Fu­ture looks bleak for Bor­ough

Cri­sis club to start next sea­son at their low­est level FOOT­BALL

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

HILLING­DON Bor­ough FC are fac­ing a sum­mer of un­cer­tainty on and off the pitch – and per­haps even a battle for sur­vival.

Boro fin­ished rock bot­tom of the Spar­tan South Mid­lands Pre­mier this sea­son and will start the next one at their low­est ever level, un­less they get a re­prieve.

It is an ig­no­min­ious fate for a club which, less than a decade ago, was play­ing South­ern League foot­ball and reached the FA Vase fi­nal and whose pre­de­ces­sor (hav­ing gone bust but re­formed in 1990) reached the FA Tro­phy fi­nal and twice ap­plied to join the Foot­ball League.

For chair­man Mick Har­ris, it is keep­ing alive that his­tory which keeps him and the board go­ing, but he ad­mits it is be­com­ing more of a strug­gle to do so with each pass­ing year.

He said: “It’s been a very diffi- cult sea­son sea­son, we don’t know if we will be rel­e­gated or not yet, but that’s just part of the prob­lem as we don’t know what’s hap­pen­ing with the club it­self.

“We’ve heard the ground has been sold. The club used to own it but the pre­vi­ous com­mit­tee had to sell it and it’s now pri­vately owned.

“Hope­fully the new owner will still let us play there as we can’t af­ford to move to an­other ground, but we’ve not heard any­thing yet.

“Fold­ing is a pos­si­bil­ity pos­si­bil­ity, but we have a pic­ture on the board­room wall which shows when the club was founded, and that’s the his­tory I look at. “I can’t walk away.” A sea­son of tur­moil saw Hilling­don fin­ish bot­tom of their di­vi­sion by 10 points af­ter win­ning just four league games all sea­son.

It was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to re­place the pre­vi­ous cam­paign’s top scorer, Rob Laney, who moved to Ry­man Pre­mier side Win­gate & Finch­ley, where he has just been named Fans’ Player of the Year.

But the con­tro­ver­sial de­par­ture of manager Sam Hur­rell, a for­mer Chelsea academy player, fur­ther desta­bilised the club, leav­ing Ja­son O’Con­nor and then Mick By­ron, who fin­ished the sea­son in the hot seat, to pick up the pieces be­fore resigning last week.

Har­ris added: “Sam did the dirty on us. He said at the start of the sea­son that he couldn’t carry on due to work com­mit­ments, and the next thing we knew he was turn­ing up to play against us for Hare­field. Ja­son tried hard but had just got mar­ried and left soon af­ter.

“But lots of teams have sur­vived th­ese sit­u­a­tions. Cock­fos­ters lost their manager and 22 play­ers ear­lier in the sea­son, and a few years back we lost a manager and nine play­ers five days be­fore the trans­fer win­dow shut. Sur­viv­ing what hap­pens next is the big ques­tion.”

Hilling­don are now on the look­out for By­ron’s re­place­ment as boss. HAYES & Yead­ing United vet­eran Gary MacDon­ald is nott ready to hang his boots up yet.

MacDon­ald (pic­tured) fin­ished the sea­son on the treat­ment ta­ble at the Con­fer­ence South club af­ter dam­ag­ing his lig­a­ments.

He was com­bin­ing a play­ing role with a new spot on the United coach­ing staff along­side manager er Tris­tan Lewis and as­sis­tant Del­roy Pred­die.

Lewis has made it known he is on the look­out for an­other coach to come on board at the Bea­cons­field Road club but is not plan­ning on turf­ing out MacDon­ald.

There is a place for him at the club next sea­son but the stick­ing point could be how much play­ing time the for­mer Wok­ing and Ebbsfleet cen­tre-half is hop­ing to gain.

“Gary MacDon­ald wants to stay and he wants to play,” boss Lewis con­firmed.

“I’ve made it clear to him that I don’t think he can play ev­ery week.

“He’s great off the pitch and I think he will also have a part to play on the field.

“It de­pends on what he wants to do and whether he wants to play ev­ery sin­gle week.”

Lewis has set a date of June 27 for the play­ers to re­turn for pre-sea­son train­ing and has al­ready planned friendlies with Slough on July 14 and Egham on July 21.

He is hop­ing the club will be able to keep the squad to­gether af­ter a solid sum­mer work­out, with pre­vi­ous manager Phil Babb los­ing many of his re­cruits be­fore a ball was kicked.

“We will have a bet­ter pre-sea­son this year,” Lewis added.

“I have to say that Phil’s pre-sea­son was good last year, but the prob­lem was that half of the play­ers who took part in it didn’t re­ally ever play for us. We’re try­ing to move for­ward.”

Else­where, Lewis Cole has been named Uxbridge’s Play­ers’ Player of the Year while Matt Woods picked up the award from the fans and Tony Choules picked out Kevin Warner for the manager’s prize.

Pub­lished by Trinity Mir­ror South­ern, at Stoke Mill, Wok­ing Road, Guild­ford, Sur­rey, GU1 1QA. Reg­is­tered at the Post Of­fice as a news­pa­per. Printed at Mir­ror Colour Print Ltd, St Al­bans Road, Wat­ford, Hert­ford­shire, WD24 7RG

n DE­PARTED: Ja­son O’Con­nor has left Hilling­don Bor­ough, af­ter tak­ing over from Sam Hur­rell (pic­tured be­low)

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