Hendon president: We have the facilities to be pitch perfect

Cosy Mutuma

Cosy Mutuma - Credit: Archant

President David Gerschlick has challenged Hendon’s players to show a professional attitude that matches their training facilities at Saracens’ Allianz Park as they bid to bounce back from relegation in Herts/Middlesex Division Two.

Hendon, who play just yards away from Saracens’ new home at Barnet Copthall, finished outside the bottom two in Herts/Middlesex Division One last term, but they became one of four teams who dropped down due to a restructuring of the divisions above.

Gerschlick is hoping for a rapid return under coach Chris Palmer and new captain Ger O’Donaghue ahead of Saturday’s curtain-raiser at home against London Welsh Amateurs.

And, having been given access to Sarries’ state-of-the-art artificial pitch for training, he is urging the squad to take full advantage.

“The aim is obviously to try to finish in the top half and hopefully to bounce straight back up to Herts/Middlesex Division One,” said the president.

“We’re an amateur club so the players decide on their own fitness and ability, but we’ve got a fantastic coach and we’re training on the best playing surface in the country.

“It’s all about encouraging players to commit to training and developing as players, and those who come to training will play – that’s our new policy - unless they’ve got a good reason why they can’t be there.

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“We’ve still got the same core of players. You always lose some, but nobody of any significance has left, and we’ve got some new signings.

“There have been one or two surprises as well, with second-team players changing positions and now looking like they could be pushing into the first team.”

Hendon were buoyed by a recent pre-season game, when they put in a strong showing against Amersham & Chesham’s development side.

Amersham & Chesham’s first XV play at Level Four, while Hendon ply their trade at Level 10, but the north London outfit were firmly in the game when trailing 24-22, before ultimately going down 34-22.

“We learnt a lot,” said Gerschlick. “We held them up front in the pack, but they had some very quick boys in the backs who ran around us, which you have to expect.”