Hemel Town are looking more solid and have a good blend of experience and youth, that's the assessment of Tudors'
always level-headed boss Dean Brennan.
The Irishman spoke with our man Allan Mitchell last week to get his take on the pre-season campaign so far.
“We are at the end of week four, heading into a tough fifth week with three tough friendly games and four training sessions. There are a couple of injuries but only minor knocks,” said Brennan. “So far, so good, with the players stepping up the mark.”
The recruitment policy has been different this term with more experience added, especially at the back, compared with last season when Hemel went for younger players.
Brennan said: “We have looked much more solid, which is pleasing, but when I was at Luton we won every pre-season game and got relegated so we are aware that we mustn’t get carried away.
“We are really pleased with the work ethic shown and the togetherness of the squad; the lads have all bought into the three-night training idea and every player’s attitude has been spot-on so far.
“As always, we take it one week at a time, one session at a time, and that is all we can do and hopefully we will have a decent season.”
Brennan was asked how the club’s pursuit of a winger has been progressing, and he said: “We have made offers but our finances wouldn’t stretch to what they were looking for so that hasn’t happened, but overall I am more than happy with the squad we have.
“I’m probably being a bit picky looking for another winger but if we can get one in, all well and good. I wouldn’t mind another striker as well but I wont be too disappointed if we don’t add to the squad.
“Last season we looked at younger players who came and went but we have kept some of the better ones such as James Kaloczi, Kyle Connolly and Jonathan McNamara and added a couple more like Taylor Miles and David Moyo as well as [adding] some experience so there’s a good mix.
“We have looked into a different market this time round and have signed less players so if we can stay clear of injuries there is no reason we can’t push for a better season.”
Tudors’ keeper Laurie Walker has been rumoured to have been on the MK Dons radar. Brennan said: “Yes, Laurie has been training with them but I don’t know what is happening with it to be honest.
“Obviously we would have a think about it if they do make him an offer.
“He has been with us pre-season and looked really good and has been totally committed and he remains our player, but if a full-time contract offer comes along then we would have to look at it from the football club’s perspective and also have to take Laurie’s wishes into consideration.
“But as yet he remains our goalkeeper and we very much want to keep him here.”
Do Hemel have a keeper lined-up if he does end up moving away from the club?
“Yes, we already have someone lined-up but we’ll cross that bridge if we have to.”
Hemel lost 4-2 to National League Premier side Boreham Wood on Monday night at home – their first reverse of the pre-season – following a 1-0 win against Barnet U23s at The Hive on Saturday. A header from new signing David Moyo in the first half settled it.
Tonight (Wednesday) they face another stern test when League Two side Cambridge United visit Vauxhall Road (7.45pm).
n For more Tudors news, see page 54.