McCann finally gets his man as Oliyide swaps Wingate & Finchley for local rivals Hendon
- Credit: Archant
Karl Oliyide has left Wingate & Finchley to join local rivals Hendon – and Dons boss Gary McCann is pleased to have finally signed the talented attacking midfielder on a permanent basis at the fourth attempt.
Hendon have made several additions to their squad this summer, while retaining the services of several key first-team members too, but the addition of Oliyide – who hit double figures for Wingate last season – has been particularly satisfying for McCann.
He told Ham&High Sport: “We wanted to make sure that any players that we added to the pack had the right experience, quality and attitude – and by experience I don’t mean age, I talk about experience in terms of games under their belt.
“Karl certainly fits the bill in that respect. He’s only 21 years of age but has played nearly 100 games at our level now. He scored quite a few goals for a Wingate & Finchley side that struggled in the second half of last season.
“We signed Karl as a 19-year-old on a dual basis from Northwood a couple of years ago, but he opted to go to Wingate in the summer of that year.
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“I also tried to get him last summer and it never happened. I tried to get him again in mid-season and it didn’t come to anything. But I followed it up again this summer and we managed to get that one over the line.
“I think he’ll be key to us this year. He went a bit stale last season and stayed at Wingate a year longer maybe than he should have.
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“He didn’t feel he got the love and attention to detail that’s maybe required for a player of his quality. He will definitely add quality in the final third. He can play in all those positions – a No10, a No9 or out wide – so he’ll be key to us.”
McCann has also raided another local rival, Harrow Borough, to sign an additional 21-year-old midfielder, with Spencer McCall arriving at Hendon’s new home at Silver Jubilee Park.
The Hendon boss added: “He’s a player who has got a great game understanding, he’s a very intelligent footballer. He’ll definitely add to what we have already got so he’ll be a very important signing for us.”
Meanwhile, three former Hendon players have returned to the club, with goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin, winger Andre da Costa and former fans’ favourite Dale Binns – a left-sided midfielder – rejoining McCann.
Binns scored 41 times in 212 appearances after making his debut for the Greens in 1999, and was a regular for Wealdstone in the National League South last season.
McCann has maintained a close relationship with the 34-year-old over the years after they previously played together for the Dons.
“He’s had a fantastic non-league career and played for a lot of good sides and had a lot of success,” said the manager. “He comes back to us at 34 years of age, but let me tell you he’s as fit, if not fitter, than anyone in the squad.
“He’s got that game know-how, game management and quality. All in all I’ve been really pleased with the signings we have made this summer – we’re in a good position as it stands now.”
n Hendon kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 home win over Hemel Hempstead Town at Silver Jubilee Park on Tuesday.
Aaron Morgan, back at the club on trial, opened the scoring in the second minute and, although the visitors levelled midway through the first half, Keagan Cole struck for the Greens just before the break after a mazy run that started around the halfway line.