Harrow Borough manager Dave Anderson hails Arsenal ahead of friendly
12:56 16 July 2014
Harrow Borough boss Dave Anderson has praised Arsenal for agreeing to a pre-season match and has urged other local Premier League sides to do the same.
The Gunners will send a squad to face Borough at Earlsmead on Saturday July 26 after a relationship was formed between the two clubs.
Goalkeeper James Shea was released by Arsenal last summer and had a short spell at Needham Market before joining Borough.
Anderson said: “I think Arsenal should be applauded for agreeing to play us in pre season. I don’t think enough is done by local Premier League clubs to support their local non-league teams.
“How many games do you see QPR or Chelsea playing against teams near them lower down the leagues?
“It’s a shame because at our stadium fans would get to see these players close up.
“I don’t expect Arsenal to send their first-team squad but their Under-21 team will still wear the club crest and they will play a style of football that goes throughout the club. I look forward to being passed off the field!”
Anderson believes he has other players at the club who can follow in the footsteps of Shea, who has signed for League Two side AFC Wimbledon.
He said: “I have a nice blend of youth and experience in the dressing room. This is the first season where I haven’t had to do a massive rebuild.
“The club has shown with Shea and the likes of Albert Adomah and Robin Shroot – who have all gone on to sign for Football League clubs – that we will not stand in their way.
“I actually used James Shea as an example to other young players at the club last season to tell them what they need to do in order to progress.
“It isn’t all about ability – it’s about applying yourself in the right way.
“I think James really enjoyed his football with us. He was very popular in the dressing room and I expect him to push for the No1 spot at Wimbledon.”
Anderson has yet to find a suitable replacement and
admits he had learnt from previous seasons about signing players.
He said: “I’ve not signed a goalkeeper yet. I have a couple training with us but I’m waiting on a couple who might be available on loan.
“For the last three seasons I have held a trial match but I’ve found them to be a waste of time, so I haven’t done it this year.
“The list of players available at this time of year is endless but the list of quality players who are available isn’t.
“This year anyone I bring in will be through recommendations from people I know in the game.
“It was through the Arsenal goalkeeping coach Tony Roberts that we got James Shea to join us last season.
“I’ve known Tony for a long time. He played for me at St Albans before he went back into league football. He knows what is required at this level.”