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Plans falling into place for Hornchurch after Tuohy deal

15:10 30 May 2014

Martin Tuohy has extended his stay with AFC Hornchurch for another season. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Martin Tuohy has extended his stay with AFC Hornchurch for another season. 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 boss Jimmy McFarlane feels things are beginning to fall into place nicely as he makes plans for next season’s assault on the Ryman Premier Division.

A number of last season’s squad have verbally agreed deals with the Urchins, but the first to put pen to paper is striker Martin Tuohy.

Tuohy endured an injury-hit 2013/14 campaign at Bridge Avenue as Urchins side missed out in the play-off final to Lowestoft.

But with hope of a full pre-season under his belt, McFarlane feels the former Ryman Golden Boot winner could be back to his best.

“I’m well pleased to get Martin signed up first,” said McFarlane.

“We have verbally agreed deals with a number of last season’s squad, but his signature is a good start.

“He was looking as sharp as I’ve seen him in last year pre-season, but if he gets back to his best we know we have someone capable of winning the Golden Boot like he has done before.”

And while there may well be no football for McFarlane to contemplate at present, he admits this time of the year is where he’s putting in the hours as he tries to assemble a title-winning squad.

“It’s busier now for me than when we are in the season,” he added. “I’m out talking to players most nights, the only thing you don’t have are the matches.”

Urchins have offered new deals to last season’s top goalscorers George Purcell and Stefan Payne, and while optimistic on Purcell, he was less so on the latter.

He added: “Goalscorers are always going to attract more attention.

“We’ve made offers for both but we are waiting to hear. I am optimistic with George, but Stefan was touted about last season, so we don’t quite know yet what’s happening there yet.”

The Urchins chief was due to have discussions with two potential new players last night (Thursday) and was hoping to get the duo, who both have experience of the Ryman League and higher, signed on.

And while he wants to bring in a few new faces, he doesn’t see any reason for the club to make wholesale changes.

“I don’t think we need loads of players,” he added. “It just needs freshening up a little bit. This team got us to the play-off finals last year, so it just needs the odd tweak in a few positions.”

n Hornchurch play away friendlies at Thamesmead Town (July 12), Brentwood Town (July 19), Bishop’s Stortford (July 24), Thurrock (July 26), 
Hemel Hempstead Town (July 31) and Folkestone Invicta (August 2), due to ongoing works at Bridge Avenue to install new floodlights.

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