Harlee Dean Image 3
BRENTFORD and Chelsea haven't locked horns for more than 60 years – but Harlee Dean comes up against a familiar face in John Terry when the sides do battle in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Blues captain Terry earns £150,000 a week and has spent his whole career in the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, while Dean gets paid just a tiny fraction of that as he tries to make a name for himself in League One with the Bees.
However, not only do the defenders both hail from east London, they share the same agent too.
Dean regularly taps into the former England skipper for advice as he bids to emulate his idol and make it to the top after being released by Southampton.
And the 21-year-old admits he's champing at the bit to go head-to-head with his pal at the weekend.
He said: “JT is my idol – I base my game on him.
“He is a modern-day centre-half who has two of the best feet in world football.
“He puts his body on the line for the cause. I'm nowhere near his level but I aspire to be one day.
“We speak occasionally and he gives me tips on how to improve my game.
“We also come from the same area and I've known his brother, Paul, for years having played against him in non-league.”
Dean started his career at local side Dagenham & Redbridge before stints on work experience at minnows Bishop's Stortford, Braintree and Grays.
The youngster was handed a chance by Southampton, but failed to make the grade and was let go last year.
However, Bees boss Uwe Rosler offered the towering defender the chance to kick-start his career at Griffin Park following a successful loan spell.
Dean has gone from strength to strength and has been a virtual ever-present in the heart of defence alongside Tony Craig.
And he is desperate to show what he can do on the big stage in front of the TV cameras as the Bees look to cause an upset.
He added: “All of the players want to test themselves against the best, and there's no better than the European champions.
“The bookies will say we don't have a chance, but we only have to look at Bradford City for inspiration to see what they've done in the League Cup.
“Chelsea haven't been successful for no reason - they are top team full of stars.
“It will be tough but there's no pressure on us. We'll just go out there and enjoy it and hopefully we can cause a shock.”
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