Caretaker gets full-time post
SPORT HAYES & YEADING
TRISTAN Lewis will remain as manager and has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the Hayes & Yeading United squad.
Lewis was placed in interim charge of the first-team in March following the departure of Phil Babb and guided the club to Conference South survival.
The Gazette revealed weeks ago that chairman Tony O’Driscoll was considering appointing the former Reading academy coach on a permanent basis if results were positive.
Avoiding relegation was a considerable achievement given the resources available to Lewis, who was relaxed about his position and instead concentrated on preparing the team.
With the campaign now over, planning has already begun for next season and Staines Town wide man Max Worsfold was announced as the club’s first summer signing, over the weekend.
Lewis has also held talks with one other Swans player following their relegation and wants another new face in the dugout alongside him for his first full campaign.
He had been combining taking charge of the first-team, reserves, U18s and the academy and now feels an extra pair of hands will ease the burden.
Lewis said: “I can’t do all those roles but we’ve had a chat about that. I’ve had a chat with the staff and they know I want to bring in an assistant. That won’t affect anybody else’s role and we won’t restructure.
“They know the people on my list of possible targets and they are happy with that. We’ve got a really good feeling off the pitch now and I’ve got to protect that. Whoever comes in has got to be the right person.
Staines Town’s Max Worsfold, above left, is the first summer signing made by Hayes and Yeading United manager Tristan Lewis, below
“We have a very good relationship, myself and Tony, but I don’t see myself as the manager of the football club. I see myself as a team leader. It’s not about me and if it doesn’t work out then I’d be the first person to tell Tony I think we need to bring somebody else in.
“There’s no point in us thinking we’re going to fail before we’ve started. I think that if we need a change then we’re all big enough to admit that if and when that time comes. It can’t be much worse than it has been for the past few years.
“The two years that we
h av e
stayed up have been with me managing the team at the end.
“My objective is to ensure we’re not in a relegation battle next season, even if that means we’re outside the top 10.
“I want to bring in a group of players that can stay out of trouble and grow for seasons to come, not all leave and have us changing manager again. We need a bit of consistency on and off the pitch.”
Lewis has set a date of June 27 for the players to return for preseason training and has already planned friendlies with Slough, on July 14, and Egham, on July 21. HAYES & Yeading United fear they could lose star defender Dean Inman this summer.
The centre-back was named the supporters’ player of the year for the second season running last month, after helping keep the club in the Conference South.
He is now a free agent, though, and can listen to any offers.
Hayes & Yeading have told Inman they want him to remain a key part of the squad for next term but the former Farnborough and Hampton & Richmond man is considering his options.
Ironically, Inman could be lining up at York Road again next season but playing in the colours of United’s landlords Maidenhead, with the Magpies interested in signing the player.
Along with Inman, manager Tristan Lewis is also understood to have offered fresh terms to Jim Fenlon, Lewis Ferrell, Luke Williams, Adam Everitt and Christian Smith.
Elliot Benyon, who enjoyed a successful spell on loan from Torquay, is another option for Lewis but the striker would need to relocate to west London.
Two other proven goalscorers at Conference South level have been contacted by United should the move for Benyon fall through.
Another loanee who made an impact on boss Lewis, George McLennan, is out of contract at Reading and has been sounded out about a return.
Should he be handed a new deal by the Royals, McLennan could come back to Hayes & Yeading on another short-term switch from the Madejski Stadium.
Meanwhile, Lewis has admitted that a few of last season’s squad will not be wearing the red shirt again after the 3-0 final-day defeat by St Albans sealed a few exits.
He said: “What that performance did do was put a few nails in coffins. In a strange way it was the best thing that could’ve happened. We need players who are going to fight all the time. We know who we want to keep hold of and who we are prepared to let go.”
United finished the season in 19th place in the table, having accrued 42 points from their 40 fixtures.
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Main photo by Terry Habgood www.buyaphototms.co.uk
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