Barnet left-back Sam Beard has joined Eastbourne Borough, who are managed by his father, Mark, on a one-month loan deal.
Beard joined Barnet on loan in April 2021 and impressed in the final few months of the season, leading to him signing permanently in July. He has made 78 appearances for the Bees and this season is his fourth with the club, making him the longest-serving player by some distance.
The defender was a star player at the end of a torrid 2020/21 campaign and he carried that form into the following campaign, which led to him being called up by England C manager Paul Fairclough for their annual friendly against Wales C.
Loss of form and consistent injury problems has meant that he has slowly fallen out of favour with manager Dean Brennan, culminating in the Irishman signing experienced left-back Ben Coker this summer.
The Impact Of His Loan Move
A move to the Sports to work for his father is one that many Bees fans identified as an option for Beard if he were to head out on loan and the consistent game time he will get time should help the left back to get back to full fitness.
The fact that a such a short-term loan has been agreed at this time indicates that he may well still have a future the Hive Stadium, particularly as he penned a new long-term contract last summer.
Presumably, his father will have full trust in him and Beard will be one of the first names on the team sheet. Dropping into the National League South should help Beard to regain his confidence as it is a level that he will find challenging, but is ultimately too good for.
I believe Beard’s short-term loan move will be the first of many at Barnet this season. Dean Brennan has a squad of 22 players to pick from and only 16 can make the match-day squad for league matches. This means that there will be multiple players who don’t have a chance of getting on the pitch each week and the manager may decide to send them out on short-term loans to other National League clubs or the division below to keep them match fit.
The squad as a whole need to be performing well for the rest of the season if Barnet want to maintain their position and secure at least a spot in the play-offs come May.