to come up for one year and come down again. We want to go up and stay up." Brentford fans will drink to that.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific