BARNET BLOGGER #2
With the first game at The Hive less than two-weeks away it seems like a great time to take stock on how the current Barnet squad is shaping up ahead of the 2013/14 season.
In defence, as with most areas of the team, there are some familiar faces from last year, which is in contrast to the wholesale changes seen in recent close seasons.
Barnet are fortunate to have retained the best goalkeeper they have had for some years in Graham Stack and David Stephens was a solid performer last season.
However, what may have disrupted the Barnet rear guard was the dependable Stephens having a series of central defensive partners, and Barnet fans will be hoping that new signing Anthony Acheampong can form a solid partnership with the former Hibernian man.
Acheampong, who was named in the Conference South Team of the Year following Welling United’s title winning season, found the net seven times last season so he will bring goals as well as clean sheets.
Another new signing whose name on the back of your shirt will cost well over a tenner is Keanu Marsh-Brown. KMB became an instant Barnet hero on April 1st when his mazy run made April Fools out of the AFC Wimbledon defence to secure all three points in South West London.
Along with Luke Gambin there are really encouraging signs on the wings with Mauro Vilhete, who has trained with the Portugese Under-18 team, completing an exciting trio of wingers.
Andy Yiadom can also play an attacking role but at times he was gainfully deployed as an attacking right-back. Jordan Brown is another option for the defensive flanks and he will compete with the impressive Elliot Johnson who had an excellent debut season last year.
In the centre the Bees look strong with the guile of Mark Byrne to complement the ever improving Curtis Weston, whose return to the side in the latter stages of last season added defensive discipline to the middle of the park.
There is plenty of cover from youngsters including Dom Vose, Iffy Allen and Ahmed Abdulla, plus there is also the small matter of Champions League winner Edgar Davids.
In attack the futures of transfer listed duo Jake Hyde and Jon Nurse are uncertain, but Harry Crawford knows all about the Conference Premier. His scoring record of a goal every other game for Dartford persuaded Davids to sign the striker in January.
Jamal Lowe and George Sykes also impressed last season during a number of cameos and they will be looking to make a big impact throughout the course of pre-season.
All in all, it looks like the Barnet squad is shaping up nicely and if the Bees hit the ground running it might just be a first season to remember at The Hive!
Barnet FC can confirm that Connor Stevens has joined Southern Football League Premier Division South side Hayes & Yeading United on a one-month loan.