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Hendon facing a fight for survival

PUBLISHED: 17:35 18 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 20 September 2010

HENDON boss Gary McCann admits budget cuts brought about by the club s change of ownership mean his side will face a tough fight for survival this season. The Hendon Football Club Supporters Trust this week took sole control of the club for the first tim

HENDON boss Gary McCann admits budget cuts brought about by the club's change of ownership mean his side will face a tough fight for survival this season.

The Hendon Football Club Supporters Trust this week took sole control of the club for the first time since its formation in 2006.

Director Simon Lawrence stated the club are 'starting from scratch in terms of corporate sponsorship and advertising', and that has already impacted upon McCann's preparation for the new Ryman League season, which begins on Saturday.

Financial cuts have resulted in the departure of three of last season's stalwarts, with Peter Dean jumping ship to neighbours Wealdstone, Bradley Thomas moving to Braintree and James Bent (pictured) joining Wingate & Finchley.

McCann has held on to the majority of last season's squad, but concedes operating on a reduced budget means a difficult season to come.

"There is a certain amount of optimism around the club that we can have a good season, but we have to be realistic and accept that it will be difficult," said McCann.

"Unfortunately the club have had to trim the budget back to where it was a few years ago. Any cut like that is not easy to digest for a manager and it does make it more difficult. Operating with less money means safety is the realistic target this season.

"But I'm not going to go on about money. Ultimately it's about the group of players you have and the fact we still have the majority of last season's team is a big plus."

McCann has so far brought in centre-half Michael Peacock from Northwood and ex-QPR player Matty O'Brien, but his pre-season plans suffered a new setback this week with injury to striker Glenn Garner, who faces a spell out.

Despite those blows, the manager is demanding a strong start from his side, something they have not managed to achieve in recent seasons.

Last season Hendon won just five games before Christmas, with only a recovery in the second half of the campaign preventing them from getting sucked into a relegation dogfight.

But their early fixtures this year look winnable, with Saturday's clash against Tooting starting a run of games against sides who ended last season in mid-table.

"A good start breeds confidence, and if we can build up that early momentum we can have a season to look forward to," added McCann.

"It's going to be a competitive league this year and I can't see anyone running away with it.


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