We start with what I know will be a very different Hendon to last season, says Tonbridge Angels assistant manager Barry Moore
TONBRIDGE ANGELS assistant manager Barry Moore says he is looking forward to their Bostik Premier opener against Gary McCann’s Hendon tomorrow.
The Angels completed their Isthmian Premier campaign in sixth-place last season, finishing with 74 points from their 46 league outings, agonisingly missing out on a play-off berth by one point.
Hendon arrive at Longmead Stadium tomorrow having finished in 18th place in the table, having collected 54 points, finishing a couple of points clear of the drop zone, which saw Canvey Island, AFC Sudbury and Grays Athletic slip through the trap door.
“At last pre-season is over and the League starts on Saturday,” said Moore (below).
“We start with what I know will be a very different Hendon to last season.
“Gary McCann had lots of injuries and suspensions which affected their campaign last season but with the players he has brought in and with his managerial experience I believe they will do very well and as a first match of the season it will be an extremely tough game.”
Angels boss Steve McKimm has made four summer signings and Moore insists they will all make an impact this season.
“Pre-season started very well and towards the end with a mix of players on holiday and a few niggles we had mixed results but that’s fine and players, staff and fans can’t wait to start our fourth season at Tonbridge,” said Moore.
“Steve (McKimm), Justin (Luchford) and myself did things a bit different this summer and were patient with our signings, waiting for the right players to fit to our style and also to fit in with the club and their team mates.
“Also Craig Stone, Jeysiva Sivapathasundaram, Chris Kinnear and Joe Turner will give us the experience I feel we lacked at times last season, also Andre McCollin will be like a new signing as he missed nearly of last season with injury.
“Losing Nick Wheeler, Jack Parter and Luke Allen would affect any team at our level but they felt they could play higher and that will be a challenge I hope that they do well.
“Tom Phipp (who has dropped two divisions to sign for Southern Counties East Football League Premier side Crowborough Athletic) is a different story as he has so much ability but needs to play a lot of football without injury, which has affected him over the past three years.”
Tonbridge Angels are expected to be challenging for promotion this season and they play their first fellow big-gun next Tuesday night, travelling to relegated Margate.
It will be the first game played on the new artificial 3G pitch at Hartsdown Park.
“Looking ahead to Margate on Tuesday, it will be their first match on the new pitch and Steven Watt has assembled a very good squad over the summer and will definitely be in the mix for promotion,” added Moore.
“I believe Alex Flisher got a bad injury in pre-season and wish him well in recovering as he is a top player and no one wants to see bad injuries.
“So roll on tomorrow and I’m sure our chairman, board of directors and fans will give us another year of fantastic support like they have the last three seasons.”
Visit Tonbridge Angels website: www.tonbridgeangelsonline.co.uk
Tonbridge Angels v Hendon
Bostik Premier Division
Saturday 12th August 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN10 3JF