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Hornchurch boss McFarlane challenges youngsters

17:00 18 July 2014

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

AFC Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane is hoping to have his squad finalised by the time they visit Folkestone Invicta on August 2 and has challenged the younger members of his squad to prove they are good enough to play Ryman Premier football.

The Urchins boss is only looking to add a few more players to the side he has put together this summer as they attempt to return to the Conference South, when they open the Ryman Premier campaign at home to East Thurrock on August 9.

And the Hornchurch manager would like the youngsters to impress.

“There is always something that comes up but by the time we go to Folkestone I hope to have a settled squad and then see if there is a surprise package,” said McFarlane.

“I am always looking for more players. I need a couple more but you never know the youngsters could fill that. I don’t want as many as last year but I am still looking.

“Jamie Hursit and Martynas Saltenis are smashing lads. They have worked hard all pre-season and it is good all round if they can break through.

“It is fantastic on a financial front but also on personal front because it shows the rest of the academy lads that you can get a chance and we will use youth.”

Saltenis scored in Urchins’ 2-2 friendly draw with a West Ham United development team at the weekend, with George Purcell grabbing the other.

The young players will get another opportunity against Whitstable Town on Saturday (tomorrow).

McFarlane will be using the game to judge how they and other trialists in the squad cope with physical aspect of playing against non league teams over the next few weeks.

“I’ll have to wait and see how the youngsters do over the next few weeks and then decide if they are good enough to play,” he added. “It would be good if they could show me they are ready.

“With every friendly match we play I’ll use less and less players and whittle numbers down because otherwise I can’t get my players match fitness up.”

On the fixtures, McFarlane added: “After a great season last year, we want to improve on that, although it will be difficult with so many local derbies and the general toughness of the league.

“The Christmas period will be tough with two local derbies and pride at stake, but the league will not be won at that stage,” concluded the Urchins’ boss.

HORNCHURCH

Ryman Premier Division fixtures (home games in bold)
Sat Aug 9: East Thurrock United

Weds Aug 13: Lewes

Sat Aug 16: Kingstonian

Tue Aug 19: LEISTON

Sat Aug 23: LEATHERHEAD

Mon Aug 25: Grays Athletic

Sat Aug 30: Wingate & Finchley

Tue Sept 2: MAIDSTONE UNITED

Sat Sept 6: MARGATE

Tue Sept 9: VCD Athletic

Tue Sept 16: WITHAM TOWN

Sat Sept 20: Dulwich Hamlet

Tue Sept 23: Harrow Borough

Sat Sept 27: HAMPTON & RICHMOND

Tue Sept 30: HENDON

Sat Oct 4: Bognor Regis Town

Sat Oct 11: BURY TOWN

Sat Oct 18: Canvey Island

Sat Oct 25: ENFIELD TOWN

Sat Nov 8: Peacehaven & Telescombe

Sat Nov 15: MET POLICE

Sat Nov 22: EAST THURROCK UNITED

Sat Nov 29: LEWES

Sat Dec 6: Leiston

Sat Dec 13: KINGSTONIAN

Sat Dec 20: TONBRIDGE ANGELS

Fri Dec 26: Billericay Town

Thur Jan 1: GRAYS ATHLETIC

Sat Jan 3: Leatherhead

Sat Jan 10: WINGATE & FINCHLEY

Sat Jan 17: Maidstone United

Sat Jan 24: Margate

Sat Jan 31: VCD ATHLETIC

Sat Feb 7: BOGNOR REGIS TOWN

Sat Feb 14: Hendon

Sat Feb 21: CANVEY ISLAND

Sat Feb 28: Bury Town

Sat Mar 7: Witham Town

Sat Mar 14: DULWICH HAMLET

Sat Mar 21: Hampton & Richmond

Sat Mar 28: HARROW BOROUGH

Sat Apr 4: Tonbridge Angels

Mon Apr 6: BILLERICAY TOWN

Sat Apr 11: Enfield Town

Sat Apr 18: PEACEHAVEN & TELESCOMBE

Sat Apr 25: Met Police

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