Bees excited by Championship challenge as Donaldson nears exit

On his way: Bees striker Clayton Donaldson is closing in on a switch to Birmingham City

On his way: Bees striker Clayton Donaldson is closing in on a switch to Birmingham City

First published in Sport
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Brentford might be looking forward to host Charlton Athletic on the opening day of the new Championship season, but it is the run-in that will give boss Mark Warburton cause for concern.

The Bees, promoted from League One last season, welcome the Addicks to Griffin Park on August 9 – a game that is already expected to be a sell-out.

But Warburton’s men will play only three of their last seven games at home Ex-Premier League Fulham, two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest, beaten 2014 play-off finalists Derby County, seventh placed finishers Reading and former boss Uwe Rosler’s Wigan Athletic – who also finished in the play-offs last term – all feature in the final four weeks of the campaign.

But for now chief executive Mark Devlin is only excited by the prospect.

“I think fixture release day is up there with FA Cup Third Round day in terms of general excitement,” he said ahead of Thursday’s home kit launch at Griffin Park.

“It is good news that we have been given a nice home London derby on the opening day.

“It is an exciting start and straight away we will probably be into an all-ticket game. It is difficult to pick out run-of-the-mill games. It is exciting.”

Brentford have already sold 5,000 Early Bird season tickets for the coming campaign.

But Bees fans are unlilkely to see striker Clayton Donaldson make his Championship bow for the club, having this week agreed a switch to Birmingham City.

The 30-year-old frontman, currently on honeymoon, is expected at St Andrews next week for a medical to seal a Bosman free transfer to the Blues.

Warburton had offered the former Crewe Alexandra frontman improved terms for the coming campaign, but Donaldson is set to snub his advances for Lee Clark's former Premier League side.

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