League One FTBpro PFA Fan Player Of The Year Contender: Jake Bidwell - Brentford
A product of the Everton youth system, Jake was named Academy Player of the Year in 2011, the same year he initially joined Brentford on loan.
He remained a loan player at Griffin Park for the duration of the 2012-13 season before signing a permanent, three year deal last summer.
The 21-year-old shows maturity beyond his years and has played a key role in the Bees’ promotion push. Not bad for a young defender who began his career as a goalkeeper.
Having joined Everton's academy aged 11 as a keeper, he left the Premier League club's youth set-up two years later but subsequently rejoined soon afterwards as an outfield player.
"I did a couple of years at Everton as a goalkeeper up until under-13s," he recalls. "I wasn't really enjoying it so the plan was to go and play with my mates. As it turned out I did all right and ended up going back to Everton as a centre half and then a left back."
Jake is grateful for the chance he was given at Brentford, and has made it his mission to repay for the faith shown in him by the recently promoted club. Now the Championship awaits after promotion was secured with games to spare.
"Brentford put a lot of faith in me at a young age. I was 18 when I made my debut," he said. "There has not really been a massive change from coming on loan to permanent.
"I just saw it as coming back to Brentford really rather than signing. You don't really sit back and think about it but then all of a sudden you have played 100 games."
Voting is now open for the League One FTBpro PFA Fan Player of the Year award and fans can cast their votes at http://www.football.co.uk/pfa-fans-player-of-the-month/index.shtml
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