Playoff push for new season

Hemels Jordan Parkes is pictured with boss Dean Brennan, after accepting the players player of the year award on behalf of ex-striker Jake Robinson at Fridays end-of-season awards night
Hemels Jordan Parkes is pictured with boss Dean Brennan, after accepting the players player of the year award on behalf of ex-striker Jake Robinson at Fridays end-of-season awards night

Hemel boss Dean Brennan is hoping to push for a play-off place in the 2017/18 season.

The Tudors’ manager was outlining his ambitions for the upcoming campaign during the club’s end-of-season presentation night on Friday.

Brennan said he hopes for a better recruitment policy this season and admitted he made early mistakes last term which meant the club made a poor start to the campaign with only one win in the first eight games.

He has most of his players in place this time around and will be looking for a playoff place with the squad of players he will assemble, with a couple of new signings already on board and several players re-signing from last season.

He thanked the supporters and the chairman Dave Boggins for their continued backing.

Boggins added that it was a satisfactory season, but he hopes for a better campaign in 2017/18. The Tudors finished comfortably in midtable – in 12th – but the club now hopes to move forward.

The Academy is adding skipper Jordan Parkes to their coaching team this season and the club is hoping to have planning permission in place for the classrooms required at Vauxhall Road soon.

New Academy boss Steve Boone thanked his group of Academy lads who finished their second term with the club, saying he was proud of every one of them for their efforts and results.

He also thanked Boggins for his continued support for the Acadamy that has seen several young players make their first-team debuts.

Three Acadamy lads were rewarded for their efforts by being given first-team contracts for the coming season – Cameron Brooks, Ben Johnson and Colm Parrott.

Ben Johnson also scooped the Academy’s players’ player of the year award on the night.

First-team players’ player of the year winner was Jake Robinson, who was in fine goal-scoring form until he became Billericay Town’s record signing in March.

Meanwhile, in wider league news, big changes to the playoff system in all National League divisions are on their way for the coming season.

Chief executive Michael Tattersall confirmed a 
new system for promotion 
will launch for 2017/18.

It will still be three teams going up and three being relegated but Tattersall explained that now the top seven clubs will finish in a promotion positions.

The winners, of course, will go up automatically, but the following six teams will now compete in the new-look play-off format. This will happen across the league, including Hemel’s National League South division. Under the new format, the clubs finishing second and third will automatically proceed to a semi-final at their home ground. The clubs in fourth and fifth place will stage qualifying round ties against the teams finishing seventh and sixth.

n See next week’s Gazette for pictures and a full report on the end-of-season event.