AFC HAYES READY FOR THE FIGHT

Palmer tells Hayes team ‘to roll their sleeves up’ FOOT­BALL

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PAUL Palmer be­lieves he has all the right cre­den­tials to keep AFC Hayes up after guid­ing North Green­ford United away from the trap­door last sea­son.

Palmer took over in the Farm Park hot seat last week fol­low­ing Ian Crane’s de­par­ture, tak­ing charge of a side rock bot­tom of the South­ern League Cen­tral with just two wins all sea­son.

The size of his task was made all the more ev­i­dent with a 4-0 de­feat at Egham in his first game on New Year’s Day, but Palmer is used to scrap­ping at the bot­tom.

He took the reins at North Green­ford last Fe­bru­ary after Neil Ship­per­ley left, but was sacked in Septem­ber de­spite keep­ing them up and be­ing re­spon­si­ble for two of only five wins United have en­joyed this sea­son.

Palmer said: “It’s a dog fight down there and you have to roll your sleeves up and grind out re­sults. It’s easy enough when you’re Ket­ter­ing and have the cash to spend, but I have to call in favours, which is what I did at North Green­ford.

“I will be do­ing the same here – bring­ing in play­ers I know and trust to dig us out of it. But there are a few here al­ready we can def­i­nitely work with too. Jake Cass, for ex­am­ple, is an out­stand­ing player at this level.

“There are never any guar­an­tees, but I am con­fi­dent I can keep Hayes up, oth­er­wise I wouldn’t be do­ing the job. I’ve done it with North Green­ford and I be­lieve I can do it here.”

By chance, North Green­ford are the team im­me­di­ately above AFC in the ta­ble, with Palmer’s new club only three points be­hind his old one, who sit sec­ond bot­tom.

He added: “I didn’t see eye to eye with some peo­ple there and I feel I was harshly treated, es­pe­cially after we beat Bed­worth and Han­well at the start of the sea­son.

“I don’t hold any grudges, but there is def­i­nitely a point to prove. I wish North Green­ford all the best, but if I have to send them down to keep Hayes up, that’s just foot­ball.”

Palmer will be hop­ing to re­pro­duce the per­for­mance his North Green­ford side put in against high-fly­ing Han­well Town back in Septem­ber when he takes his new club to Reynolds Field on Satur­day.

AFC’s home game with Roys­ton Town at the week­end was post­poned be­cause of a wa­ter­logged pitch, as were the home games of North­wood and Uxbridge, who were due to en­ter­tain Bar­ton Rovers and Ayles­bury re­spec­tively.

North­wood and Uxbridge were due to be back in ac­tion last night (Tues­day), at home to Bed­ford and away to Leighton re­spec­tively.

This week­end, Mark Burgess’ Woods are at Go­dalm­ing, while Tony Choules’ Reds visit Rugby.

The weather also wreaked havoc with the Spar­tan South Mid­lands League fix­tures, but Hare­field United and Hilling­don Bor­ough will hope to re­turn to Premier Di­vi­sion ac­tion at home to Cock­fos­ters and away at Holmer Green re­spec­tively on Satur­day.

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New AFC Hayes boss Paul Palmer (right) and as­sis­tant Colin Brown watch their side lose to Egham on New Year’s Day

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Photo by Alis­tair Wilson

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