Hornchurch waiting on Tuohy

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

McFarlane concerned over strikerext

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane is sweating on the fitness of striker Martin Tuohy as the Ryman Premier outfit wrap up their pre-season campaign with games against a West Ham XI and Aveley.

The Hammers visit Bridge Avenue tomorrow (Saturday) before Urchins head to Aveley on Monday prior to the big kick-off at home to Lewes on August 10.

But McFarlane is concerned he could be without Tuohy, who suffered a knee injury in the recent win at Cambridge City and admitted via his Twitter account that he is “struggling” to make the start of the season.

McFarlane said: “We’re still assessing the injury and we’ll know more by the end of this week.

“The swelling has started to go down but we have arranged for [Arsenal academy physio] Richard Goddard to have a look at him.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed because he’s an important player for us.”

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McFarlane is hoping the visit of a West Ham XI will provide a boost to his players’ fitness as well as the club’s finances.

He said: “I’ve been told that it’s their Development squad, which means it will be their under-21s. That means it will be a very tough test for us because they will all be very fit professionals.

“The game is all about us trying to get as fit as we can.

“I’ll be mixing things up, possibly looking at a couple of trialists [one identified as striker Adi Yussef] and making sure everybody has had plenty of minutes.

“But for the club, playing West Ham is about the financial side as well.

“We’re expecting a bumper crowd and we’re hoping as many people as possible come down for the game.”

Urchins signed Spanish goalkeeper Inigo Echepare earlier than planned last week after discovering that rival trialist Sam Baxter’s injury was worse than first realised.

McFarlane added: “Inigo had a few other clubs interested in him, so we moved in quickly to sign him up on a non-contract basis.”

And the Urchins boss insists he feels very confident about the way things have progressed following the loss of key players Joe Woolley, Lewis Smith, Reiss Noel and Alex Bentley.

George Purcell, Derek Duncan, Carl Rook, Phil Starkey and Inigo have all been recruited this summer.

And McFarlane said: “I was a bit concerned at one point, but with the players we’ve brought in I now feel very optimistic about the season.

“I think we’ll be a tough side to beat.”

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