Boro’s preparations for the 2023-4 League One campaign were in their last knockings when forward Aaron Pressley was brought into the squad; the player signing for us on a two-year deal from Premier League side Brentford. We announced the arrival of Pressley with just three days until the season kicked off. In its self, it ain’t much of a problem that. You gotta get these things right. But the clamour for yet more firepower in the attacking department – mainly from fans – put a burden of expectation on the deal.
If you want another indication that it was a late-in-the-day deal, Pressley had only got back from the United States; the player having gone out there with the Bees for the type of globetrotting pre-season jolly you see Premier League teams going on now. Brentford B head coach Neil MacFarlane said of Pressley’s departure: “[He] is a fantastic professional who is so dedicated, and we feel he can have a really good career. He has an amazing attitude and desire for the game”. And we’re happy with the sound of that…
Aaron Pressley: Before Boro’
For Pressley, it all started north of the border as a youth at Hearts. In 2013, a big opportunity came his way – relatively speaking – as Aston Villa came in for him. For the next seven years, however, the striker only felt the benefit of youth team football. First team opportunities didn’t emerge at Villa Park, so his career would take a next step elsewhere. And that next step would be at Griffin Park; the lad moving south to hook up with the B team at Brentford. Still not first team, but perhaps a clearer route through to it?
Technically, yes. Pressley did turn out for the Bees first team on very sporadic occasions. It was, however, on loan in the Football League where his experience would come. First, he spent some time at AFC Wimbledon; injuries not helping his cause there. That said, it wasn’t a write-off by any stretch. Next up came a short-term stint at Accrington Stanley. Poor lad. To his immense credit, he returned eight goals in 27 appearances. If this doesn’t sound prolific, please remember that Accy were relegated – so eight goals is a very decent haul.