Ambitious Tudors boss Brennan has his sights set high as squad takes shape

Hemel Hempstead Town FC management duo Dean Brennan and Stuart Maynard. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Hemel Hempstead Town FC management duo Dean Brennan and Stuart Maynard. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Town boss Dean Brennan has his sights set on a season to remember as he continues to build a side capable of challenging at the top of the National League South.

The Tudors have brought in a raft of players with Football league experience, and Brennan believes that the blend of youth and know-how could be key to a successful campaign.

We’ve got to better what we did last year and the aim is to be right at the top of the table

Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan

“We’ve got to better what we did last year and the aim is to be right at the top of the table – that’s where we want to be,” said the Tudors boss. “As a management team, that’s why we have brought these players in and that’s the sacrifice we have made.”

According to Brennan, his new-look squad have been working hard in training as they aim to make a flying start to the new season.

“The lads have worked excellently in pre-season – it’s mainly conditioning for the first two weeks and then we go into more games next week so that is when the lads will get their match practice,” he said.

“It’s good to see the centre-forwards getting on the scoresheet – Hawks (Oliver Hawkins) and Slabbs (Jamie Slabber) have both got themselves a couple of goals, so all in all we are happy with how things are going.

“The attitude of the players has been spot on but we will take it week by week and game by game,” he said. “We have set our points target, the players know what it is, and if we can achieve it we will have success.

“We have to evolve and we have done that in a positive manner. It’s going to be an exciting league this year with some big teams and some exciting stadiums so we are just really looking forward to it.”

Despite his good work in the transfer market, Brennan insists that there are still areas in which he would like to strengthen his squad before the big kick-off.

“The squad isn’t complete yet – we are looking to bring in another two or three players,” he said. “Obviously you are always looking to improve, but we are delighted with what we have brought in so far.

“We are looking to bring another centre-half in and we would like another winger and another centre-midfield player. Everything else, we are happy with. It’s down to the players now to nail their positions in the team.

Speaking about the capture of Slabber – following prolonged speculation – Brennan added: “Slabber’s deal was just about the timing – we are just delighted to get him.

“We have brought a lot more experience into the squad, because last year we only really had Dennis Oli who was a real experienced player, but this season we have got five or six; people like Matty Spring, Terrell Forbes, Ben Herd and Jamie Slabber.

“We have also got five strikers now, and it is at the top end of the field where you win games of football. We’re delighted, it’s a good start.”

Going the other way is Luke Allen, who has left the club by mutual consent. “We sat down and had a conversation and I told him that his minutes on the pitch would be limited,” said Brennan.

“He is a player who I think we gave a fair opportunity to last season – he did a great job while he was with us, but both of us decided to go in a different direction. We wish him all the best, because he is a great kid with a great attitude.”

Meanwhile, Brennan is hoping for a quick recovery for a handful of players who have picked up injuries.

“We have picked up a couple of injuries which is a little bit frustrating – John Frendo picked up an ankle injury and Ed Asafu-Adjaye still hasn’t recovered from the injury he had last season, he’s still another couple of weeks away,” he said.

“Jamie Butler is also another couple of weeks away, and Dave King has picked up an injury. We are looking to get those players back as soon as possible.”