Dearden believes Hatters should try to emulate former club Brentford's success

Luton Town head of goalkeeping Kevin Dearden believes the Hatters should try and emulate a club like today's opponents, his former side Brentford.

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 8:10 am
Updated Saturday, 30th November 2019, 8:11 am
Luton Town's head of goalkeeping Kevin Dearden

The 49-year-old played over 250 times for the Bees between 1993 and 1999, becoming a real favourite with the club's supporters.

Since hanging up his boots and moving into coaching, Dearden has seen his old club begin to flourish, winning promotion to the Championship in 2014.

In that time, they have been outside the top 10 just once, last term, when they came 11th, becoming a regular fixture in the second tier of English football, developing some top players too, including striker Neil Maupay, whom Brighton & Hove Albion shelled out £20m for in the summer too.

Like Luton, Brentford are now looking to move out of their Griffin Park stadium that has been home since 1904, although unlike Luton, they have an actual date that will take place, heading to the Brentford Community Stadium for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Speaking about the progress of his former side, Dearden said: "I think they're a club in the same situation as us, they can't really grow unless they leave Griffin Park and we're the same at Kenilworth Road.

"We'll all be sad to see Kenilworth Road go, because over the last two years, that place has been rocking and it has been like a goal start for us in a lot of games.

"But the club needs to progress and Brentford's the same, they move into that 20,000 seater stadium and I'm sure that will help push them further forward.

"Griffin Park is one of the old ones. They fill it now with 10,000, we didn't really fill it there, maybe six, seven thousand then, but they fill it every week.

"It's very similar to Kenilworth Road, a similar sort of club, hopefully we can emulate their progress in the next couple of years."

Dearden had begun his playing career at Spurs as an 18-year-old, but made just two first team appearances in a decade at White Hart Lane, with a number of loan spells until he was released and headed to west London.

The keeper quickly became number one at Griffin Park and even saw a goal he conceded at Bristol Rovers feature as an answer for ex-Arsenal and England stopper David Seaman on TV show A Question of Sport once, when he threw the ball down after a fan blew a whistle, allowing the opposition striker to score in a 2-1 defeat for his side.

However, he had some far better memories during his time there, saying: "I think the shorts were a lot shorter and I was probably considerably lighter, but some good years there.

“Ossie Ardiles took over at Tottenham and made it fairly clear that there wouldn't be much of a future for me, so Dave Webb came in for me at Brentford and it was a perfect move.

“They just got relegated from the Championship into League One, he was in the process of a big reshuffle.

"A lot of players came in and lot of players went out, I spent a good five years there, with some good people who are still there, and be good to see them.

“Brentford’s record in the play-offs is pretty ghastly and we were one of the start-offs with that.

"In the semi-final we got knocked out on penalties by Huddersfield and two years lost a final to Crewe.

"We were unfortunate the first year, as that was a reshuffle of the Premier League.

"We finished second but went in the play-offs instead of going straight up, and Birmingham went straight up as they were spending fortunes on players."

Dearden, who completes five years with Luton next month, would now like to see his new employers continue their improved displays since the international break this afternoon, as they look to gain further ground on the teams above them with a second successive win.

He said: "We've had two positive performances.

"I know the Leeds result just fell the wrong side, but we felt it was a positive performance, and another positive performance which resulted in a win (against Charlton).

"So we go to Brentford on Saturday with a bit of confidence, with a bit of bubble in the camp.

"Hopefully we can go there and continue the good performances we put in, and if we do, get a good result."