Chris Mepham

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Chris Mepham
Personal information
Full name Christopher James Mepham[1]
Date of birth (1997-11-05) 5 November 1997 (age 21)[2]
Place of birth Hammersmith, England[2]
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[2]
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Bournemouth
Number 33
Youth career
2008–2012 Chelsea
2012–2016 Brentford
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2019 Brentford 43 (1)
2019– Bournemouth 1 (0)
National team
2017 Wales U20 1 (0)
2017– Wales U21 4 (0)
2018– Wales 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:57, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Christopher James Mepham (born 5 November 1997) is a professional football central defender who plays for Bournemouth. He is a product of the Brentford and Chelsea academies and is a Wales international.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

A centre back and occasional right back,[3] Mepham began his career in the academy at Premier League club Chelsea at the age of 10.[4] He was released at the age of 14 and was then turned down by Watford and Queens Park Rangers.[5]

Brentford[edit]

Youth years (2012–2016)[edit]

Mepham joined the academy at Brentford in 2012,[4] after being spotted by the club's Head of Academy Recruitment while making a one-off appearance for North Greenford United's reserve team.[5] After making three appearances for the youth team as an U16,[6] Mepham signed a scholarship deal in June 2014.[4] On 2 February 2016 it was announced that Mepham had signed his first professional contract to be a member of the club's development squad and he finished his scholarship having made 43 appearances and scored two goals for the youth team.[3][6][7][8] After consistently good performances for the reformed B team during the first half of the 2016–17 season, Mepham signed a two-year contract extension on 6 January 2017 and the following day,[9] he made his senior debut as a late substitute for Harlee Dean during a 5–1 FA Cup third round victory over Eastleigh.[10] A successful 2016–17 season saw Mepham named as the club's B Team Player of the Year.[11]

Breakthrough (2016–2019)[edit]

After the departure of centre back Harlee Dean on 30 August 2017,[12] Mepham was promoted into the first team squad and signed a new five-year contract.[13] He made his first start for the club in a 3–1 EFL Cup third round defeat to Norwich City on 19 September 2017 and gave away the penalty which led to the Canaries' opening goal.[14][15] After appearing sporadically throughout the autumn,[14] a head injury suffered by John Egan in December allowed Mepham a run in the team from the Christmas period until early February 2018.[14][16] An achilles injury suffered by Andreas Bjelland in mid-March allowed Mepham back into the team and he scored the first senior goal of his career with the equaliser in a 1–1 draw with Sheffield United on Good Friday.[14][17] He finished the 2017–18 season with 23 appearances and one goal.[14]

Mepham began the 2018–19 season as the Bees' undisputed first choice centre back in league matches, but was sent off for the first time in his career for two bookable offences committed during a 1–0 defeat to Bristol City on 20 October 2018.[18] He made 27 appearances before departing the club for a club-record transfer fee in January 2019.[18][19][20] During his two-and-a-half seasons as a professional at Griffin Park, Mepham made 48 appearances and scored one goal.[21]

Bournemouth[edit]

On 22 January 2019, Mepham signed a "long-term" contract with Premier League club Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee,[19] reported to be £12 million.[22] Eight days later, he made his debut for the club as a substitute for Junior Stanislas late in a 4–0 win over Chelsea.[18]

International career[edit]

He was called into the Wales U20 squad for the 2017 Toulon Tournament and made one appearance,[23] in a 2–2 group stage draw with Ivory Coast on 5 June 2017.[24] He made his U21 debut with a start in a 3–0 2019 UEFA U21 Championship qualifying victory over Switzerland on 2 September 2017.[25] Mepham captained the U21 team for the first time in a 0–0 qualifying draw with Romania six weeks later.[26]

In March 2018, Mepham won his maiden call-up to the senior team for the 2018 China Cup.[27] He made his debut as a substitute for Ben Davies after 70 minutes of a 6–0 victory over China on 22 March 2018.[28] Two months later, he made his first international start, in a 0–0 friendly draw with Mexico on 28 May.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Mepham attended Queensmead School in South Ruislip and is a Queens Park Rangers supporter.[30][31] His uncle Roy was a member of the Brentford youth team in the 1960s.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 30 January 2019
Club statistics
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brentford 2016–17[10] Championship 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2017–18[14] 21 1 1 0 1 0 23 1
2018–19[18] 22 0 0 0 2 0 24 0
Total 43 1 2 0 3 0 48 1
Bournemouth 2018–19[18] Premier League 1 0 1 0
Career total 44 1 2 0 3 0 49 1

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Club list of registered players: As at 19th May 2018: Brentford" (PDF). English Football League. p. 8. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Chris Mepham". AFCB. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Brentford FC Youth Team duo sign first professional contracts". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "Brentford FC". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b James, Stuart (21 March 2018). "Chris Mepham: 'It's surreal that Ryan Giggs wants to have a chat with you'". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Brentford FC". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Brentford FC". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Youth Team Player Stats". www.brentfordfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 September 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Brentford FC Chris Mepham signs contract extension". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Games played by Chris Mepham in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Brentford FC 2016/17 Awards Winners". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  12. ^ Moore, Tom (7 September 2017). "Brentford hand first team promotion to young defender". getwestlondon. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Brentford FC Chris Mepham signs new long-term contract". Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Games played by Chris Mepham in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Brentford vs Norwich City on 19 Sep 17 – Match Centre – Brentford FC". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  16. ^ Moore, Tom (2 January 2018). "Dean Smith outlines hopes and plans for Brentford's youngsters". getwestlondon. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  17. ^ Moore, Tom (10 March 2018). "Brentford boss on Bjelland injury and Millwall loss". getwestlondon. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Games played by Chris Mepham in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Chris Mepham leaves Brentford to join AFC Bournemouth". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  20. ^ Phil Giles' January Round Up (Interview). brentfordfc.com. 31 January 2019. Event occurs at 0:59. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  21. ^ Chris Mepham at Soccerbase
  22. ^ "Chris Mepham joins Bournemouth from Brentford for £12m". Sky Sports. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Brentford FC Chris Mepham heading to Toulon Tournament". Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  24. ^ Chris Mepham at Soccerway. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  25. ^ "Brentford FC Mepham and Balcombe help home nations to wins". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Brentford FC Mepham and Mads captain nations in Euro Qualifiers". Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Brentford FC Chris Mepham gets maiden full Wales Call-up". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Brentford FC Wins for Mepham and Dalsgaard on international stage". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Chris Mepham impresses on full debut for Wales". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  30. ^ "newsletter – Queensmead School – football". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  31. ^ "Brentford FC BRENTFORD 'GAVE EVERYTHING' IN WEST LONDON DERBY". Retrieved 8 September 2017.

External links[edit]