Saunders signs new deal at Brentford


Sam Saunders, Brentford’s longest-serving player, has signed a new one-year deal.

The 32-year-old joined the Bees from Dagenham & Redbridge in the summer of 2009 and is approaching 200 games for the club in all competitions.

He has scored 28 goals, most recently in the 1-1 draw with Leeds last week, his first for Brentford since Boxing Day 2014.

Dean Smith, Brentford head coach, said: “Sam had options to go elsewhere and for him to sign with us shows how much this club means to him.

“He has had a couple of years of frustration with injuries but has come back and since I have been here he has been excellent in training.

“We have rewarded him with a place in the team, he has done very well in the games he has played and got his first goal for us for more than a year last week.”

Saunders was on the books of Charlton Athletic and Fulham as a youngster and moved around the non-League scene at Welling United, Ashford Town and Carshalton Athletic before being part of the Dagenham team that won promotion to the Football League in 2007.

During his spell at Griffin Park, he helped Brentford to the 2011 Football League Trophy final and then scored 12 goals and made almost as many assists during the 2011-12 season.

He played for the Bees in the League One play-off final defeat to Yeovil in 2013 and was part of the squad that won promotion to the Championship a year later.

Saunders played four games for Brentford last season after recovering from a knee injury and ended the campaign on loan at Wycombe, helping them to the League Two play-off final – though he was injured in the opening seconds.

He worked his way back to fitness and has started three of the last four games.