Video: Fairclough backs Frendo to retain Golden Boot
12:57 11 April 2014
After more than a quarter of a century in football management, England C boss Paul Fairclough knows a striker when he sees one and admits to being impressed by St Albans City forward John Frendo.
So much so the Barnet director of football is tipping Frendo to go all the way and retain the Golden Boot award he picked up at the National Game Awards last year, for the most deadly finisher in the top three flights of non-league football.
Frendo struck 44 goals during the previous campaign for Hitchin to claim the trophy at non-league football’s annual end of season bash, earning a move to Clarence Park, and looks well on his way to doing so again this year.
The ex-Stevenage man already has 38 to his name, but faces tough competition from Ben Mackey of Southern Premier leaders Hemel Hempstead Town, as well as the prolific Ross Allen at Ryman South side Guernsey.
Frendo will battle it out with Mackey and Allen as well as the likes of Leon Mettam at Worksop Town for the title at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on May 13.
And the 29-year-old would be a worthy winner according to Fairclough.
“I’ve been privileged to manage players who have won the Golden Boot, I had Giuliano Grazioli and I know what it means to these players,” said Fairclough.
“John Frendo last year was the winner and is doing it again this year, bashing in the goals.
“I go to watch these players, Frendo and the likes of [Ben] Mackey and they’re completely contrasting players.
“John Frendo seems to be in the right place at the right time over and over again.
“And Mackey is just all over the defenders like a rash he’s in their face, he’s aggressive he’s dynamic and they both have this gift of scoring a goal.
“Ross Allen is scoring goals for fun and who’s going to catch him?”
And Fairclough believes all the strikers in the running for the Golden Boot could thrive at a higher level.
“Say they go up two levels and half the goals they score, they go down to scoring 20 goals a season, surely that’s enough for any forward the higher you go,” he added.
“It’s whether the clubs will take a chance on these fellas. They know how to score a goal at whatever level.”
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