Brentford debut for Hearts-trained striker Aaron Pressley, son of Tynecastle captain Steven

Striker Aaron Pressley played the final two minutes of Brentford’s 2-0 skybet Championship win at Rotherham last night.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:35 pm
Aaron Pressley moved from Aston Villa to join his father's former team-mate Neil Macfarlane at Brentford (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Aaron Pressley moved from Aston Villa to join his father's former team-mate Neil Macfarlane at Brentford (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

The former Hearts youth striker moved south to join Aston Villa in 2014 but after five years in the under-18s Premier League he switched to the Bees in January of this year, to link up with former Hearts player Neil Macfarlane – coach of Brentford B.

The London club abandoned their reserve side to focus on a touring ‘B team’ for developing players and the lure of tougher opponents attracted the 19-year-old to join Macfarlane, who also worked with Pressley’s father Steven at Falkirk and Coventry.

“It’s a great pathway to the first team and I’ve seen a lot of players go through to the first team. It’s a great opportunity,” the teenager said, when signing for the Bees. "There are games against foreign teams and mens’ teams around the country. It’s the test I need if I want to play as a big striker in the big leagues.”

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The move has paid off as Aaron replaced goalscorer Ivan Toney for the closing stages of last night’s win which lifts the Bees fourth in England’s second tier.

Dad Steven – a former Hearts Scottish Cup winning captain who also starred for Rangers, Celtic and Dundee United – also began his early football career as a striker before relocating to defence where he made his name.

Pressley Junior, who played in Cramond Primary’s 2012 Scottish Cup-winning side and Edinburgh Schools, has been capped at youth level and was included in Scotland’s UEFA U17 Championship squad in 2018 alongside Billy Gilmour, now of Chelsea, and Celtic’s Karamoko Dembele.

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Steven Pressley (centre) worked with Neil Macfarlane (right) at Falkirk and Coventry and were team-mates at Hearts. (Picture Michael Gillen)
Aaron Pressley represented Scotland in the Victory Shield