New coach for Barnet


Michael Stone has been appointed first team coach at Barnet.

Stone, 31, has joined from Rushden and Diamonds where he was assistant-manager to Justin Edinburgh.

Stone joins the Bees, who narrowly avoided relegation from League Two, having helped Rushden reach the playoffs after finishing fourth in the Blue Square Premier.

Prior to his spell at Rushden, he was managed Wingate & Finchley and coached the GB squad at the European Maccabi Games in Rome.

Stone, who lives in Mill Hill, was also assistant youth coach at Tottenham Hotspur and an academy assistant at Nottingham Forest. He will link up with incoming manager Mark Stimson.

Stone said: "I’m very excited at joining Barnet at what we all hope will be a fantastic new chapter in the history of the club. It is also the next step in my career, and an opportunity to move into the Football League.

“The new training ground provides a great environment for the coaching of both young players and the professional footballers.”

"I have known Paul Fairclough for quite a while and am especially delighted to be going to work alongside him and Mark. I hope we can all take the Bees forward to better things".

His role at Underhill includes extra responsibility for individual player development.

““I’m looking forward to working in a fantastic environment for young and senior players. Barnet have told me that they want to invest in me and they see me as a big part of the future of the club.

“Working closer to home gives me more opportunity to spend more time on the training ground. I’m looking forward to the challenge and will continue to learn and enjoy the experience and try to turn Barnet into more serious contenders for the top of the league.

“A club like Barnet often can’t spend money on the finished article. They have to be sensible and sustainable as a football club.

“My role will be to add value and develop into good professionals for League Two. I take that as a compliment if we’re known as a club who develops talent, either from scratch or youth level.

Pre-season start at the end of June with pre-season friendlies against Arsenal, Watford, Charlton, Southampton and Peterbrough to follow.

“I had a really good time at Rushden and learned a lot from working with Justin Edinburgh.”

Paul Fairclough said: "Michael is a young, dynamic and intelligent coach. Michael is of the new generation of coaches and already holds an FA 'A' licence. He will bring a studious, methodical and scientific approach to the development of the first team and individual players.”

Keith Cousins, the Rushden chairman, said: "We are obviously sad about the decision but wish him well for the future.”

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