Hitchin welcome Luton and Barnet
TWO former managers from North Hertfordshire return to the area next week when Hitchin Town take on Luton Town and Barnet in the Canaries first two pre-season games. Brian Stein, who briefly managed Baldock Town and now assists Hatters manager Mike Newe
TWO former managers from North Hertfordshire return to the area next week when Hitchin Town take on Luton Town and Barnet in the Canaries' first two pre-season games.
Brian Stein, who briefly managed Baldock Town and now assists Hatters' manager Mike Newell, and Stevenage legend Paul Fairclough will bring teams to Hitchin. Both clubs will bring their first teams to Top Field - Luton on Monday July 10 (7.45pm) and Barnet on Wednesday July 12 (7.45pm).
Hitchin, who have just started pre-season training, will field new signings Chris Dillon and Carl Williams. Grant Carney, acquired last weekend, will not feature in pre-season games owing to an injury.
Both Luton and Barnet are bringing their first teams to Hitchin, providing a stiff test for Darren Salton's side. "It's early for us, but these games will help us gauge our fitness levels," said Salton. "It's good to welcome old friends back to the club and we are delighted that Luton and Barnet have agreed to send strong teams."
Salton retained the services of centre back Stuart Hammonds this week. Hammonds, who has just become a father for the first time, is pivotal in Salton's plans. "Stuart is a key figure for us. He did brilliantly last season and his partnership with Liam Folds at the back is crucial for us. He's also a character who helps maintain team spirit, so I'm pleased he's on board once more," added Salton.
Carney is the former Hemel Hempstead and Dunstable striker.
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Carney, who has been eyed by the Canaries for two seasons, looks set to form a lethal front-line partnership with Hitchin's other new signing, Chris Dillon. "We have signed two prolific goalscorers in the close season," said Hitchin manager Darren Salton. "There are few better at putting the ball in the net than Chris and Grant."
Carney scored 23 times last season for Hemel, including one against the Canaries in the Herts Senior Cup. With his previous club, Dunstable, he scored a memorable hat-trick against Hitchin in 2004-05.
"Hitchin fans know all about Grant and what he can do," added Salton. "This is an exciting signing for us and underlines what we are trying to achieve in the coming season."
There was further good news for Hitchin with the re-signing of Daniel French.