Hornchurch boss McFarlane challenges youngsters
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
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.
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“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.”
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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.
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