McCann: FA Cup runs have been vital to Hendon’s survival

Hendon's Spencer McCall (right) scored the opening goal against Dulwich Hamlet on Monday. Pic: DBeec

Hendon's Spencer McCall (right) scored the opening goal against Dulwich Hamlet on Monday. Pic: DBeechPhotography - Credit: Archant

Hendon manager Gary McCann admits the club might not have survived but for the funds generated by their FA Cup runs in previous years.

The Greens, who embark on their latest FA Cup campaign at home to Cheshunt this weekend, banked vital prize money from their efforts in the competition over a three-year spell between 2010 and 2012.

McCann’s side reached the first round twice during that period, as well as losing to former FA Cup finalists Luton at Kenilworth Road in the fourth qualifying round.

“In our period of having no ground and no benefactor, we had some tough times and we took responsibility on the pitch to try and bring in as much as we could,” said McCann.

“I’m not sure we would be here now, in the Ryman League Premier Division and competing in a new stadium, if we hadn’t brought those finances in around five or six years ago.

“We played our part in securing the long-term future of the club by bringing those finances in and it’s our job to try and muster a cup run of some degree again.

“The importance of the FA Cup has kept this club in the position it’s in. We’re in a much stronger position now and maybe we’re not as reliant on it, but we do want a better run this time than in the last couple of years.

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“It’s important not only for the financial gain but for the spotlight it can put the club under – we’ve got a new future here and we want to show the world what we’re about.

“Cheshunt are going well in Division One, they have some recognised players of the quality of this division and we’ll be going full tilt to make sure we progress.”

Hendon exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle last season, losing their first qualifying round tie 3-1 at AFC Sudbury – who then went on to knock them out of the FA Trophy as well.

Defender Luke Tingey, who played in that FA Cup defeat at Sudbury, is optimistic that the Greens can avoid a similar fate this time, particularly after kick-starting their league campaign with four points from two games over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“That’s the focus for all of us, to get further than we did last year and to get a nice cup run going,” said Tingey.

“Sudbury was a big disappointment because we were playing well around then but the display we put on that day wasn’t good enough. We didn’t get a penny out of cup runs last year because we didn’t win a game, so we need to put that right.

“We’re going to treat it like any normal game. The boys are playing well – to come away with four points out of six is good – so bring it on.”

Defender Arthur Lee and midfielder Sam Murphy should be available to face Cheshunt, but Casey Maclaren is a doubt.