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Barnet fan Lucy Waldon believes that 2013 is shaping up to be a good year for Barnet
It’s fair to say that when Mark Robson was dismissed from his duties as Joint Head Coach, the Barnet faithful were divided over the decision to hand playing legend Edgar Davids sole charge of first team matters.
It was, arguably, a risky move given the Dutchman’s lack of hands-on coaching experience at any level, never mind League Two.
However, as we move confidently into the latter part of January – whisper it if you like, Bees fans - it appears the gamble has paid off.
Indeed, for the first time in as long as I can remember, there’s a real air of optimism around the club.
Let’s put that new found aura of confidence into context.
After the opening 11 games of the season, the Bees languished on three points, bottom of the league and well adrift of the surrounding clubs.
Add to that a goal difference of minus 15 and not a win in sight, things were looking pretty desperate.
Little over three months later and it’s a whole different story.
With a string of victories against top sides like Gillingham, Bradford and Rotherham, the best form in the league over the Christmas period (that’s seven points from a possible nine) and a much less timid mindset on the pitch, it’s like watching a completely different side.
The team are still playing attractive passing football as the early season mantra dictated, but suddenly there’s a refreshing lack of negativity in the way the ball is moved up the park.
Better still, the players are functioning as a unit and it’s becoming a delight to watch.
Clearly it was disappointing to see this weekend’s home fixture against Fleetwood called off because of the adverse weather conditions: scrapping the match meant we missed out on the chance to continue our recent rich vein of form against a decent, not to say, expensively assembled side.
Fortunately results in the remaining games went largely our way too – Aldershot, in particular, still sit just below us in the table, having drawn with York to move on to 29 points, the same total as us.
Elsewhere, with the transfer window open, it’s been a good time to address the problem of our ridiculously bloated squad.
As might be expected of a club with limited finances, it’s very much been a case of one in and one out – they must have fitted revolving doors at the club.
At the beginning of the window, the club brought in highly-rated Northern Ireland youth international Adam Thompson.
Unfortunately, he returned to his parent club Watford a mere ten days later following a shoulder fracture in training.
One of Mark Robson’s early signings, the highly experienced defender Jon Fortune was the next to depart.
Despite being appointed Club Captain at the beginning of the season, the one-time Charlton stalwart made just eight appearances for the Bees and found himself way down the pecking order - even more so following the acquisition of loan signings Krystian Pearce and Andy Iro.
Jack Saville was the next to go, joining Ebbsfleet for a month; an odd decision, perhaps, and one that left the majority of the fan base baffled.
Jack hardly put a foot wrong last season when he arrived from Southampton but has been largely overlooked this campaign.
The most positive piece of news of late has to be that goalkeeper Graham Stack had signed a three-and-a-half year deal.
Not only are such arrangements pretty much unheard of in League Two, it’s difficult to remember the last time Barnet offered a player a contract of such length.
Stacky has rapidly established himself as the club’s number one between the sticks and his three clean sheets in the last five outings have been instrumental in the recent run of good form.
In fact, the former Arsenal and Hibs stopper has been one of the signings of the season. Fingers crossed this is the start of more good news to come and other players will follow suit and commit their futures to the club.
All we need now is some positive news – indeed any news - regarding the club’s plans for next season but so far 2013 is shaping up nicely to be quite a good year for Bees fans.
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