After John Still had returned to Barnet in the summer of 2018, many were certainly pleased when long time Bees legend Darren Currie was named as Still’s assistant manager, the same role he undertook at Dagenham. It was seen as the master an his apprentice with an expectation that Currie would be a Barnet manager in waiting.
That time arrived a lot sooner than most people expected despite the fact the Bees were not setting the world alight in this years National League, disappointing considering the summer signings of pedigree players at this level.
Currie had an exceptional spell at Barnet having been signed by Still back in 1998 and went on 127 times for the Bees, the most of any of the clubs he played for, endearing himself to Bees fans during the three year spell with some mesmerising wing play. Currie departed as did a few others from the ill fated 2000-01 relegation season and went on to notch up over 600 appearances at football league levels before moving into coaching with the Daggers in 2012 where he stayed until his move to The Hive last summer.
Since his appointment, it’s been one hell of a ride! A clean sheet and victory over former club Dagenham in his first game provided a good base to begin. As already mentioned the Bees haven’t been in good league form all season apart from a spell of 5 wins in a row early on in this season.
It has however been the cups where Barnet have excelled, and not just in the FA Cup. They are still in all cup competitions they have entered this season and face an FA Cup replay on Tuesday evening against Championship outfit Brentford having held them to an exciting 3-3 draw last week in front of an impressive 6000 odd crowd at The Hive. The Bees have completely sold out their 1600 allocation for the replay which goes to show that Currie is helping the club re-connect with the fans once again.
They face another replay in the FA Trophy after a 3-3 draw on Saturday against Carshalton, despite leading 3-1 at one stage, whilst the Semi-Final stage of the Middlesex Senior Cup has Brentford’s B team heading to The Hive.
There are enough games in hand for Currie’s team to still have an impact on their final league placing, anywhere between 4-6 games in hand on everyone else. The squad is one of the biggest in the league and within that you would expect there is enough quality and ability to get the club up the table and away from any danger.
What Currie has done in a short space of time as mentioned slightly above to re-engage the supporters again. Over 900 ventured to Sheffield Utd, he asked for a sell out at The Hive and it was duly delivered and to Tuesday being backed by a sell out away end. Even after the 4-0 thumping at bottom club Braintree, Currie endeared himself further by publicly apologising on Twitter for the ‘crap’ performance, could you imagine a Premier League manager heading online to do that? Another positive step which Barnet need a lot of, along with stability which has been lacking for a while.
Already a Barnet legend in a lot of eyes, there is a chance for that status to be re-lived, this time from the touchline. With a passion for the club, everyone will be willing him to succeed and hope he is given the chance to build something that Barnet can take long term, time will tell. I have to say though, I didn’t expect to be sponsoring the boss of Barnet FC when this season began……..