Monday, 27 June 2011

My All-Time greatest Barnet team

Last season I was asked to contribute to the programme by offering the Barnet 11 (plus five subs) I thought were the best I’d seen play. Obviously with my first game being in the 93/94 season, I missed out on previous ‘legends’; as well as being too young to remember or understand many players others will suggest.

My All-Time greatest team is as follows:

Starting:
                             Harrison
Hendon          Primus          Yakubu          King
Adomah          Bailey          Sinclair          Puncheon
       Grazioli          Freedman

Subs:
Taylor
Heald
McGleish
Currie
Stockley


Harrison: over 300 appearances

Goalkeeper
Lee Harrison
1996-2003 and 2006-2010
Lee managed to reach the feat of 300 appearances for the club in two spells. Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons and countless match-saving performances who else could it have been? – Although Maik Taylor comes a close second.

Right back
                                               Ian Hendon
                                               2003-2009
His buccaneering runs up the wing still come to mind. Also a good man to take a penalty – except when he missed! Left in somewhat sad circumstances, where he now assists Gillingham manager, Andy Hessenthaler.

Left-back
Simon King
2003-2007
Kingy was like two players in one. Focused, committed and commanding at the back – and a massive loss when he left. Now regarded as a god at League Two rivals Gillingham despite his terrible injuries.

Centre backs
Linvoy Primus
1994-1997
A Barnet legend and another player who eventually got the opportunity to ply his trade in the Premiership with Portsmouth. Committed, inspirational, an all-round outstanding centre-back.
Ismail Yakubu
2001-2010
Yaks joined as a youth and always gave his all. Despite his somewhat dodgy distribution no-one could really believe it when he finally left the club. He gets my sentimental vote, though Greg Heald was probably a better player.

Right midfield
Albert Adomah
2008-2010
His performances were the highlight of a dreadful season!  The tricks he pulled off were mesmerising, causing him to be double marked in every game – and even then, defenders got caught out! Fantastically unpredictable and always played with a smile on his face.

Left midfield
Jason Puncheon
2006-2008
A wayward talent, Punch always gave the impression of being someone who could play at a much higher level – if only he could put his mind to it! He got that opportunity last season playing on loan for Blackpool – netting three times, for the relegated side.

Central midfield
Nicky Bailey
2004-2007
 “If there’s anybody else out there, who scores goals and got ginger hair…” Another player clearly capable of making the step-up. Bags of energy and terrific strike to match – has proved his worth at Charlton and now Middlesbrough.
Dean Sinclair
2004-2007
Deano always looked like class on the ball. Weighed in with a fair few goals too and seemed to take the game in his stride. Moved on to better things at Charlton – although his short-lived return on loan in 2009/2010 was a bit of a damp squib. But he did score that famous goal at Old Trafford in 2005. What a night!

Strikers
Giuliano Grazioli
2003-2008
Another club legend – as a player and now as assistant manager to Lawrie Sanchez. Graz’s goals propelled us out of the Conference in 2005 and he remains an inspiration for all strikers joining the club.
Dougie Freedman
1994-1995
What can I say?  Once voted ‘’The Greatest Barnet Player of all Time’ after just one year at the club. Dougie currently manages Crystal Palace and last season continued to big us up on Late Kick Off – even at our lowest points!  Those 27 goals in his debut season at Underhill speak for themselves.

Subs
Maik Taylor
1995-1997
Maik – who later played in the Premier League with Southampton, Fulham and Birmingham - comes close to taking the goalie’s jersey from Harrison in my starting eleven, but Lee probably shades it for longevity. Has also had a highly successful career with the Northern Ireland national side.
Greg Heald
1997-2003
The ever reliable Greg Heald joined Barnet for a club record transfer fee of £130,000 in 1997 and stayed for five seasons, weighing in with 20 goals over the period. A good man to have at the back in a crisis.
McGleish: one of
my favourite players of all time
Scott McGleish
1997-2001
I remember Barnet-born Scotty as much for his spectacular somersault celebrations as his many goals, but I also remember his incredibly committed performances. Although currently a free agent he was still banging them in last season for Leyton Orient, aged 37.
Darren Currie
1998-2001
Also known as ‘The Tattooed Man’, Darren made up in tricks and deftly delivered dead-balls what he clearly lacked in pace. Famous for missing That Penalty v Torquay (though he did have a hand in our first goal on that fateful afternoon).
Sam Stockley
1996-2001
Fans favourite Sam Stockley racked up over 200 appearances over a five-year period from 1996 before moving on to Oxford United for the tidy sum of £150,000.



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