Hendon boss relishing new chapter at Silver Jubilee Park
PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 May 2016
Gary McCann is looking forward to starting a new chapter in Hendon’s history next season as the club prepare to move to “a place called home” at Silver Jubilee Park.
The new ground in Kingsbury will host all of the Greens’ home fixtures from the start of the 2016-17 campaign, pending FA approval following their C grade recommendation by ground graders last Friday.
And McCann, who has been in charge of Hendon for over 11 years, is excited about the move – one which he doubted would ever come to fruition.
He told the Times: “This new ground is a real sense of being for us. We’ve lived a nomadic lifestyle for eight years, and there’s so many people that need to take credit for this.
“Our fans have played a huge part in keeping us afloat and I am eternally grateful to them.
“[Chairman] Simon Lawrence and [directors] Mike Harte and David Bedford must take a huge amount of credit for the roles they have played.
“I must make a special mention of [secretary] Graham Etchell, who has been great to me and a close confidant during my time at the club so far.
“[Director] Rob Morris must take a real pat on the back for making this happen, and for having the vision to take this club forward.
“We’re back in the borough of Brent, which has been our ambition for the past eight years. Did we see it happening as each year passed? Maybe not. But we now have a place called home.
“It’s exciting times at this football club. We want to establish ourselves as a strong community club.”
Hendon finished 19th in the Ryman League Premier Division, and then lost last week’s London Senior Cup final, after a difficult season for all involved – particularly McCann, who had the added grief and devastation of losing his brother.
Lee McCann tragically passed away on January 2 after a battle with cancer, and the Greens boss is grateful for the support he received from the club.
He added: “I don’t feel that can rival anything else I have experienced in my life – it was the most awful thing you can ever go through.
“Football has been a pleasant distraction to be honest with you. It all happened so quickly around Christmas time and January. The club were brilliant and told me to take as much time as I needed.
“I didn’t feel comfortable enough considering the position we were in to just leave Scotty [Cousins], Mark [Findley] and Freddie [Hyatt] in charge, though.
“I have full faith in their abilities and the jobs they do, but it wasn’t fair to just leave them in that situation – I had serious concerns then if we were going to survive.
“Football was very important in getting me through that initial period - I just felt I needed to be back in the thick of things straight away.”