Hendon need to build a strong academy, says club’s new head of football development

John Creith is back at Hendon as their head of football development

John Creith is back at Hendon as their head of football development - Credit: Archant

Hendon’s new head of football development is eager to establish a strong network of youth players and give first-team manager Gary McCann some more options after rejoining the club.

John Creith, a former QPR scout, is back with the Greens after previously working for the club from 2003 to 2010.

Earlier this month, chairman Simon Lawrence explained that youth development is a key area where Hendon are keen to improve as they prepare to move to their new home at Silver Jubilee Park – and Creith has been tasked with delivering that goal.

On the field, things could not have gone much worse for the first team this season, with the current side totally unrecognisable to the one which narrowly missed out on promotion last May.

But Creith believes that a successful youth team would give McCann a big boost in future as he aims to take Hendon into the National League South.

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He said: “The move came about really quickly. Gary asked me if I’d be interested in coming back to the club and it wasn’t a hard decision to make.

“I took over as assistant manager at Southall in the summer but it didn’t work out so it’s good to be back at Hendon.

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“The role I have is a vast one. It covers youth development throughout the club, but also development from the Under-18s to Under-21s. I’ll be doing some scouting for Gary too. We’ll be looking at players from the lower divisions and deciding on their suitability.

“I want to get out and watch games in the Ryman League and at local clubs such as North Greenford to assess the talent out there, because believe me, it’s there.

“What I’ve noticed in the past few weeks since being back here is that Gary knows he has to oversee another rebuilding job, and he’s already been planning for the future.

“It’s been a real struggle for the first team this season. There have been so many changes to the squad and Gary’s had injuries and suspensions to contend with too.

“What Gary really needs now is an 18-20 development group which he can turn to for the first team. He hasn’t had that, so it’s important he does in the future. We want players to come through the ranks and to build a strong relationship with the local community.”

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