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Hendon can enjoy home comforts again

PUBLISHED: 12:55 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:33 24 August 2010

By Ian Cooper HENDON can finally look forward to a settled future after it was confirmed their groundshare with Wembley FC will continue for at least the next two seasons. The decision was taken at the end of a rocky campaign for the Greens, who moved to

By Ian Cooper

HENDON can finally look forward to a settled future after it was confirmed their groundshare with Wembley FC will continue for at least the next two seasons.

The decision was taken at the end of a rocky campaign for the Greens, who moved to Vale Farm in December after leaving their Claremont Road ground in the autumn.

Three months without a home saw Gary McCann's side dragged into a relegation dogfight, forced to play 'home' fixtures as far away as Staines Town.

But, having beaten the drop, and now with a ground to call their own, the future looks bright, leaving McCann full of praise for his battling young side.

"It's just starting to feel like home, you could see that with our results towards the end of the season," said the manager, who has now been at the club for four years.

"Claremont Road was run-down and dilapidated, but it was our home, and when you lose that security it has a massive effect on everybody.

"It was a difficult start to the season, playing at five or six different home venues, it was a pretty nomadic existence. It's not just a matchday situation, it's a place to train as well, all that was taken away from us.

"That, coupled with a massive turnaround of players during the summer, made it difficult. The players deserve a massive pat on the back for the way they have achieved."

Hendon's change in fortunes in the second half of the season was plain to see as, after moving into Vale Farm, they fought their way from a seemingly desperate position to secure Ryman League Premier Division safety.

Having taken just 19 points before Christmas, Hendon amassed another 32 between January and May, eventually finishing 16th in the table.

They ended the season on a high last week by winning the London Senior Cup, their first trophy under McCann, and the boss has set his sights on building for next year.

"It's been a coming of age experience for the whole squad, they have my total respect," he added. "They took a while to get going, but we had five or six players who were new to this level.

"Players like Harry Hunt, James Bent and Jamie Busby came to the fore. Sam Collins has done well and so has Kevin Maclaren.

"I'm quietly confident we can make the top six next year. Hopefully we can stop moving sideways or backwards, and move forwards.


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