It's oh so quiet...

Thursday 30th June 2011 13:05

Sanchez: lukewarm greeting

Sanchez: lukewarm greeting

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Barnet fan James Castle is hoping his heart has a much needed break after last season's heroics.

Bees plan for smoother season

After the trials and trauma of our last-day survival, it is peaceful and serene in this leafy corner of south Hertfordshire as still-in-League-Two Barnet take a breather before starting their preparations for the new season.

The main developments, along with the signing of Lawrie Sanchez as permanent boss with Graz as his assistant, has been the departure of player of the year Joe Devera to divisional rivals Swindon Town and the permanent signing of midfield pocket rockets Mark Byrne and Sam Deering from Forest and Oxford respectively.

Both Byrne and Deering proved to be great successes whilst on loan with the Bees last term, the latter in particular arguably the catalyst for our return to form and ultimate escape from relegation.

London-born and barely out of his teens, Deering displayed a swiftness of foot and sureness of touch quite out of keeping with his resemblance to Bart Simpson's best buddy Milhouse and performed so well that he ended up scooping two of the four supporters' end of season awards.


Irishman Byrne enjoyed two loan spells with Barnet either side of a troublesome knee injury and, whilst having less of an immediate impact than Deering, grew into his central midfield role to such an extent that it was hard to imagine the team without him. It's significant to note that his absence coincided with one of the least productive spells of the season in terms of both points and goals for the Bees and should he continue to carry on where he left off in May then he could develop into a real gem.

Joe Devera departs with the good wishes of the fans ringing in his ears - the only surprise is that he has not stepped up a level. Ever-dependable and able to play in both the centre and right-hand side of defence, Joe gave his all in a six-year spell with the club, the majority of which was spent fighting near the bottom of the table.

Whilst he seemed to thrive in the face of adversity it will be very interesting to see how he copes playing for one of the sides amongst the pre-season favourites for promotion, and with a high-profile manager on board - a very different kind of pressure.

The confirmation of Sanchez as boss was in stark contract with the fans' reaction when Mark Stimson was unveiled at the helm last year - to say the reaction was a bit lukewarm is a bit like saying that Libya isn't one of the most popular holiday destinations at the moment. However, regardless of who is in charge, you won't hear too many Bees fans discussing where they think the side may end up in League Two next May; any bloke will tell you that it's better just to have a vague idea which way you're heading rather than try and stop and ask for directions...