Clayton Donaldson always had faith he would one day play in the Championship and, after bagging a hatful of goals in Leagues One and Two, he is ready for the step up.
The 30-year-old, out of contract in the summer but edging closer to signing a new deal to remain at the club, notched his 18th goal of the campaign in Monday’s 2-2 draw at MK Dons on Easter Monday.
Donaldson started his career as a trainee at Hull City and made his name at York City in the Conference before a prolific spell at Crewe Alexandra landed him a move to Brentford under then manager Uwe Rosler.
His goals have played a key part in his side’s elevation to the second tier of English football and he is confident he can take the step up next term in his stride.
“I’ve always watched Championship football and have always felt as though I could play at that level it is just a case of going and proving it.
“There are a few players who have scored goals in League Two and League One and taken that into the Championship and even the Premiership. Players have done it like Ricky Lambert, so I think why not.
“I’ve been all through the leagues. It is hard work that has paid off now. I’ve stuck at it. There are many players in my shoes who have gone away from football and not achieved what they are supposed to have done.
“I always believed in my own ability it was just a case of getting the opportunity to prove it.
“Twenty goals was my target at the start of the season and now we’ve been promoted, that is my next target.”
Thousands of fans flooded the Griffin Park pitch on Friday as defeats for Rotherham United and Leyton Orient coupled with Brentford’s 1-0 win over Preston North End gave the Bees promotion.
And Donaldson, who featured in last season’s dramatic final day defeat to Doncaster Rovers, admitted the whole squad were taken by surprise.
“You always look at fixtures and think they have to go for you, but we had to focus on winning and seeing where that took us and it took us to promotion in a weird way,” he added.
“It hasn’t really sunk in because we hadn’t really prepared to be promoted that day. We thought we needed two wins or four points or whatever so to win on Friday and then find out we’d been promoted.
“For a penalty to win the game and win us promotion is a perfect ending compared with how it was for us last year.”