Ivan Toney: Brentford coach Thomas Frank relishing striker’s return to training


The 27-year-old received an eight-month ban in May for breaching Football Association betting rules.

He cannot play until January but can return to training from Monday.

“It’s very good to have him back, he’s a very good player but more importantly a person to have around the group,” Frank said.

“I’m pretty sure he’s also very happy to be allowed back in to play football and to be around his team-mates that he loves to be around,” he added.

“He’s vibrant, definitely, and he’ll give us a lift. We’d prefer to have him in the team, but that’s not possible.”

Instead, Frank says the club have a 16-week plan to get Toney ready for playing in January.

It is a plan Frank believes will Toney will take in his stride. In June, the player said he wanted to be “a different animal when I come back. It’s going to be frightening”.

“I’m proud of Ivan,” Frank said.

“The journey he’s been on, the resilience he’s been showing throughout his life. The progress he’s done is amazing, he should be an example for a lot of people and footballers with what he’s achieved.

“Playing in the lower leagues and constantly getting higher and higher, scoring 31 goals in the Championship, 12 in his first [Premier League] season and then 20, with not even playing 38 games. It’s remarkable.”