The injury crisis has got so bad
at Hemel Town that Tudors’ boss Dean Brennan has even considered lacing up his boots to ensure a healthy 11-man team is able to take the field .
That was the tongue-in-cheek remark that Brennan made to the Gazette this week when discussing the injury problems that have beset his squad.
Brennan last played eight years ago but due to the support from Hemel chairman David Boggins, it won’t be necessary for the Irishman to come out of retirement and the club is working furiously behind the scenes to sign new players this week.
All joking aside, Brennan realises how serious the situation has become and as of Tuesday this week there were a full 12 players on the club’s injury list.
New names on that list include full-back Joe Howe, who had been an ever-present, making 13 straight appearances in the league and cup, and midfielder Taylor Miles who has a facial injury which required multiple stitches.
The club faces a race against time to get fresh blood into the squad in time for this Saturday’s FA Cup 3rd round qualifying clash at Bath City.
Brennan is using his contacts around the leagues in a bid to sign new players.
The injury predicament goes a long way in explaining the 5-1 reverse at Chippenham Town on Saturday, which saw the Tudors effectively playing the entire second half with only ten men after defender Ismail Yakubu picked up an injury – yet there were no healthy bodies available to come off the bench.
The situation was compounded by the fact that inspirational skipper Jordan Parkes had to be pulled from the starting line-up due to a bout of food poisoning.
“I’ve never known a game like it,” said Brennan. “In all my years in management and hundreds of games – it was a nightmare day. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.”
Two players – Kyle Connolly and James Kaloczi – picked up muscle injuries in stoppage time near the end of the game to put the cap on a thoroughly miserable day.
And a further headache to contend with is the red-tape blocking the move of classy forward Paul Hayes to Vauxhall Road.
Hayes, who scored against Spurs in the FA Cup last season when playing for Wycombe Wanderers, would be a fantastic addition to the squad.
The Adams Park legend scored 145 goals in 607 appearances for Wycombe in a 15-year spell and he has never played below the League Two level.
But the move is being held up due to paperwork issues, much to Brennan’s frustration.
“It’s above my pay grade,” Brennan said when asked if the move might be resolved any time soon.
Saturday’s cup opponents Bath City are currently managerless after their last boss Gary Owers was appointed at Torquay United. The fellow National League South outfit are unbeaten in six and two places higher than Hemel in the standings, in eighth.