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Hendon boss looks towards ‘new era’ as Smith and Morgan join list of departing players

PUBLISHED: 14:35 09 December 2015 | UPDATED: 19:21 09 December 2015

Hendon players celebrate after scoring on Saturday

Hendon players celebrate after scoring on Saturday

Archant

Hendon manager Gary McCann says his side have entered a new era following the departures of a number of key players from last season’s promotion-chasing team.

The Greens have endured a disastrous campaign so far, lying just five points ahead off the relegation places in the Ryman League Premier Division.

Leon Smith and Aaron Morgan were the latest players to depart the club by mutual consent last week, joining Metropolitan Police and Kingstonian respectively.

And McCann says the club can now focus on rebuilding, after seven months to forget for all involved at Earlsmead.

McCann said: “Nothing’s changed really, we’ve had to get used to adversity ever since the last kick of last season.

“We lost our captain [Lee O’Leary] and now most recently Leon and Aaron for different reasons.

“The team’s struggled but it feels now that over the last four or five games we’re starting to turn the corner.

“I think we’ve got a group which are very tight and together we are all pulling in the same direction.

“If we can add one or two other players to the squad that I want to we’ll start moving up the league and be where we need to be.

“With any football club it’s a book that continues to be written and that’s the case here now as we’re entering a new chapter and era.

“It’s tough for all of us to accept that two key members of our side from last season have left, but we’ve got to accept it and move on.

“We’ve lost the bulk of the group that went so close to going up last season, so it’s virtually a new team now that we’re rebuilding from scratch – it will take time.”

McCann admitted he was reluctant to let both Smith and Morgan go, but felt it was in the best interest of the club and both players.

He added: “Leon’s lack of minutes was his problem. He needs to be playing every week to keep himself in condition because it can diminish very quickly if he isn’t in the side, and we’ve seen on occasions this season.

“He wasn’t playing for different reasons, and he’s fully aware of those.

“On a few occasions when he was in the team I didn’t feel he did himself justice, and he wanted to be a regular starter so we agreed to part company and Met Police took him on.

“Aaron was a slightly different situation as he felt he needed a fresh challenge as he wasn’t enjoying his football here. I don’t think any of us have been enjoying it, the difference being we’re prepared to roll our sleeves up and stick at it and make it right.

“He felt a change was what he needed, it’s disappointing but we move on as a club and think positive now.

“We’ll give absolutely everything to turn this situation around and move forward.”

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