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2014-15 Season Preview

Greensnet Editor
Thu 07 Aug 2014, 07:00

Hendon go into the 2014-15 season hopeful of another serious attempt at the playoffs. Last season, the Greens were the form team during the middle two-thirds of the campaign, but will be looking to improve on their record at the start and finish.

Consistency will be a keyword for manager Gary McCann, who will complete a decade in charge of Hendon at the beginning of February 2015. The club has endured much turmoil since he arrived, losing their Claremont Road home in 2008, then spending four full seasons at Wembley and this is the second at Earlsmead, the home of Harrow Borough.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel since new director Rob Morris came on board in February this year. Hendon will now be running more than a dozen youth teams, based at what was Kingsbury Town's old Silver Jubilee Park ground, which he part owns, and is currently being refurbished and upgraded to include a new 3G playing surface. The plans are for it to be the Greens' regular training base and hopefully, a regular home sometime in the future.

On the field, most of last season's Hendon's squad has agreed to stay on for another year. Only Jack Bennett, Michael Bryan, Anthony Thomas, Berkley Laurencin and earlier departure Jefferson Louis have left, while newcomers include strkers Kezie Ibe and Richard Worrell, midfielders Peter Dean, Tom O’Regan, Andre Da Costa and Sam Murphy.

The defence, clearly a strength for most of the last campaign, has only one new arrival Ollie Sprague - and he was dually registered in 2013-14, making his debut towards the end of the season - to join Chris Seeby, Casey Maclaren, James Fisher, Elliott Brathwaite and Sam Flegg.

In midfield, the anchor will be captain Kevin Maclaren, with Lee O'Leary - who has had an excellent preseason - and Dean, Tony Taggart and Michael Murray further forward, Max McCann and Dave Diedhiou, who can fill in at full-back and in the middle of defence.

It will be tough for Hendon to replace the 43 goals from Thomas and Louis, but Ibe, Leon Smith, Aaron Morgan and Adam Wallace, the latter of whom is currently on the road to recovery from surgery, have a number of years of experience at Ryman Premier level and Richard Worrell was prolific at the end of last season for Haringey Borough.

The management team also shows one change in former club captain Scott Cousins taking as coach from Junior Lewis, who is now assistant head-coach at Championship club Leeds United. Cousins joins manager Gary McCann, his assistant Freddie Hyatt and sports therapist Mark Findley. He will be registered as a player, but having missed most of last season with injury he has concentrated on the training side in preseason and will play only in an emergency.