McFarlane ‘really impressed’ by Urchins
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Bridge Avenue manager discusses recent friendly fixtures and his pleasure at seeing squad work
Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane is not taking anything for granted when the Ryman North season starts next weekend despite the club’s positive pre-season.
Not only have Urchins kept most of their squad from last season, including talented forward George Purcell, but they have strengthened in various areas and brought prolific marksman David Knight to the club.
On top of that they have defeated rivals Billericay Town and Canvey Island, both of the Ryman Premier.
It has been an excellent summer for the Bridge Avenue club and optimism among the fans and belief has been installed in all associated with it.
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McFarlane said: “It is going well, I don’t want to get too carried away because we had a good pre-season last year and look what happened.
“The year we got promoted I remember us losing to a few weak opponents, but I have been really impressed with the players and their fitness levels.
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“All of them are working so hard and their attitude has been spot-on so I have had no complaints.”
The positive pre-season continued on Saturday when Urchins beat Canvey 2-1, with Calvin Poku scoring his first two goals for the club.
McFarlane was happy to see the young forward net for the first time since joining from Barkingside and has been delighted with his work-rate.
“I wasn’t concerned that Calvin hadn’t scored before the Canvey game because he has been doing so well for us, considering he has been away on holiday too,” added McFarlane.
“Both of his goals were very clever finishes. For his second, George put the ball in and Calvin didn’t have to just head it, he needed to place it and looped it over the keeper. I was really impressed with how he took that.
“I think Canvey were missing one person and we had a few out like Elliot Styles, Alex Bentley and David, but it was another good workout.”
Hornchurch hosted a Luton Town XI on Tuesday and the Hatters brought a strong team to Bridge Avenue.
Urchins lost 2-0 to a team that included goalkeeper Mark Tyler as well as first team players Andy Parry, Magnus Okuonghae, Matt Robinson, Jake Howells and Rob Hall.
“It was a tough test against Luton and it took us a little while, 25 minutes, to get into the game,” said McFarlane.
“We showed our fitness levels, which really pleased me. We did a lot of chasing in the first half, but second half we were excellent and knocking the ball around at place with a good tempo.”