Fans’ favourite Ian Hendon has two possible future routes to persue; a key decision will be made.
Barnet have not offered their inspiration right-back skipper a playing contract for next season. But Paul Fairclough has offered him a role within the club’s backroom staff – an opportunity to stay with the club he joined four years ago.
It means Hendo’ could be saying farewell to football on the pitch for the final time as he leads the Bees out against Wycombe Wanderers at Underhill Stadium on Saturday for the final game of the season.
However Hendon, who has more than 700 games to his name in his 20-year long career, has made it clear a few times that he believes he still has the ability to play in the Football League, and, at 35 years old, doesn’t want to hang up his boots just yet.
And fans have been quick to support the captain, who say Hendon should find a new club to continue playing and others are angry the club have not offered him a player-coach contract.
On the possibly departing captain, Fairclough said: ‘Ian has been a superb captain at all times. People like him are a special breed’.
Hendon has said that he wants to stay in football after he retires, and so is contemplating his options, including the offer on the table from Barnet, more so because it would mean he can stay at the club he loves: ‘I love this place,’ Hendon reflected.
‘Barnet is like a family to me and my wife, daughter, Mum and Dad and brother all enjoy coming to games and are well treated.
‘Barnet is a smashing club to play for and I have a particular rapport with the supporters. I feel I have an affiliation with everyone from chairman Tony Kleanthous to the tea ladies,’ he told the Barnet website.
‘We were in the Conference when I joined the Bees and here we are now established in League Two.’
He was first brought to Underhill on loan by former manager Peter Shreeves, who had been a mentor at both his former clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield Wednesday.
Hendon represented his country seven times for the Under-21s, whilst at Spurs and has scored 23 goals for the Bees, of his 47 total career goas.
‘Perhaps I could say that this is a job accomplished.’
‘Perhaps’ being the key word, there, suggesting he may want to be kicking the ball around for a bit longer. And there should be no reason for Hendon not to return after he finishes his career at another club.
One things for sure, is that Saturday will be the last time we will see Hendon wearing that number 4 shirt for the club, and I am sure supporters will be voicing their appreciation for him, amongst the other players leaving Barnet this summer.
The decision for his future will be made by him next week. He has said that it is ‘the hardest decision of my life,’ and both ‘play on’ and ‘stay with barnet’ views from fans will surely be expressed in an emotional game of football this Saturday.