The 2023/24 National League season kicks off with a humdinger at The Hive as Barnet host Hartlepool United this Saturday (5th August, 15:00 KO).
So, What’s the Buzz?
In the last 7 days, The Bees completed an unbeaten pre-season by defeating League One opposition in the form of Cambridge United. Such a performance so close to the start of a season will breathe confidence into the squad as they prepare to take on Hartlepool and the beginning of a challenging season. Fans of The Bees were able to voice their opinions and questions to Chairman Tony Kleanthous and Manager Dean Brennan last Saturday, creating an open and connected club throughout which builds the buzz before the business begins.
Club Name: Hartlepool United FC
Nickname: The Pools
Ground. Victoria Park
Manager. John Askey
League Position: 23rd (relegated from League 2, 2022/23)
Like Barnet, Hartlepool will have their sights on promotion back to The Football League with The Pools aiming for an immediate return after their difficult campaign last season. Preparation has gone well for The Pools with their most recent encounter ending in a 5-2 win over Championship side Sunderland A.F.C. Hartlepool usually plays in a 3-5-2 formation which can transition into a 5-3-2 making them a difficult side to break down due to their width and numbers in the middle.
One to Watch: Anthony Mancini
The young Frenchman may have only just arrived at Victoria Park, but he may just become an early contender for Player of the Season in the National League. The 21-year-old is a bright talented central midfielder with an eye for goal with 3 goals in his first 2 games for Hartlepool and will act as the attacking pivot for The Pools. Born in Saint-Priest, France, Mancini bounced around France throughout his youth career before breaking through Angers’ second team and making his move across the channel to Burnley. He didn’t break through at Burnley and left for Accrington Stanley where he signed a short-term contract last term before making his move to Hartlepool where he’ll be hungry to finally make himself a star.
In the Dugout: John Askey
Also relatively new to the club is the Manager, John Askey. Askey is widely regarded as a Macclesfield Town legend by the fans, having spent most of his playing career there before managing the side. After spending four up-and-down seasons at Macclesfield, Askey led them to an unlikely promotion in 2017/18 as champions of the National League after financial issues at the club. Having this experience will give the Hartlepool fans great hope that they could return to the Football League immediately.
We encourage supporters to join in a minute of applause in the 43rd minute for lifelong Barnet FC supporter Ken Myers, who recently passed away.
“One of Barnets’ most loyal supporters, Ken Myers passed away on 21 June this year. He was born in 1943 and was a Barnet resident all his life. He started watching the club at Underhill in 1958. He saw them during their Amateur Cup runs in the late 1950s culminating in the 1959 Final at Wembley when they lost to Crook Town.
He was also there during the move to semi-professionalism and then the dark days of the 1970s. Later he enjoyed the heady atmosphere of Barry Fry and promotion to the EFL. Since the late 1980s he went to many away games as well. Following the move to the Hive he had a seat in the Legends stand and only started missing games earlier this season when he fell ill.
Even if you didn’t know him personally it is certain that you would have met him over the years either at our home games or in many grounds around the country.
Let us remember him and join in a minutes applause in the 43rd minute of todays game.”
Words from Dr Martin Dyer
Under 17: £5
Tickets can be purchased here
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