BRENTFORD have beaten-off stiff competition to sign promising youngster Alex Rhodes from non-league Newmarket Town.

The 21-year-old joins the Bees on an eighteen-month contract for a fee of £10,000 depending on appearances.

Bees director John McGlashan said: "He is a left-sided forward and has scored 20 goals for his club this season.

"A number of other clubs including Cambridge United, Crewe, Ipswich and Yeovil were also interested in signing him so we are delighted.

"We hope he will go on to get a lot of goals for us."

The Brentford Lifeline Society provided the transfer funds and it is the first time the Griffin Park club have paid a transfer fee for a player in more than three years, the last being Jean-Philippe Javary in August 2000.

Manager Wally Downes received a further boost when Tony Rougier agreed to sign an extended contract until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, McGlashan, Paul Stedman and Andrew Wainwright have been elected to serve on the Bees United board for another two years.

McGlashan added: "It's great news. This result tells us the supporters have confidence in our strategy for the future.

"The team is performing well on the pitch and Bees supporters can also look forward to a bit of security off it."

On Saturday, Brentford travel to Wycombe Wanderers (ko 3pm).