The close season is never the best of times for any club football supporter. Fill in’s of World Cups and European Championships pass the time from a season’s end to the beginning of the next but it’s not the real thing in a lot of eyes!
And when it comes to moving players on and getting players in, much to the frustration of supporters up and down the land clubs announce in their own time, not usually good enough or quick enough to appease the salivating fans!
At Barnet it’s no different. After a disappointing campaign last time out hopes have been high since the end of April that some of those who under-performed would be shipped out by the time the players return for pre-season training in just under 2 weeks time. At the time of writing only goal keeper Mark Cousins has left the club with supporters hoping there will be 2-3 more departures before the season begins. Of course, some were released soon after the season ended as is the norm every year, it’s harder to shift those under contract who can be content to stay put and see it out to the end.
In place of Cousins comes a keeper with pedigree, and someone who seems to have ignited a spark amongst Bees fans. The goalkeeping position has been something of a troublesome position at The Hive in recent seasons. Jamie Stephens was one of the best to wear the number one shirt in recent years but suffered badly from injury and was eventually released, Craig Ross and Cousins haven’t been considered the answer to the problem so now step forward Scott Loach.
An ex England Under 21 international, Loach comes with a wealth of experience and on the back of 100 consecutive appearances for previous club Hartlepool Utd, a consistency the Bees lacked before Cousins arrival but his lack of presence inside his box saw Currie seek to replace him.
Bees fans are expecting that this is the first of a few signings to bolster in areas the team looked to be lacking in, a target man up front who can also chip in with 10+ goals and more muscle in the middle of the park that would compliment Andre Boucard and Jack Taylor, the latter having made his Under 21 international debut this summer.
Those positions are a must to be filled, but to a Bees fan that’s been evident since the early games of last season. Whether additional funds are added if those who need to be moved on won’t budge currently remains to be seen. This may well require a lot more patience to wait and see how things turn out, Twitter tells me we can’t wait!