The 2017/18 season was one of highs and lows for all 24 sides in the Vanarama National League, and next term we’ll have six new sides to face from across the country. This week we take a look in to a side no stranger to the National League, Barnet.
Name: Barnet Football Club
Nickname: The Bees.
Manager: John Still
Stadium: The Hive (Capacity: 6,205)
2017/18 league position: 23rd (Sky Bet League Two)
Manager John Still was appointed Bees boss earlier this month returning for the club for now his third stint in charge. The London-born 68-year old began his career in football way back in the 1960’s, starting his career with Leyton Orient. He went on to play for Bishop’s Stortford, Leytonstone and Dagenham before ending his playing career after just nine years due to injury.
He took up his first position in management aged just 26 with Leytonstone. Over the next two decades he took charge of the likes of Dartford, Maidstone United, Redbridge Forest and Dagenham & Redbridge. That first spell with the Daggers began in 1992 and he’d go on to return to the side on a number of occasions. His first Football League came with Peterborough United in ’94 in the Second Division.
His first spell with Barnet came in 1997 which lasted until 2000, before returning to then-ground Underhill for the 2001/02 campaign. Following a spell as assistant manager at Bristol Rovers he returned to Dagenham in 2004 staying for nine years and delivering promotion to the Football League winning the Conference in 2006 and eventually taking them to League One via the play-offs in 2010. Still won the Conference again in 2014 with Luton Town before another three year spell with the Daggers ended in recent weeks.
Barnet forward Dave Tarpey experienced the highs and lows of football in a matter of weeks when he made a dream move to the Football League. After bagging 87 goals in 124 appearances for Maidenhead United, including 44 goals in 41 National League South matches in 2016/17, he went on to get seven goals in six games following promotion. After the move he picked up an injury in just his second match for the Bees ruling him out for the entire campaign. He’ll now be looking to recapture the form he was in last time we played in the National League.
The Hive was opened in 2013 and the first match played came against Ipswich Town in July of that year, with the Bees losing out 1-0. With a capacity of 6,205 it has the facilities to seat 5,318 of those supporters. Part of a complex opened originally in 2009 by Sir Trevor Brooking, their first season at the Hive saw Barnet remain in the Conference Premier but go on to win the title a year later. Since being opened in 2013 work has continued to improve the stadium. The away supporters have 1,900 seats at the North Stand.
Formed in 1888 as Chipping Barnet, they spent the majority of their history in non-league football, winning various honours such as the FA Amateur Cup in 1946, Southern League Cup in 1976 and Conference League Cup in 1989.
They were promoted to the Football League for the first time in 1991 but have dropped in and back out three times since. They won the title and promotion once again in 2005 and in 2015, but alas on the final day of the season were relegated despite a 3-0 win over basement side Chesterfield.
Traditional rivals of the Bees includes Enfield Town and Watford, but next season they can look forward to local clashes with Boreham Wood and Leyton Orient.
Some famous former players include Dougie Freedman, Lincoy Primus, Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Pardew, Mark Lawrenson and of course Edgar Davids.