It’s always nice to kick off the pre-season programme with a morale boosting thrashing of some worse than average non-league cloggers.

It gets the blood pumping and the misplaced optimism building like nobody’s business - unfortunately, the Bees have never been the kind of team to excel in pre-season matches.

All manner of non-league sides, made up of rag-tag collections of butchers, bakers and semi-professional footballers, have done their best over the years to kill off any summer-tinged euphoria starting to grow in the hearts of Bees fans by having the temerity to turn us over.

So, when our friendly neighbourhood rivals Fulham rolled into town on Wednesday night for Kevin O'Connor's testimonial, I promise I'm not being wise after the event by saying I turned up at Griffin Park expecting to get nothing from the game.

If we specialise in July struggles against Staines Town and Hampton and Richmond, how the hell were we going to cope against a Premiership side fresh from a cruel, tear- inducing, and utterly hilarious defeat in the Europa Cup Final?

Not well, as it turned out. Fulham, led by former Brentford boss Ray Lewington, played a strong team in both halves of the game with Messrs Duff, Davies, Hangeland, Gera and the rest taking us to the cleaners. Sadly, they were just too good for a rusty and out of its depth Bees side. It was five-nil and they could have had at least a couple more.

By the end it was the footballing equivalent of a TV programme featuring that ubiquitous lard bucket James Corden - it was extremely painful to watch.

Due to Brentford's pre-season history and Fulham's clear superiority, I'm not going to rush to judgement or get too downhearted though. Instead, I will look on the bright side of life, with the biggest positive being the 4,000-plus crowd that turned out to pay tribute to our long-serving skipper.

There have been a few times over Super Kev’s 11 years with the club when it looked like he might have been heading for the exit door but each time he fought his way back into the team and with more 400 appearances under his belt already, and hopefully with plenty more to come, he has claimed a deserved place in the annals of Brentford’s history.

In a sport over-populated with venal idiots, the dangerously stupid and Ashley Cole, it was great to be able to show our appreciation and give something back to a player who deserves the all the adulation, and the cash, that is coming his way.