Crane ready for Boro challenge
SPORT Former Hayes boss takes over at troubled Hillingdon FOOTBALL
Crane has been out of the game since resigning from his post as AFC Hayes boss in December but has been keen to take on a fresh challenge.
Hayes were eventually relegated after their poor campaign and will play in the Combined Counties Premier next term.
Borough would not be everyone’s choice, particularly given the recent uncertainties surrounding their Ruislip home and the fact they were relegated from the Spartan South Midlands Premier last season.
However, Crane claims given the calibre of player bending his ear, his ‘lost’ weekend is looking more and more like one well spent.
He said: “I was interviewed on the Wednesday, given the job Thursday and my bank holiday was then ruined as my phone never stopped ringing.
“It will be worth it though because what has surprised me is the level of player prepared to come here – that’s going to raise a few eyebrows.
“I always knew players would come who have been with me before, but the level of some others is surprising given the money they could earn at other clubs chasing them.
“I have got 10 or 12 signed up already, one of whom was offered a move to the Ryman Premier when he was with me at AFC Hayes, so that shows you the level of player we are talking about.”
Ben ‘Rolls-Royce’ Dyett was one such player to attract admiring glances when with Crane at Farm Park, but Crane was giving no names away just yet.
However, he confirmed another former Brook boy definitely coming aboard as player coach is Ricky Michel.
“Ricky is almost recovered now from the cruciate ligament damage he suffered when with me at Hayes,” he said.
“He is doing his UEFA B badges at the moment so will take quite a bit of the training, which will help me a lot.”
Crane claims his batteries are fully recharged and he is ready for the challenge of reviving the fortunes of a club who only a decade ago were in the FA Vase final and who in their previous guise as Hillingdon Borough twice applied to join the football league.
He feels a club with such history deserves a better present and he revealed he is even talking to a few of their stalwarts from better days, who are contemplating a return in a bid to make that a reality.
“First it is about consolidating a team which has been slipping the wrong way and then turning the ship around,” he added.
“One or two former players have been in touch, some of whom I tried to sign at AFC Hayes, and I’d like to get them involved and see if we can get a buzz back about the place again.”
Elsewhere, Hayes & Yeading have spoken to four former strikers, including last season’s goalscorer Elliot Benyon, about returning to the club next season.
Tristan Lewis has also added former Hampton & Richmond boss Paul Barry to his backroom staff. ICKENHAM star Marc McCarroll was part of the Great Britain’s men’s wheelchair tennis team (pictured) who secured a historic first World Group title at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
Debutant Alfie Hewett, 17, and Gordon Reid gained straight sets wins in their singles rubbers to give Great Britain a 2-0 victory over France to win Britain’s first gold medal in the World Group in 30 years of World Team Cup participation.
Team GB ends the International Tennis Federation’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event, the sport’s version of the Davis and Fed Cups, with two medals after the GB women’s team won bronze on Friday with a 2-0 win over Germany.
Last year Reid, McCarroll and David Phillipson, three-quarters of this year’s team, won GB’s first men’s bronze medal since 1989, again captained by Karen Ross.
“It’s been a great team effort,” said McCarroll, who partnered Phillipson to complete victory for Great Britain over Belgium earlier in the week en-route to the semi-finals.
“Gordon and Alfie both stepped up today and performed really well. We couldn’t have done this week without the help and support of the Tennis Foundation, UK Sport and the National Lottery. A massive thank you and well done also to Karen, who has captained the team to make history this week. It has been such an honour representing our country at this brilliant event.”
British number two McCarroll was last night (Tuesday) set to compete in the ITF 1 Series Korea Open.
Meanwhile, McCaroll’s fellow Ickenham star Jordanne Whiley, who is now competing at the French Open, teamed up with Lucy Shuker and Louise Hunt to clinch their sixth medal in seven years in the women’s World Group, winning bronze after beating Germany 2-0. HARLINGTON NETBALL LEAGUE RESULTS
Ladybirds 32 Grasshoppers1 27; Grasshoppers Vets 30 v Charville Bennetts 56.
Burns 25 v Fusion 24; Grasshoppers2 25 v Blaze Hurricanes 52.
Charville Black 49 v St Joseph’s 36; Pink Ladies Lightning 31 v IKB7 28; Breezers 28 v Blaze Lightning 34; Teddington Thunder A 39 v Brentford Night Owls 47.
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n EXCITED: Ian Crane is the new Hillingdon Borough boss