Jimmy McFarlane hails capture of Hythe Town captain James Morrish as ‘massive signing’ for Hornchurch ahead of friendly with Billericay Town

PUBLISHED: 13:30 05 August 2016

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (left) looks on from the sidelines. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (left) looks on from the sidelines. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

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Bridge Avenue boss thanks league rivals Aveley, discusses two new signings and looks ahead to start of the new campaign

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane believes James Morrish will be a massive signing for the club after agreeing terms for the new season.

The midfielder was captain at Ryman South outfit Hythe Town last year, but has made the switch to Bridge Avenue.

Morrish was an Urchins player in 2010 after coming through Chelsea’s Academy, but didn’t stay with the club for very long.

McFarlane is delighted he has made the decision to return, however, and was full of praise for another trialist that has signed a contract.

He said: “I had James with me about six years ago when I first started out at the club after he had just been released by Chelsea.

“I think he had a spell at Bethnal Green and came to us, but he wasn’t ready so he went away and has done his time in football.

“He’s going to be a massive addition for us and he’s the type of player I’ve never had. He’s a central midfielder that breaks play up, can pass it and has so much energy – he has it all.

“Kenzer Lee is another big signing. He has a lot of energy and power and will be a good player. I think he will get a few goals this year and we’re still taking a look at a couple of the other lads on trial.”

Hornchurch were set to entertain Bishop’s Stortford in a friendly on Tuesday night, but it was cancelled after problems with the Bridge Avenue pitch.

Urchins did play Ilford, from the Essex Senior League, at Cricklefield on Wednesday and won 2-0.

Leon McKenzie bagged a brace as McFarlane’s team claimed a victory after losing 1-0 away to Leatherhead on Saturday.

The next test for Hornchurch is a clash with local rivals Billericay tonight (Friday).

Originally scheduled to be played at Bridge Avenue, it will now take place at Aveley’s Mill Field ground and McFarlane was quick to praise the Millers for helping out a fellow Ryman North side.

He added: “Thanks to Aveley we are getting the Billericay match on. It was really nice of their chairman Graeme Gennings and the secretary Craig Johnson to do that.

“We’ve always got on well with them, but it is nice to see the non-league community coming together instead of being against each other.

“Whenever we play Billericay it is always a feisty affair and it will be the same this time. We will have a nice easy week next week to prepare for the start of the season and I’m looking forward to it. Everything is going to plan so far, so I can’t wait for it all to start up again.”

McFarlane also revealed the Bridge Avenue pitch will be fine for their first home match of the campaign in the Ryman North against Haringey Borough on August 16.

He added: “Where it hasn’t rained much the pitch went dry and I think quite a few clubs have had problems, I know Braintree Town have.

“We have had people working on it 10 hours a day and we’ve had a bit of rain recently, so it will be fine for the start of the season.”

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