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The subject of this feature is first team coach Scott Cousins, who is still registered as a player, although his appearances are sporadic.
Scott joined Hendon from Chelsea in the summer of 2003, having found his path to the first team blocked by a multitude of internationals. He did have Hendon links as his father, also Scott, had made a handful of appearances for the reserves. His first manager at Claremont Road was Dave Anderson, who was aware of Scott’s fiery reputation and I remember Dave telling me of a conversation he had with Scott when he had been with the club a few weeks – Scott missed the season-opener serving a suspension from the previous campaign. "Who is the better player, you or me?" Dave asked. "Me," replied Scott. Dave then asked, "If you are suspended and sitting in the stands, who is the better player?" The message got through, loud and clear.
In his first season at Hendon, Scott was an attacking left-sided player, who could beat a player on the inside and outside, then deliver a telling cross. He was also a superb striker of the ball, either in live play or from a set-piece. He scored and created numerous goals as the Greens finished fourth in the Ryman League Premier Division, only missing out on second place in the final week of the season. Scott scored eight goals, including a few penalties, in 51 appearances that season, both third-best at the club. One goal which stood out was at Northwood when, kicking up the hill towards the cemetery, he struck a 25-yard drive and buried it in the top corner of the goal. He then added a second half penalty in a 2-0 win. Hendon finished the season as Middlesex Senior Cup winners. At the end of the season, Dave's team moved en masse - 13 players and staff in total - to AFC Wimbledon, but not Scott. He played in the first preseason friendly, before signing for St Albans City, who he helped rise to the Conference National.
Sadly, Scott's career was derailed by a badly broken leg which he suffered playing for St Albans and he missed significant time. He left the Saints and signed for Carshalton Athletic in the summer of 2009, but returned to Hendon, now at Vale Farm, in October that year, making his second debut against Lowestoft in the FA Trophy, a 2-0 Greens victory. Scott was a different player now, certainly less combative, but smarter and still able to find teammates with passes few others would have even seen, let alone attempted. He was also regularly on the scoresheet, with five goals in 35 appearances. The 2009-10 season was an unusually barren one for Hendon whose interest in all cup competitions ended in the quarter-final of the London Senior Cup, but a comfortable mid-table finish of 10th was satisfactory after a disappointing first three months.
In 2010-11, Scott played a big part in Hendon's run to the FA Cup first round - the Greens went down 3-2 away to Chelmsford City - but he did pick up a runners-up medal in the London Senior Cup. The season started very promisingly and the play-offs seemed a possibility, but injuries meant the Greens coasted through the second half and finished in lower mid-table. Scott was appointed captain for the 2011-12 season and his leadership certainly helped the team. The arrival of Darren Currie gave the Greens a magnificent left-wing combination and it was little surprise that Hendon enjoyed a much better season, missing out on the play-offs by just three points, despite amassing a tremendous 72. Scott also had the honour of lifting the London Senior Cup after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Kingstonian at Imber Court. Scott also scored to date his last Hendon goal, at Lewes.
A rare moment of madness denied Scott the chance of leading out Hendon in the first round of the FA Cup at League Two Aldershot Town. He was sent off in the third qualifying round replay against Eastbourne Borough and was suspended for the tie at the Recreation Ground. Scott made 36 appearances in the League that season, but struggled with a groin problem that he could not shake off. This injury did not heal during the summer and Scott was limited to just five appearances in 2013-14, though his mentoring of Jack Bennett certainly made a difference to his career. When Junior Lewis left the Hendon coaching staff, Gary McCann had no hesitation in promoting Scott, a few weeks short of his 31st birthday, to the role of coach.
Joined Hendon: Summer 2003; October 2009. Left Hendon: August 2004
Appearances: 237 (228 starts, 9 as a substitute). Goals: 14
Medals won: London Senior Cup: 2011-12, Middlesex Senior Cup 2003-04