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Happy Hendon boss McCann eyes a 10-year testimonial in the new year

09:00 14 August 2014

Hendon boss Gary McCann. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

Hendon boss Gary McCann. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

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Hendon manager Gary McCann says he is happy in the job and looking forward to his 10th season in charge.

Hendon's Leon Smith (right) scored on Saturday but missed a penalty  on Tuesday night. Pic: Andrew AleksiejczukHendon's Leon Smith (right) scored on Saturday but missed a penalty on Tuesday night. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

The Greens have made a mixed start to the season, with a 2-0 win on the opening day against Bury Town on Saturday being followed by a 2-0 defeat at Met Police on Tuesday.

But, over and above the rapid changes in fortunes on the pitch, the Dons boss is relishing the start of another campaign.

The Greens boss said at the end of last season that he would consider his future after having his playing budget cut by 40 per cent during the last campaign and missing out on the play-offs – but he is optimistic as he looks ahead.

McCann said: “It did get resolved. It was maybe an off-the-cuff remark which I made after a defeat when emotions are running high.

“I know the club do everything they possibly can. I think as managers we are always trying to squeeze a bit more but they have always done their best by me.”

The club is now running more than a dozen youth teams, based at what was Kingsbury Town’s old Silver Jubilee Park ground, which director Rob Morris part-owns, and is currently being refurbished and upgraded to include a new 3G playing surface.

The plans are for it to be the Greens’ regular training base and hopefully a regular home sometime in the future.

McCann said: “I will have been here for 10 years in Febuary and I’ve spoken briefly to the chairman about a testimonial.

“It has been an enjoyable 10 years – there have been some tough times but there is some light at the end of the tunnel with Kingsbury and Jubilee Park.”

A first-half double from Bradley Hudson-Odoi condemned Hendon to their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night.

Leon Smith had a penalty saved later in the first period and McCann was disappointed his side didn’t seize their opportunities.

He said: “We had enough chances to win the game, but things didn’t go for us. We didn’t take our chances at key moments in the game.

“The first goal was somewhat against the run of play but the second was a poor goal from our part defensively. But credit to the Police, they defended superbly and really put their bodies on the line.”

Despite the lack of goals on Tuesday night, McCann has faith that his forwards will deliver.

He said: “In the first half against Bury Town [on Saturday] we were as good as I could have wanted and we could have been four or five goals up at half-time.

“The two centre-forwards Leon Smith and Kezie Ibe scored. Kezie is someone I have tried to sign on a couple of occasions – he is proven at the level above and is a top lad with a great work ethic.

“We’ve also added Peter Dean from Wealdstone. He has been out injured for the last three weeks but when he comes back the front line will be very competitive.”

McCann intends to be challenging for the play-offs and promotion this season despite not having the sort of budget that makes that task easier to achieve.

He said: “Everyone is shouting about Margate because of their budget – it’s massive, which means they are able to cherry pick players from the Conference South and the Football League.

“Your only concern is that at this level a large budget does tend to bring success. Lowestoft Town spent big over a few years and won promotion last season.

“It will not be easy for Margate though because 23 other teams will be looking to knock them off their perch.”

n Hendon will travel to Wingate & Finchley in October after they were drawn against their north London rivals in the League Cup.

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