Ely makes plea to old pal Dyke

SPORT Hilling­don boss wants FA boss to al­low pro­mo­tion

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

HILLING­DON FC could have the best pos­si­ble help­ing hand in their bid to save their pro­mo­tion dream – FA chair­man Greg Dyke.

The Mid­dle­sex County League Pre­mier Di­vi­sion cham­pi­ons are ex­pected to have their place in the Spar­tan South Mid­lands League blocked as their ground, at Brunel Uni­ver­sity, does not meet the right cri­te­ria.

Even if they find a ground share, they would not be able to make the step up as such ar­range­ments have to be in place be­fore pro­mo­tion is won.

How­ever, manager John Ely is hop­ing to call on his old pal, a link go­ing back to when Dyke was chair­man at Brent­ford FC.

Brent­ford’s club cap­tain is Kevin O’Con­nor, who played for Hilling­don in their early days as youth side Hilling­don Ir­ish Saints. O’Con­nor’s dad, Pat, helped found the club in 1989.

Ely said: “It’s crazy the things you have to have in place to step up to that level.

“We get about 15 peo­ple watch­ing us, yet to go up we’d need to have a cov­ered stand with 100 seats.

“The FA say at that level you can en­ter the FA Cup and the­o­ret­i­cally play Chelsea, but if that were to hap­pen I think we’d play it at Stam­ford Bridge!

“I’m not knock­ing the FA, most of what they do is bril­liant, but some­times they stran­gle the game at this level, and rules like this stop teams step­ping up.

“I know Greg Dyke quite well though, so maybe I’ll have a word in his ear. It will be a shame if we don’t go up, but if that’s the case, most of the lads are young enough to give it an­other go.”

Hilling­don’s rise is in con­trast to the fall of Hilling­don Bor­ough, who could be rel­e­gated to SSMFL Di­vi­sion One if no re­prieve ar­rives, mean­ing the young up­starts could play at the same level as their more il­lus­tri­ous neigh­bours next sea­son.

Ely added: “The adult sec­tion was only formed 10 years ago and we came over to the Mid­dle­sex League af­ter two years in the Lon­don Com­mer­cial. We worked our way into the Pre­mier and af­ter fin­ish­ing last sea­son strongly, we should have won the ti­tle more com­fort­ably than we did this year.

““Although I’ve bee been with the club for 16 years, coach­ing the kids teams, I on only took over as ma manager three years ag ago from Trevor Pr Prior, who had been in charge of the ad adult side since its in in­cep­tion. The kids IuI used to coach now fo form the spine of th the adult side.”

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 CRI­TE­RIA: FA chair­man Greg Dyke; (left) Hilling­don FC cel­e­brate pro­mo­tion, although they may have to stay in the same di­vi­sion Photo by Ac­tion Images/Con­trib­uted

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.