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Barnet in focus

3 June 2016

How the Bees are shaping up ahead of the new season

Last season's finish: 15th

 

: The BeesNickname

 

: The HiveGround

 

: 5,233Capacity

 

Last Season:

The campaign was the club’s first back in the Football League since relegation in 2013 after the Bees secured promotion from the Vanarama Conference as champions.

They began with just three wins in their first 12 league matches which left the side languishing near the foot of the table. In October a four game unbeaten spell included wins over Oxford United, Exeter City and York City before the Bees went without a win again until just before Christmas when they scored two late goals to beat Reds 4-2 on December 19.

In 2016 the Bees managed nine clean sheets and picked up results more frequently to secure a stable mid-table finish.

 

Manager: Martin Allen

The experienced Allen played over 100 matches for QPR and West Ham United, as well as enjoying spells with Portsmouth and Southend United.

When Barnet were in non-league they became his first managerial role before he moved to Brentford. He was also in charge of MK Dons, Leicester City and Cheltenham Town.

Two short spells back at the Bees in between spells with Notts County and Gillingham preceded his return to the club on a permanent basis in March 2014.

 

Key Man: John Akinde

The former Crawley Town striker has been a hit at The Hive since his move in May 2014. In his first full season he scored 31 goals and played a big part in helping the club achieve promotion back to the Football League. Last season Akinde scored 23 League goals and was on target twice against his former club in the final match of the campaign as Barnet completed the double with a 3-0 win.

 

This Summer

The Bees suffered a blow last month when key defender Andy Yiadom signed for League One play-off winners Barnsley, but experienced central defender Michael Nelson has agreed a new one-year deal. The 38-year-old has played more than 600 League and Cup games during his 18-year career.

 

Press View from Tom Moore of Get West London

Barnet had their best League Two season in recent campaigns under Martin Allen and finished comfortably clear of the relegation zone.

Their tally of 62 points was their best in the league since they reached the play-offs in the 1999/2000 season.

While that tally resulted in a 15th placed finish it should be noted that the Bees finished 12th in 2008 on 60 points.

Home form was key for the Bees last year with 13 of their 17 victories coming at The Hive last season.

Barnet will need to improve their form away from home as they only picked up four wins on their travels last time.


Star man

Jamie Stephens was superb in goal for the Bees last season, even though the goals conceded column slightly outnumbered the goals scored.

Having taken the reins after Graham Stack's injury early in the season, Stephens produced assured performances all through the campaign.

John Akinde was Barnet's main man up front, bagging 24 goals in 48 appearances for the club.

His goals will be pivotal again if the club are to be challenging at the top end of the division.


Prediction for next season

Under Martin Allen, Barnet should not be anywhere near the relegation zone come April/May.

The question is, though, whether they have enough about them to be challenging the sides at the top of the division?

They have the core of a good side there but the question is whether Allen can unearth some rough diamonds in the summer transfer window

A top half finish is the expectation for the club next season and they could emulate AFC Wimbledon and just sneak into the play-offs.

 



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